Thursday, 7 January 2010

Living in Newtown

After the end of the great road trip, I was all blogged out for the rest of the year.
However, the new year has had its usual invigorating effect, so...

In mid-December we found another temporary home: a small semi-detached house in Newtown, one of Sydney's inner suburbs, just a hop and skip from the University of Sydney.

This typical semi is just one room wide, with a long connecting hall running down the inside wall.

The original house would once have had a toilet out the back, but now ends in the added-on bathroom. Both kitchen and bathroom are 2/3 the width of the property, leaving space for a courtyard.


For many decades Newtown was a cheap place to live. It was always attractive to students, of course, because of its proximity to the univerity, but most locals were just working-class poor or unemployed of all ages. Some of the old buildings became council housing, some became backpacker hostels, and these have remained as the area has slowly gentrified over the last 20 years. Today there are as many young professionals in the area as there are old timers. The owner of our place is typical: a 40-ish film maker, mostly doing documentaries on aboriginal issues, but currently engaged on his first feature film.

Like the inner suburbs of most cities, Newtown has its share of graffiti. Some is eye-catching and artistic:

Some is subtle and amusing:

The verbal kind runs the usual gamut, from aggressive...


to plaintive...

(Optus is one of the local cell phone companies)


Sarah-Jane said...

Great post - really enjoyed reading it!

I love the lush explosion of plants at the front of the place! It looks like a great little terrace (apart from the lurking allergen). The grafitti's good too - that last artist and I would definitely see eye to eye!

Anonymous said...

Hard not to hate your mobile phone carrier! The house (ette) looks great! you did very well finding that. Hopefully the weather has been kind enough to allow for outdoor meals in that expansive courtyard garden ;-)