Britomart Highlights this week – Thursday 22 November to Thursday 29 November

Massive Black Friday bargains, exceptional eats and (hopefully) sweet sounds

Shoppers! Tomorrow it’s Black Friday at Britomart, when you’ll be able to walk away with fantastic pre-Christmas savings on everything from cosmetics and perfumes at Bobbi Brown, M.A.C and Jo Malone London, to sportswear, high fashion, shoes and accessories throughout the precinct. We’ve rounded up all of the special deals and added extras being offered by Britomart retailers (like the limited edition Deadly Ponies Mr Mini Tulip bag pictured) – check them all out here. Incidentally, did you know that Black Friday originally got its name because of the terrible traffic congestion the post-Thanksgiving shopping rush caused? That’s a problem you don’t have when you’re picking up deals at a public transport hub like Britomart.

The works by the second artist in our Works on Paper public art series are going up this weekend. Tyrone Ohia (Ngāti Pūkenga) is a designer and creative director whose bold graphic prints for the Customs Street site combine a sense of urban energy with a reference to the waters of the Waitematā that lapped the Britomart shores before reclamation. Keep an eye on next week’s Nine Blocks for details of a limited-edition giveaway of his posters.

Auckland Council has a plan to transform the downtown area over the next 10 years to make it more accessible and vibrant (read more about it here). Now they’re taking that plan public so you can have your say about how the city can be better connected to the waterfront. The plans will be on display at Britomart (in the Square or the Atrium depending on weather) next Tuesday 27 November. Come down and share your thoughts.

How good does this pork belly and watercress (in a paleo bun, no less) from Māngere East’s Village Cafe look? It’s just one of the tasty eats you’ll be able to try at our Community Eats event in partnership with Westpac and DiversityWorks this Friday 23 November. We’ll have seven food vendors from the wider Auckland area in the Atrium, offering everything from stuffed Yemenite pita bread to keto-friendly cakes and treats to traditional Cook Island Ota ika (raw fish in coconut cream with herbs). They’ll be here from 7.30am-2.30pm, so if you love what you eat at breakfast, you can come back for more at lunchtime. Read more about it here, and come and eat with us on Friday. Photo by Joe Hockley.

You only have two more chances to wrap your chops around an Orleans Waffle and Shake Wednesday combo before the Christmas holiday break. Next Wednesday 28 December, their special shake is a take on the classic Kiwi Jellytip icecream, paired with a plate of fried chicken and waffles for just $12. Available from 12pm-3pm.

The first cherries of the season land at the La Cigale market at Britomart this Saturday. We’re looking forward to tossing them through rocket and goat-cheese salads, roasting them with duck legs, tearing and scattering them over practice runs for the Christmas pav… and popping these sweet flavour bombs in our mouths whole.

From now until just before Christmas, every sunny Friday we’ll have the effervescent DJ Rose Alice spinning tunes in Takutai Square for your listening pleasure. With an expansive and eclectic collection of records ranging from soul and funk to jazz and disco, she loves to play music that makes people feel good. If the weather holds up this week (it’s looking iffy to be honest, but we’re eternal optimists), head to the square from noon to 2pm to catch her and let your lunchtime groove by. In the meantime, to find out the surprising job she does when she’s not behind the decks, click here to read our chat with her.

Next Wednesday 28 and Thursday 29 November, the New Zealand Aids Foundation is setting up a stall in the Atrium on Takutai in advance of World Aids Day on December 1. There’ll be lots going on, with the stall acting as a base for their volunteers for the street appeal, as well as offering free HIV tests. Remember that if you’re at risk, it’s best to know.

After a few weeks of rest and recuperation, the grass in Takutai Square is just about ready to reopen for summer. Keep an eye out for when the ropes come down and the lush new lawn is accessible… on the first lunchtime the beanbags are back out, we’ll be handing out 100 delicious Little Bird Organic cookies for free to celebrate what we see as the official start to summer.