Britomart highlights this week – Thursday 7 February to Thursday 14 February

A photo series showing Pride in our queer communities / The street food of love / The flowers lighting up Takutai Square

Gong Xi Fa Cai! 恭喜发财 On Tuesday morning, as the Lunar New Year dawned, the new moon rose above The Noble Ones lightbox installation at Britomart. Created by New Zealand Chinese photographer James K Lowe in collaboration with floral artist Sophie Wolanski, it brings the Chinese tradition of filling homes with fresh blooms during Lunar New Year to our own ‘living room’ of Takutai Square. Click through to watch a video by Jordan Ransom of Motion Bros that reveals the background of the project, and some beautiful shots of the works in situ by Joe Hockley.

In conjunction with James K Lowe’s beautiful The Noble Ones lightbox installation, we’ve had a series of postcard-sized prints of the floral artworks created, to give away to celebrate Chinese New Year. They’re available to pick up from a table in the Atrium on Takutai, or you might find one in your bag after shopping at Britomart. Get in quick – they’re proving so popular that we’re already into our third print run!

It’s Valentine’s Day next week, and while we don’t want to add to the pressure to prove your love via extravagant gestures, if you’re looking for a place to eat with your beloved, you’d be hard-pressed to do better than oysters and sunset views at Ostro, a meal under the flowers at Amano or the twinkling courtyard lights at Ortolana, a cosy booth at Cafe Hanoi, or a quiet table for two at any of our other eateries.

Also now brightening up Customs St East are the vibrant, vital photographs by our latest Works on Paper art series contributor, Jermaine Dean. Jermaine, a multi-disciplinary artist who works across music, dance and visual arts, likes to shoot portraits of his friends and creative collaborators, showing them to themselves and others in new ways, as well as sending a message about “visibility and agency, and being proud of our queer brown bodies”. Read more about the project here. Photograph by Joe Hockley.

Enjoy Sunday evenings in the city this month by learning about the history, landmarks and changemakers of Aotearoa’s LGBTQI+ community on one of the Pride Walks organised by Auckland Free Walking Tours. Setting off at 5pm from the Ferry Building, you’ll wind through Britomart (taking in our Works on Paper project above) and uptown to K’ Rd. A koha donation is always appreciated.

We know those beanbags are tempting, but rather than lazing in the sun next Tuesday lunchtime, why not give a free 30-minute outdoor Grit Cardio class a go? Led by Les Mills Britomart instructor Jacob Gunnell, the classes will be held from 12-12.30pm every Tuesday lunchtime from now until the end of February. There’s no need t0 book – just show up in your exercise gear and get ready to sweat.

The Beatles told us “All You Need Is Love” but we reckon a full tummy makes it a lot easier to feel that love. This Valentine’s Day, you don’t have to choose, with a special food-lovers edition of Street Kai on Takutai, brought to you by our friends at Westpac. From 11am until 9pm,  Sabores, Guerrilla Grill, Akemi’s Gyoza, Olas, Brûlée Bike, Double Dutch Fries, Grub, Miann and Grownup Donuts will be dishing up meals to give you hearts in your eyes. There’s a open-air bar supplying beverages to wash it all down with, and live music to set the mood.

From this coming Monday 11 Feb, every Monday and Wednesday you’ll be able to help out children who don’t have a lunch to take to school by purchasing your own boxed lunch from the Eat My Lunch ‘car boot’ pop-up in Takutai Square between 11.30am and 1.30pm. The lunches are delicious, nutritious, and every one purchased donates another lunch to a kid in need. Now that’s a really good way to eat.

And on Friday, there are mobile lunchtime options galore, with four Food Truck Friday vans rolling into Takutai Square to serve up delicious street food to the sounds of uplifting jazz, soul and house from DJ Rose Alice. This week’s street food offerings include sourdough sandwiches from Guerrilla Grill’s Landrover, chargrilled pork belly sammies from Hungry Swine, Latin food from Olas and Grownup Donuts treats to finish.