K.One is, for the most part, based in Auckland, but if you follow him on twitter or instagram, you’ll soon find that his heart stays firmly placed with his hometown, Masterton. Or, you know, you could just have a read of what’s been permanently etched into his knuckles…being away from home, that’s that shit he don’t like. While he’s back in M.A, he’s been kind enough to agree to take us all on a virtual tour of his hood.
What the Illegal Musik rapper has provided is exactly what I envisioned the ‘Good in Your Hood’ series to be all about. I wanted it to give an insight, history and guide into a town or hood that only a proud local can give. K.One, a.k.a Kaleb Vitale, has done exactly that, and as a result, we also get a bit of an insight into his life. Cool story aye bro? Yes, yes it is my bro.
So, enough chit chat, here is the second ever installment in the ‘What’s Good In Your Hood’ series – K.One’s Masterton :
‘Double Bridges’ :
“Masterton is famous for it’s long, hot and dry summers. The closest beach is 40 minutes away so hitting one of the nearby rivers is almost an everyday thing. 10km north of town is a spot called “Double Bridges” (Getting it’s name from the two bridges 500m up stream from the swimming hole) It still buzzes me out that we would bike all the way out there when we were young. Once we were old enough to have a license there was always that dude we knew with a car who would be ‘persuaded’ to drive us out there.”
“The boys and I had a ritual where we would wind all the windows up and blast the heater on full, so that by the time we got there the car was like a sauna. Then, stinking hot and dripping with sweat, we’d race to the water. We would spend hours out there climbing the cliff and jumping off. When we were young the older boys always pulled rank so we would sit on the rocks and watch in awe, carefully studying their technique. Mention ‘Double Bridges’ to anyone from MA, and they will know exactly what you’re talking about.”
“This is more than just a Fish & Chip shop, we grew up here. It wasn’t just a place to eat, it was our hang spot. It was where we would rendevous before our roams through town. The alleyway next door (which is now Westpac) was where we would hide and drink our $6.99 bottle of Kristov mixed with a 79 cent ‘Budget’ raspberry from the supermarket next door. If you had beef with someone, tell them to meet you at Rutenes and you’d scrap in the carpark behind.”
“Even if we had no money we would just go there and watch the TV that only got channel 3 until the Asian lady would kick us out for not buying anything. This place has a history spanning over 30 years, back before my time it was originally called “Lavarakis” and it was owned by local greek man George Pentalis. It was then bought by another local Ron Rutene and the name was changed to “Rutene’s,” the asian couple who still own it now and have for over 20 years took over from him. Last year, they relocated across the road (much to everyone’s horror) and changed the name to ‘Golden Chip’ which no-one has acknowledged, and it’s still referred to by everyone as ‘Rutenes’.”
“The old building is now an ornament shop and in the right light you can still see the ‘Rutene’s Takeaways’ under the new paint job. Luckily their food hasn’t changed. ‘Rutenes’ has always been famous for it’s homemade chips. I would put their chips up against any place in the country. It’s so good that we would just get chips, nothing else. $3 chips and 50c sauce was the jam. My favourite meal though, is their crumbed fish meal. $6 for one of their also famous crumbed fish, chips, salad and a fried egg. Back when I was at school this was only $3.50, but I guess even Fish & Chips aren’t safe from inflation lol. Just like ‘Double Bridges’, mention ‘Rutenes’ to anyone from MA and they will know exactly what you’re talking about.”
The Skatepark Hoop :
“None of us could skate, but the local skatepark was also an everyday hang spot. When they put in a basketball court next to it, this gave us an excuse to be there. It also gave us an excuse to give to our Mum’s when they’d ask where we had been. Half of the time we had been nowhere near the court and were off doing things that we shouldn’t have lol. It was a while before they installed lights and I still have memories of playing my little brother until we could barely see the hoop, arguing over who was which NBA player.
When they installed lights it became another drinking spot for us. Hiding our bottle in the tree next to it, every time the cops rolled by asking us what we were doing out so late, “Just playing basketball, Sir,” was our reply. Nowadays the hoop’s rusted, the lines are faded and only one of the lights works, but it’s still the spot for a half court game with the boys or a lazy shoot-a-round to wind down on a Sunday afternoon.”