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Do you ever wonder how I find people to cover in these Home Stories?
Well, once I placed an ad in the local newspaper with a headline reading ‘subjects wanted for intimate home photography’ …but let’s just say that tactic delivered mixed results. Nowadays, I reach out to people I know, have heard of through recommendation, or have come into contact with through work or projects. Honestly, there is no shortage of great personalities here.
In this specific instance, Kristen made my life even easier by asking to show Victor and me what life in the heart of the Kingston Foreshore is like. I’m actually not quite sure if Victor and I are cut out for the fast city life—it took us 10 minutes to work out how the intercom in Kristen’s building worked, followed by 10 more minutes of getting trapped in a lift because we got side-tracked in conversation and didn’t press the floor button in time. But, somehow we made it up to the apartment and the ordeal was well worth it.
Kristen warmly welcomed us into her immaculate apartment with its a stunning view of the foreshore. From up here, Canberra really does look different; we could see boats in jetties, people buzzing about below in cafes, an exhausted dog panting after a walk around the lake, children with balloons, a view of the newly built water-view apartments and even that classic ‘bush capital’ vista of the Molonglo Plains.
Kristen is the host of Mix 106.3’s breakfast show, Kristen and Wilko, but knowing that she is also a seasoned journalist for HerCanberra, WIN News and Mamamia, I decided to show her what I was made of and have someone ask her the hard-hitting questions for once. “So why did you decide to live here?” was the first (…okay, so not exactly hot seat type of stuff but hey, I had to start somewhere).
“Because I wanted to be in the middle of it, there is constant life here … I can see new businesses moving in and how long the coffee line is on one side and how busy Bus Depot Markets are on the other,” Kristen explained.
That made sense—the great layout of the apartment with its full wall-length windows and wrap-around balcony mean that you feel like you’re in hub of city life, but yet not exposed like some kind of goldfish. Furthermore, Kristen’s sense of neat aesthetic balances the rush and buzz of the foreshore outside with the calm darker and even tones and textures of the inside.
The next eloquent question I was going to ask, was whether Kristen is an audiophile or whether that title should belong to her partner—but Victor beat me to it by pointing at a pair of roof-mounted Klipsch speakers and yelling “holy crap, check out these babies!”.
So, it turns out Kristen’s partner is responsible for not only that amazing setup but also an original Lichtenstein on the wall. Considering I work at the National Gallery of Australia I had to add ‘ah yeah I have a few of those …. at work.’
Aside from admiring the effort Kristen and her partner have put into such a modern yet homely apartment, we naturally drifted to talking about Canberra, why we live here (despite the cold winter) and why we champion it when appropriate. We all arrived at the same conclusion; it’s the personal connections between people and the city’s rapidly changing nature that are its two strongest assets. Case in point, Kristen reached out to make that connection and all it took was an email and me getting stuck in a lift. We were also standing in a location that was literally growing before our eyes. It’s a good time to be a Canberran.
Read all of Ashley’s Home Stories series here.
Photos by Victor Tawagi