Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Great differences

The contrast between the eastern Melbourne suburb of Camberwell to the south London suburb of Camberwell has always interested me. There is gentrification happening in London's Camberwell. No need for that in our very posh Camberwell. To paraphrase former PM, the late God Gough, its north south traffic sewer, Burke Road, contains the longest stretch of bible bashers in Australia. Yes, Camberwell is ever so middle class, with many church goers and is a 'dry' area. That is no hotels and if a restaurant wants to serve alcohol, as is the normal, it must apply for a liquour license, but also to the local council, whereupon residents must vote in a referendum on the application.

Another suburb name sticks out, Brooklyn. The borough of Brooklyn in New York is undergoing rapid gentrification. I suppose most people get to Brooklyn using the Brooklyn Bridge. We used the Subway.  I remember it as being the first time I saw a lad on those electric wheel things that you stand on. (yes, I can't remember the name). He looked ever so cool as he maneuvered around, back and forth and around.  He was a young black bloke and he looked quite interesting. He did not look around, seeking approval, which I was glowing with, but just rolled around.

I'm afraid a huge number of factories and commercial buildings will have to be demolished before Melbourne's Brooklyn could even be close to being like Brooklyn in New York. It never could be, really.

Speaking of New York, it was there I first saw buffalo wings on menus in restaurants. We never partook, but R found them already prepared in our local supermarket and as I type this, they are being served up.

Later: I rather like buffalo meat. It is quite spicy. Best you google buffalo wings to see the truth, if you don't already know.

Post inspired by Jah Teh, who asked me what happens to parcels when they are delivered to The Highrise. Oh, has she been saving cents and is going to send us something gloriously unwanted?  R's last Euro passport was delivered from the British High Commission, but we weren't home to accept delivery, so then it went to some sort of secure depot in Brooklyn, and he had to drive to Brooklyn to collect it. Fat lot of use his Euro passport is now, post Brexit vote. My dreams of living in Budapest, Vienna or Prague have vanished, by a vote in the UK. I still have the St Ives option. Cannot afford Kensington or Knightsbridge, barely Paddington or Bayswater. Stop, there is another, Bayswater. Our outer suburban Bayswater is very different to London's Bayswater. Read on.

A neighbour's wife when asked by us where she grew up (hey, we are nice. We did not ask which school she went to) replied with, the Yarra Valley, quite respectable. Later it came out that is was Melbourne's very outer suburb of Bayswater, quite a different place to the Yarra Valley, which is country, where wine and cheese, and fruit, berries and vegetables come from.

As I descend the social status ladder, I am determined to take down those who are trying to rise above it.

15 comments:

  1. Cheer up Andrew. You know you will never leave Australia. The grass is never greener

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    1. Quite true on both counts, Marie.

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  2. What's this? Buffaloes have wings? (*~*)
    Why would you want to live in places that regularly get snowbound for months at a time? Just do a quick visit then come home to thaw out again.

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    1. River, the cold would not worry me so much as the grey skies and drizzle, day after day after day. Portugal is cheap and the weather not bad. Maybe I will like that.

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  3. Rise above me, hah, trip over yourself peasant. And it's a small elegant gift for R, you can play with the bubble wrap.
    Honestly the people who inhabit blogdom these days, appalling!

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    1. Jah Teh, have you been spying on me as I pop the bubbles in my 'stress reduction sheets'?

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  4. In the late 1970s I used someone else's research that divided Melbourne's suburbs into six categories, according (I am assuming) to the cost of housing per square metre. Toorak, Brighton etc were on in the top ranked category, Footscray, Braybrook etc were in the bottom category and the others were spread out in between.

    I wonder if in the last 40 years, it has all changed around eg the inner suburbs becoming very expensive.

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    1. Hels, I should think very much so. Property was especially cheap in the 70s in say Port Melbourne, Middle Park, and most of the inner north, such as Fitzroy, Coburg, Fairfield and Northcote, to name a few.

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  5. Love buffalo wings, we have them mostly when caravaning, do them in the gas oven.

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    1. Margaret, they are very nice. We did not try them in New York though. Perhaps they are even better there. I was quite thirsty though today, after last night's buffalo wings.

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  6. I absolutely love the last sentence of your post. I really hate Buffalo wings and live in the US.

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    1. PP, in the cold hard light of day, I reread my last sentence and I really cannot remember what it was about. So you don't like chicken?

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  7. I agree with Marie, first comment, the grass is not usually greener but that could be because we're more comfortable with what we know. I often wonder if I really would be happy living in Paris ☺ I would quite like to find out! Do you think the 'social ladder' mind-set is strong in Australia, I never really think about it..................😀

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    1. Grace, of course you wouldn't be happy in Paris. Visiting Paris with an active imagination and an open mind is wonderful though. Today I heard Perth described as Cape Town, but with more southern Africans. I could write for hours about social status in Australia, but I will leave that for when I retire. Suffice to say, it is certainly alive and well in Melbourne and Sydney, perhaps less so in Australia's smaller capital cities.

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