I spent Christmas Day with my Mum and an old friend. I had lunch with Mum which was great, then later in the early evening I met my friend and we had a modest meal in Chinatown. My youngest was locked down as she and her mother had been close Covid contacts, they seem to have not contracted Covid and are waiting for test results. I went for a walk around Darlinghurst and Surry Hills after my friend had left. There was an interesting work site I wanted to photograph near Central station along the tram line as it had a lot of graffiti that was both new and old. Some of the old graffiti was an old rooftop when the original building was still standing. You could see into the laneway behind catching more graffiti at various heights. These unexpected compositions are worth taking photographs of as they create a scene that won’t be seen again when the new building goes in.
Something that would be interesting but not practical would be for the local or state government to buy the plot and do something interesting with it artistically. The sheer amount of money involved and the drive for commercial spaces and potential revenue will mean that in reality the space will once again be used as some entities cash cow. The building of the tram line is both a cash cow and aesthetic. What I noticed on my walk was how much landscaping had been done by the local council to make Surry Hills into a yuppie dreamland. So my own strange yearnings would probably be counterproductive, although they could build a place to house the army of homeless people. Although a friend of mine mentioned this a few weeks back and I mentioned that it would probably turn into a complete disaster of doors kicked in, excrement on the floors and holes in the floor for a makeshift fire.
In the ’70s and early 80’s we had squatters rights, now we have developers going berko for every little space. Of course, it wasn’t all that ideal with squatters collectives either, at least that is what I like to tell myself as I dream of actually being able to afford a place in Sydney where I can dig a hole and start my own fire. I have been reading a historical book that was gifted to me by my brother in law for my birthday about John Britty North aka the father of Katoomba. It is fascinating how people came to the Australian frontier and set up various activities like mining in places that were very difficult to access. In a lot of ways Australia is still a frontier, I have an old friend who owns a property some six hours north of Sydney and he has had to build his own roads on the property. It is a massive piece of land, it looks like something out of Mad Max. I think my friend bought it in case of society suddenly fell apart or a zombie apocalypse came to fruition. I suppose it is worth having a backup plan.