Things To Do

Eat, Watch, Listen, Read | Here’s What Local Business Owners Are Getting Up To During Lockdown

By Jess Willemse
6th Apr 2020

So lockdown is in full swing and we’re not going to lie, we’ve already binged Netflix’s Tiger King and eaten all of our self-isolation snacks. Ooops. That’s why we’ve turned to some of Auckland’s coolest businesses owners to find out what they’re getting up to over the next four weeks. 

From some of our favourite boutiques to bars, gyms and craftspeople, here’s what Auckland’s creatives and hustlers are watching, listening to, reading and eating at the moment. Soak up all the inspo and while you’re at it, hit follow on their ‘Grams for updates on how you can support these guys over the coming weeks and beyond.  


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Jordan Gibson | Checks Downtown

Give Checks Downtown a follow on the ‘Gram and stay tuned for fresh drops on their radio show, mixes and playlists, plus nab winter essentials from their site during the lockdown.   

What will you be watching over the next four weeks? 

Trying to find a stream for season two of Succession.. if anyone has any links send them my way! I'd also like to rewatch movies from the '90s that I loved like Belly, Paid In Full and movies from the Oscar season I haven't seen yet like Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and The Irishmen.

What will you be listening to? 

We're putting out lots of mixes and playlists through Checks during the downtime so I'm contributing to those, we put out a fortnightly radio show broadcast and will be getting some familiar friends to curate some playlists. Personally I'm enjoying Jay Electronica, Roddy Ricch and Megan Thee Stallion, for podcasts my favourites are Throwing Fits, Switched on Pop and The Guardian.

What books are at the top of your reading list? 

I have been reading the old classic, Seven Habits of Highly Effective Individuals, which feels particularly relevant right now as I try to establish a new work from home routine. I'm also trying to cook one new dish/recipe per week so I will be scrolling through our pile of cookbooks. We have some David Sedaris books around also which I look forward to turning to when I'm looking for a lighter moment.

What delicious treats will you be cooking or eating? 

My partner just got a sourdough starter from a friend before the lockdown so has vowed to learn to make bread, I'm looking forward to that commencing, maybe we can try baking some hot cross buns as well which would be dangerous but delicious. So far this lockdown period has been a bit of a carbicide, comfort eating I guess.


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Alastair And Heather | The Caretaker And Deadshot

Scroll through The Caretaker and Deadshot’s ‘Grams for the ultimate at-home cocktail inspo (boozy slushies anyone?) and be the first to know when they’re back in action.  

What will you be watching over the next four weeks? 

We want to watch all the Chef's Table and related series on Netflix because the cocktail world is driven by the paralleled food world.

What will you be listening to? 

More Bowie because we're taking Deadshot into a new era of music. Plus a little reggae and ska to keep the soul hungry for what's right.

What books are at the top of your reading list? 

For study, we are reading Jones’ Complete Barguide by Stan Jones again–it's a fantastic '70s look back at the classics. We have also stocked up on a few new books to keep us busy like the People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Lloyd Parry and Boys Will Be Boys by Clementine Ford.

What delicious treats will you be cooking or eating? 

We will be cooking more hearty meals like lentil stews for the colder days and batching up some lemon curd and jams with the last of the summer fruits (we took home all the leftover citrus and berries from the bar). We are also planning on making some hot sauce from the chillies in our garden, as well as the obligatory daily cocktails of course.


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Sarah And Rose | Crushes Shop 

Drop by Crushes’ Instagram for outfit inspiration, and score 20 per cent off online during the lockdown. 

What will you be watching over the next four weeks? 

S: I’m going to try and get through my Netflix watch list—that list that always gets added to but somehow you still “don’t have anything to watch”—which is mainly filled with true crime documentaries TBH and also some of my favourite nostalgic go-to’s like The Darjeeling Limited and Before Sunrise. 

R: I’ve been saving the new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm for when I had a bit more time. Very exciting.

What will you be listening to? 

S: I’m going deep in the archives of some podcasts that have been going for 10+ years like Stuff You Should Know and Stuff You Missed In History Class. But my fingers are crossed some new True Crime podcasts will come out.

R: I’ve been enjoying the new PartyNextDoor album. I think lots of artists will be bringing their release dates forward which is exciting. 

What books are at the top of your reading list? 

S: All the Haruki Murakami’s I have not read. I’ll Be Gone in The Dark, some classics like Great Expectations and 1984, plus anything my friend Jenna from Timeout Bookstore puts on her Instagram.

R: I am looking forward to going through the books on my bed, starting with a 1979 op shop purchase Socialism Without The State.

What delicious treats will you be cooking or eating? 

S: I’m not great at baking, that is more my boyfriend’s forte but I recently bought some roasting tin books which I have been thoroughly enjoying, so there have been lots of pasta bakes and roasted cheesy veges being devoured. I’m addicted to Bon Appétit on YouTube too, so they have been inspiring me a lot. Brad and Claire 4 life. 

R: I didn’t think I was a cook in any way, but with all this time and my pantry finally full, turns out I actually enjoy it (??) and I’m not even that bad (!!). I’ve made a tasty roast beetroot hummus and have goals to make an authentic Indian meal. 


“The willingness to show up changes us, it makes us a little better each time.” - Brene Brown

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Dwayne Rowsell | Studio Box

Keep kicking your fitness goals and swing by Studio Box online for live HIIT workouts with Dwayne, boxing-inspired sessions and even a spot of yoga. 

What will you be watching over the next four weeks? 

I’m currently watching Vikings, season five and definitely recommend the doco Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez, the crazy story of an NFL star. Or for movies—The Upside, a classic Kevin Hart comedy and for a series The Night Manager, a mix of action, love and crime. 

What will you be listening to? 

I'm on day two of 21-day meditation experience with Deepak Chopra which I listen to first thing—for someone who's normally up and out early I'm enjoying the slow and calm mornings. Each day there is a task you have to complete also, and I just gotta share this because everyone should do it: make a list of 50 people that have influenced your life. They can be both living and already departed people, your relatives, friends, celebrities, writers and personalities. In the process of making a list, think about why you chose the person and what has changed in your life for the better? It was hugely emotional for me thinking back through every moment and who has impacted you. During the day I'm also finding new tracks and creating playlists for our workouts at Studio Box, and when it's time to relax I usually flick to the Artist Radio on Spotify for Fleetwood Mac, Bob Marley or David Gray and let it play.

What books are at the top of your reading list? 

I've got two books I've just started, top of the list is Kobe Bryant's book The Mamba Mentality and secondly is Boundless by Ben Greenfield—it's a deep dive into human health and performance that combines science, practical experience and real-life recipes to allow you to upgrade your brain, optimize your body and defy aging. It's intense but if you want some life hacks it's worth every penny, for example, if you're sick of the 3pm brain fog you'll be given tools to try to beat it. 

What delicious treats will you be cooking or eating? 

Chocolate chip cookies and banana bread are my two favourite treats to eat! Making them is the real challenge, in fact cooking anything is a challenge but I'm embracing it during this period. I normally just buy food on the go for one but now I'm at home with my two flatmates who cook beautiful meals, I'm currently the guy who's great at dishes and cleaning up but hey we're gonna reverse that! #watchthisspace


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Martina Mak | Makadora Hats

Martina’s words for our Urban Lister’s are to “stay safe, stay kind and stay creative” people, and we couldn’t agree more. To learn more about the story and craft behind Makadora Hats, check out their website.

What will you be watching over the next four weeks? 

Whenever we need some inspiration we always put on Social Fabric on Red Bull TV. It's an amazing series focusing on different pieces of fashion and the making behind them. It's actually the show that gave us the inspiration to get started in hat making!

What will you be listening to? 

We are notoriously known for our Makadora Spotify playlists! Made for people experiencing creative block or a lack of focus to help get us lost in the workflow! Our most played are Designer Inspo, Makadora Store and Hip Hop n’ Hats.

What books are at the top of your reading list? 

I have dedicated at least an hour a day to reading during this lockdown to help us unwind and spend some time in the sunshine. My current books on rotation are the 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson, The Art of War by Sun Zoo and my current favourite is Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking.

What delicious treats will you be cooking or eating? 

I’ve really enjoyed having the time to experiment in the kitchen, but some of our favourite recipes include home-baked banana bread, gnocchi pasta with boscaiola sauce and any traditional Macedonian recipes!


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Jenna Todd | Time Out Bookstore 

Catch Jenna on her podcast Papercuts, and hit follow on Time Out Bookstore for reading inspiration. Plus treat yourself to a post-lockdown page-turner and support their store by waiting to purchase from your bookshop when this is over.  

What will you be watching over the next four weeks? 

I’ve just finished season two of My Brilliant Friend on TVNZ, it’s based on one of my favourite series of books. I’m looking forward to season two of What We Do in the Shadows and I’m thinking of re-watching Seinfeld.

What will you be listening to? 

I’m listening to Margaret Atwood’s Cat’s Eye, which I got out from the Auckland Library. Lots of RNZ of course and I’ll keep listening to my regular podcasts—Reply All, Bachelor Party, Death, Sex & Money, The Real Pod and This American Life.

What books are at the top of your reading list? 

Oh my goodness, if there’s anything good coming out of the lockdown, it’s making a dent in my reading pile. I’m going to read: The Third Rainbow Girl by Emma Copley Eisenberg, Cherry Beach by Laura McPhee Brown, State Highway One by Sam Coley, Going Dark by Julia Ebner, Rest and Be Thankful by Emma Glass, The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante and Te Rataka a Tama Hungoingoi (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) by Jeff Kinney.

What delicious treats will you be cooking or eating? 

We are aiming for a decent ‘tray time’ every evening—cheese, crackers and some wine.

See what our fave Hamilton businesses have been up to during lockdown.

Image credit: Supplied

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