This is not photo-shop, it is the cut-out figure of Charlie Chaplin outside Alice In Videoland, an art house and classic DVD hire shop in lower High Street. In the background nearby buildings built over 100 years ago in the Venetian gothic style, damaged in 7.1 magnitude earthquake on Sept 4th 2010 or in some of the 4,000 plus aftershocks since. Hopefully they will survive but dozens have not.
The city has been hugely lucky not to suffer loss of life (lucky, plus also has rigorous building standards) but faces now horrific costs and years of complications in rebuilding a central area and (more often its margins) when the CBD was already struggling. For or those who love the city and are also worn out by months of unpredictable [in timing] after-shocks, it can be hard not to feel pensive, a bit glum, not sure about the future.
The look on Charlie's face says it all. But, Hey, Happy New YEAR!!