To all my Mirror Sydney readers, thank you for reading, following and commenting on the blog this year. Here’s a handful of Sydney to get you through to the new year.
In 2015 I’ll be continuing to explore the unusual side of Sydney. If there are any places of particular interest that you recommend investigating, do let me know. Otherwise I’ll be on my usual trips: suburban oddities, infrastructural curiosities, offbeat themes, and like Arthur Machen in The London Adventure “the old, the shabby, the out of the way; and also the new and the red and the raw”.
In other Mirror Sydney news, I have made a series of souvenir Sydney patches commemorating lost attractions featured on the blog – the monorail, Marie Louise Salon, Magic Kingdom and Kings Cross Waxworks – which you can buy at my etsy shop or The Felt Underground.
For now let’s take a handful of Sydney for the new year and a footprint of memory for the old, and I’ll be back in 2015.
For years the billboard on the corner said E SEE, the B and N on either side unexplicably painted over.
I’ve always liked this corner. The largest of the buildings was a mysterious nightclub with unusual, irregular oval recesses, large enough to stand in, on the exterior. Although I never saw it open the club changed its name every now and again, one day Club Ole, the next Hibiscus Club. For a while the entrance featured photographs of the nightclub patrons, corners curling, colours fading. The shops to either side of the club were fading too, host to computer repair, upholstery, catering equipment.
Now the buildings are empty and awaiting demolition. The awnings have been taken down, giving the facade a bald, patchwork appearance. At the back the site has been surrounded by fences which enclose the remains of the buildings and the growing piles of debris. Instead of E SEE, the billboard advertises the new development that is to be built here. “Your new home (re)vealed”, it promises, leaving me to wonder what being vealed involves.
For now it’s the local ruin, an empty, ragged place to look for when passing by and to fill with imaginings. While I’m sad to see the end of old places with their layers and patina, the process of their disappearance makes me consider change: its inevitability and what it uncovers. Histories and stories, memories and myths, speculation, urban strangeness. The things we notice and the things we don’t, until our attention is drawn to them.