Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Fairfield

There is a suburb in the north of Melbourne called Fairfield. R, I asked, let's catch the train to Fairfield and have lunch. I knew nothing of Fairfield, except, there were some old memories.

My first boyfriend was R's ex. His mother lived in a cheap flatblock at the corner Carlisle and Barkly Streets in St Kilda. The block is still there, but has been upgraded. He introduced his mother to me as Sue, The St Kilda Do. I, the innocent naive country lad, was so shocked that he could speak about his mother in such a manner. She was pretty rough around the edges and had married a wharf worker at a young age and produced many children. Behind the clouds of Ardarth cigarette smoke, she was nice enough and certainly a fun person.

I recall taking her to bingo once, in Wright Street, Middle Park, in a church hall or something like that. That was my first and last experience of bingo.

I can't remember too much but it was back in the days when Punt Road had a centre lane which changed direction according to traffic flow. The traffic was horrendous and it took ages to get along Punt Road and Hoddle Street. Hey, what has changed in 30 years? I was taking her to her daughter's place in Fairfield. My boyfriend, the daughter's brother, was already there. I think her name was Gail and her husband was Ron. Maybe, I am really not sure. They had a brand new Datsun 180B and took us to a bakery in Station Street to buy lunch. Well, we all would not have fitted in the car, so I can't really remember the details.

So say in about 1979, I did visit Station Street, Fairfield but as you would guess, it was pretty well a new experience to visit Station Street in 2015.

We walked the length of most of the shops and I stopped while R walked to the very end. No sooner than I was alone, a middle aged woman asked me if I was with anyone. I replied yes and wandered away. Unknown to me, R had looked back and saw her speak to me. When he returned he asked who it was. I replied, I think I was just propositioned.

We found a bakery type cafe and I had the best pastie I have ever eaten. Well done Deganis. Look out, here comes your girlfriend, R remarked. I caught her eye and she gave not a flicker of recognition. We only spent an hour and half in the street before catching the train back to town for a little shopping.

The very handsome 333 Collins Street, taken from Flinders Street. 


Flinders Street Station has a fascinating history. There are so many locked doors and areas and rooms that are no longer in use.


Fido watches over Station Street, near the station. I believe he is internally illuminated, which must be a little interesting to see.


The street was very very busy.


Unknown by me until we were leaving, there are even more shops and cafes on the other side of the railway line.



The outbound station platform.


What an extraordinary device. I believe it is called 'selfie stick'. Did you receive one as a gift for Christmas?


Station Street did not turn out to be very photogenic, but it was interesting to see.

21 comments:

  1. andrw, the suburb seems interesting . But the most interesting is a station platform.. Wow the fido looks funny

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    1. Agreed. I love those old railway stations. This one is much smaller than usual.

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    2. Gosia, it is a very large sculpture, for sure.

      It is quite modest Hels, but it is only the outbound one. The inbound is bigger but newer.

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  2. We have a Fairfield in Sydney too. Predominately Vietnamese population and a couple of decades ago notorious for open dealing in drugs but that no longer is an issue if the absence of news about it is any indication.

    You might consider a visit when in Sydney for its reputation for excellent Vietnamese restaurants and fascinating markets, grocery stores and the like. Requires a train trip of about 45 minutes.

    I haven't visited in many years.

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    1. Victor, near Cabramatta, I think. We shall see at the time. To pho or not to pho.

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  3. Ahh Fairfield such memories my youth and teenage years were spent there the one in Sydney of course but it has a Station street too.
    When I lived in Fairfield it was populated by Italians, Russians a few English and the Australian.
    Merle....................

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    1. Merle, similar happened in Melbourne, where Greeks and Italians moved on and Asian people moved in. I think every town in Australia that has/had a train has a Station Street.

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  4. The selfie stock! If you recall i had a photo of a lady on my lavender post using one. It's interesting how we, dare i say 'class' people by their jobs!
    The little train station is great, it looks well kept.

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    1. WA, I had forgotten about your selfie stick photo. I expect the station regularly has graffiti cleaned from its walls.

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  5. I had seen 'selfie sticks'. I am always tickled by the expression the French reportedly use for selfies though - braggies.
    I do like train stations. And the older ones (country ones in particular) have a heap of charm.

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    1. EC, I like the French expression.

      I suppose at least half our stations are older. There was a horrible period in the sixties where some were replaced with pebble dash monstrosities, and generally our modern stations may function better, but they aren't very attractive.

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  6. That outbound station is a pretty building.
    I've seen selfie sticks on TV but none in real life. I'm sure some of the young people have them.
    That building in the first photo, 333 Collins Street, is it a hotel? It looks very nice.
    I think you should go back one evening and get a photo of Fido when he is lit.

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    1. It is nice River and have quite a number similar and well maintained. 333 was built as a bank, I think. The interior is stunning. I will take photos one day.

      Go out at night time? Maybe mid winter when the sun is down early.

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  7. I thought I recognised the street, but had to look up and confirm I have a friend who lives there. Next time I'm over I will check out the bakery.

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    1. Maybe it is a cafe/bakery Fen. It isn't cheap, but a pastie and coffee did not cost much.

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  8. Station Street has worked very hard over the years to regenerate itself, and it's done a pretty good job. Lots of restaurants, and I think it still has a supermarket, fruit shop and butcher as well. It can be a bit of a trap when a shopping centre turns into nothing but cafes and restaurants but it's managed to combine the two. I think that the person who advised them also did some work for my little Macleod shopping centre down the road, but not quite so successfully.
    Back in the 1980s I used to teach at Thornbury High School which is about 1 km north of Station Street. I used to be amused that the kids would always talk of going "up" High Street but "down" Station Street, even though they were both pretty much in the same direction.
    Next time you're heading north on the Hurstbridge/South Morang line on Platform 1, tap on the 'stonework' beside the escalator. It's made of tin!

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    1. RJ, I am not sure what it has regenerated itself from? A local shopping street perhaps? Yes, a very impressive fruit and vegetable shop and an IGA supermarket. Not sure about the butcher. It was amazingly busy, with cars constantly arriving and departing, with family groups in the street too. Macleod is only know to me as a station. Should I visit?

      I would have to look at a map, but instinctively I get the up to High Street and down to Station Street.

      It had slipped my mine, but I have heard about the faux stonework at FSS.

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  9. Love the old railway stations Andrew, I must investigate and see how many we have still here .. Fremantle train station is nice, the stations heading out into the suburbs are all new, but we must have some old country stations .. Now I'm definitely going to investigate, I've piqued my own interest :) I saw many selfie sticks on ADay, perfect way to take big group photos, but just too sad for solo use :)

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    1. Grace, I think taking a selfie, on your own, with a selfie stick would be one of the saddest things to see in life and far worse than going to movies on your own.

      I don't know why people have issues with selfies. I like seeing my nieces' selfie photos.

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  10. Fairfield used to have many family-owned shoe shops and clothing shops, several fruit shops and butchers, newsagent etc. All the things that have been taken over by chains. There was a stronger Greek/Italian presence in the 1970s. I think you'd be rather disappointed in Macleod. It's a very ordinary 1940s station in a very pretty park with a horrendous PSO box blocking the entrance. (Yes, I'm STILL banging on about the ugly PSO garrison). Only a couple of cafes, neither anything to write home about and both closed after 1.00 p.m. on a Saturday. A very very ordinary Thai. I love Macleod, but it's really a bit like living at Nanna's place in the 1960s.

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  11. Well RJ, terrific that we have a persevered 1960s village. The Australian story of the 60s Australia may not suit everyone, but it was all we knew.

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