Christopher Leary: stories, photographs and some history lessons


Palmerston North is where I started life. About the only thing I remember was the time the mattress factory near our apartment on Te Awe Awe Street went up in flames. I had a cracking view from my bedroom window. Note the many Maori place names. Mangatainoka certainly has a ring to it. Bunnythorpe not so much. This detail is from a map of North Island published in August 1953 by New Zealand's Lands & Survey Dept. In other words it was being printed at the same time I was being born. It's not looking that young anymore either.
I was born in New Zealand but did not stay there long. My parents had a bad case of wanderlust and by the time I was six my family was living in Nigeria. Then a couple of years in Spain before moving on to England. There I was educated and ended up with a degree in architecture. After graduation I moved to New York. These days I live in Berlin.


A Cierva C.30 gyrocopter flying above Seville. Spain, circa 1938.