A mere 3 years living in Stanmore it’s now time to bring this little blog project to a close. After a period of about seven years in Sydney I made the decision to move back to Newcastle. The move took place six months ago. The relocation wasn’t without some regret and I’ve left close friends and work colleagues in Sydney, but overall I’m really happy with the move. It’s an exciting time to be living in an exciting city, and I’m loving seeing it with fresh eyes. For an artsy run down on Sydney’s little coastal cousin to the north I recommend the most excellent Novocastrian Files.
I began the blog, falteringly, at the end of 2008 as I moved from Glebe to Stanmore. It was a bit of a project and a challenge for myself to pay attention to the immediate surroundings, not only to observe but to try and be a part of the wonderful goings-on in the Inner West. To some degree it worked.. I found the more time I put into blogging and connecting via Twitter the more I got out of the experience. Some months the blog felt like just another thing to be guilty about not doing. But eventually I think I found a natural rhythm to it and gravitated towards writing the sort of posts I was interested in. Typically rants.
Looking back, here’s a few of my favourite memories and places in and around Stanmore:-
- Walking home from the CBD to Stanmore through the dirty, beautiful, organic mess that is the Inner West. It was a long walk and took me way too long to work up to doing nightly, but eventually I came to love that part of my daily routine. The cool air, the flow of workers in traffic fleeing the city to suburbs of their own, and the air of relaxed anticipation for those whose evening was just beginning. If you ever get the chance skip the bus, train or cab and just walk it you should do it.. it’s good for the soul. (Though not necessarily the body – a physio had to attend to my hip joint after some months of walking daily..)
- The sight and sound of a seriously big airliner flying, no, screaming overhead in rain, water pouring off the wings. Standing on Stanmore Station waiting for the morning train you wouldn’t imagine something so visceral could happen at so mundane a time of the day.
- And while we’re near the station, the most excellent Paper Cup cafe deserves a visit if you’re in the neighbourhood. I was slow to come to it but the wholesome, spicy menu and simple, contained aesthetic grew on me. Plenty of cafes get the look right but miss on the soul. Others have the attitude but not the follow through with the menu. Paper Cup gets it all just about perfect.
- The Marrickville Markets are consistently one of my fondest memories of Stanmore. Perhaps it was the regular stalls I’d look forward to: the chai stall, the satay tofu burgers, the mushroom lady. Maybe the uncanny knack of always running into someone I really wanted to run into at the markets. Or perhaps because the vibe was always just so darned nice. There’s bigger markets, there’s flashier markets, but I don’t think there’s nicer markets in all of Sydney.
- The open air gallery in the lanes and walls around Wildford St, Newtown. It’s world class, so step up Sydney and start taking some care of it. Taking a lazy stroll through the lanes is an invigorating way to kill an hour. New artworks appear all the time and for a change in tone there’s always the latest ‘exhibit’ from local l’enfant terrible Sergio Redegalli.
- The IGA on Enmore Road. I’m serious – this place freaking rocks. Cramped and a little oddly laid out, this little supermarket never ceased to amaze me for the shear range and awesomeness of stock. It really shone when it came to the vegetables section though. The range, freshness and reasonable pricing put the nearby major players to shame. I miss the readily available stock of oyster and shiitaki mushrooms here in Newcastle – it’s just not the same (sigh).
- The politics. Keep it hard left, Stanmore.
I guess that’s it. This blog has officially run it’s course and can be put out to pasture. Thank you very kindly for reading and an especially huge thank you to those of you who took the time to follow the blog regularly and comment. In writing this blog I’ve been surprised a number of times by the goodwill of strangers, one or two of whom I’ve formed friendships with. To me strangers connecting and confirming a sense of community is the internet at it’s very best. As always you can get in touch by leaving a comment or via the email address in the About page.
Thanks for dropping by and I hope if you’re not a local to Stanmore you’ll have the chance to explore this sleepy, beautiful little suburb yourself someday.