Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Baldwin St

Baldwin St may be popular with tourists, but it’s not so popular with the people who live in it. Does that make sense?
You know, of course, what Baldwin St is famous for, because you read your Guinness Book of Records, or the Lonely Planet guide to New Zealand. It’s the steepest street in the world, isn’t it!
I remember having an email conversation with someone about this one time, because he claimed that there was a street in San Francisco that was steeper, and set out some mathematical stuff that I didn’t in the least understand, to prove it. Well, whether it is, or whether it isn’t, it’s regarded as being, and that’s enough for me. (Actually I’ve just noticed in the paper this morning that there was a battle over this issue in 2003, and we won!)
However, steepness draws loonies, and with there being up to 20,000 students in the city during the Varsity year, it’s not surprising there gain some additional loonies. (We actually have enough of our own without importing any, by the way.)
In 2001 one loony student ‘drove’ his girlfriend down the street in a wheelie bin (a rubbish bin on wheels) and killed her when they crashed. And just the other day several loonies in a car (littered with booze bottles and such) careened down the street at an estimated 150 kph and crashed into the Hospice at the bottom.
These are the sorts of things that make the street unpopular with those who live there: they hate the drongos who see the street as a challenge to their (inept) driving skills.
Quite honestly, it’s not a street I’d care to live in. I once worked as a survey interviewer, and got Baldwin St on my list. It ain’t fun to climb, I can tell you.

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