Category Archives: the borders

a short trip to Marrickville

map of route to visit lester at IWACC

With a slight shudder, I carried my body across the intersection of Livingstone and Frazer, and into Marrickville. I looked up and saw one of those white stripes left in the sky by an aeroplane. There was a stillness in the air, and the light seemed sharply focussed. The day was warm, I was out of the house by ten. I hate to say it, but it felt good to leave Petersham.
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day release

On Thursday morning, I will be leaving Petersham for a few hours. Here’s why…
Chrys gave me the number for Lester, an Aboriginal elder in Marrickville, to follow up some local Indigenous stories. Last week I called him up, and explained my project.

“So, when do you want to come and visit me?” he asked.
“Well, you see…” I began, awkwardly explaining my border restrictions. There was a silence at the end of the line.
“Don’t worry about that, mate!” he said. “Those suburb borders were drawn up by the white invaders. Just come and visit me in Marrickville.”

So there you have it. I guess you could call it “permission”.

(But for the purists out there, don’t worry, I’ll be back in the ‘sham by lunchtime.)

…and finally, the northern border

Hi Lucas
Bec mentined you are walking the Petersham border. I would love to join you sometime. Let me know when you plan the next walk. xxSue

Dear Sue
well, I’ve still got the northern border to go. Why don’t you come out sometime and we’ll walk it.

Sue arrived five minutes early. I was just returning from WenChai publications (who are going to print my exhibition flyer) when she showed up on her bike. We drank tea, and I rolled a map out over all the dirty dishes. I don’t think Sue had realised that the northern border of Petersham is, in fact, just Parramatta Road. The boundary between Petersham and Leichhardt runs smack down the middle of Sydney’s great artery (or, as it has been described, varicose vein). I think she was a bit disappointed. Sure, on the surface, it doesn’t look as interesting as all those little variegations, twists and turns and inaccessible fenceline runs which characterise the other three borders. But looks can…well, you know the cliché…
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the annotated eastern boundary

[A technical note about images: often within blog posts, I include links to images which are hosted at my Flickr site. If you’re browsing with Mozilla Firefox, you might want to try this: right-click on the link and then “open link in a new tab”. This way you can keep on reading while the image loads in the new tab.

If, on the other hand, you’re still clinging belligerently to Internet Explorer, I’m fresh out of ideas.]
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the choice is ezy

video ezy petersham map
[click on the map to see full size]

It is with great pleasure that I announce: “Video Ezy Stanmore” is actually in Petersham. What a relief! This means two things. First, that my transgression of last week was not in fact a transgression at all. And second, that I am free to patronise the video store. Phew. I was getting towards the idea of requesting the Geographical Names Board for a shift in the boundary.

The reason for this glitch has now become clear: Video Ezy have made a mistake on their website. While on this map, the store is shown to be at the corner of Stanmore Road and Nichols Parade, in reality, the store is really at the corner of Marshall Street.

My theory is that the store was once actually situated in the location that’s indicated on the website. At that point, it really was in Stanmore. When the opportunity arose to move to the more salubrious ‘sham location, they jumped at it. But for simplicity’s sake, they kept the same name. Problem solved.

[thanks to Bec for help in clearing up this one].

arbitrary lines on a map

[This post was written on Sunday, and “the afternoon” to which it refers is last Saturday arvo. My poor image manipulation skills have delayed the launch of this one – it took me a few days to put together the maps which appear below. Cheerio! – Lucas]

In the afternoon, the Cake Lady came to visit, bearing natas fresh from Sweet Belem. I made us coffee and we sat in the kitchen chatting away. She’s staying at the Regent’s Court Hotel in the Cross, its a kind of artist-in-residence where the hotel puts you up in exchange for watering the plants in their beautiful rooftop garden. Not a bad exchange. The Cake Lady’s working on some new animated films, which generally channel her rich vault of memories growing up in North Queensland. Recently she’s been running art workshops with the kids who travel around with circuses. But the conversation meandered wildly and I forgot to interrogate her about that. Which is a pity, cos I reckon it’d be an interesting story.

The Cake Lady had suggested an assignment to be carried out in the ‘sham:

You and a friend/partner arrange to arrive in a foreign city on the same day. Take different forms of transport to get there. Do not make a place to meet. Try and find your friend/partner.

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Petersham Saturday April 8, 2006

On Friday morning, I knocked on Luciana’s door. I had two things in mind. First, to debrief about the real estate visit. And second, to get her to help me carry the bench from our balcony at the back of the building, out to the front porch. That way, we can sit out there in the morning and drink our coffee. This serves three purposes. First, we catch the morning sun. At this time of year in Sydney, the air is cool, and to spend time in the sunshine is a pleasure. All humidity has disappeared. Second, we get to check out the neighbourhood – we become local “vecchietti” ( little old men and women who sit on their front porches and watch the world go by). And third, by occupying the porch, we send a message to would-be burglars that this place is not empty – so they better not try any shenanigans on us.

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