Ryu Takahashi has been a steampunk since 1986, making him one of the first in New Zealand to appreciate the genre's retro-futuristic mash-up of sci-fi and Victoriana – think top hats, goggles and items inspired by the Industrial Revolution. Since moving to New Zealand from Japan in 1998, Ryu has also worked as a digital photographer. You'll find his acclaimed steampunk photography at Motueka's Dragon Phart Studio, and you can also buy coffee and sushi at his adjoining Paper Nautilus Cafe. Ryu hosts a monthly meeting there for local steampunk enthusiasts, dressed in their cybergothic finery.
We asked Ryu to tell us some of his favourite things about Motueka.
1.What's fresh and new in Motueka?
There is a new library in the midst of construction which is being built to function as a multi-use facility. In order to cater to a wider demographic, people of different age groups, interests and backgrounds were consulted in the planning process.
2.Tell us something people don't know about Motueka.
Motueka, with its generous climate and fertile soil grows a large variety of fresh produce which, we have recently begun to celebrate at our annual Kai Festival.
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3. How do you stay fresh in summer?
With a cold brew coffee from Paper Nautilus Cafe and a real fruit ice cream on the way home from the river.
4.Is there a must-see landmark when making a pit stop at Motueka?
The Arrivals and Departures sculpture located on the Motueka Wharf. It symbolises the comings and goings in our community and the diversity of skill, knowledge and talent we have within it.
5. What's your favourite Subway® sub and where in town do you like to eat it?
A smashed falafel wrap with lots of veggies to enjoy on a drive.
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