Not Just Hipsters

Although I’ve never really been “into” cars, there was a car on Bourke Street, Surry Hills today which stopped me in my tracks. I don’t know what kind of car it is, I don’t know when it was made, but I recognise good design. And so, as I made my way to buy a new pair of jeans from a nearby shop, I stopped for a moment, gave the car a once-over, and took a photograph.

Minutes earlier I’d had a “I love Surry Hills” moment. Even though it’s the middle of winter, the weather’s fine, and it was great to see so many people seated outside the Bourke Street Bakery and The Book Kitchen enjoying life. Then, as I wandered up Bourke Street, I reflected on the transformation that’s occured there. When I arrived in Sydney, it was a busy main road. Now with cycle ways, it’s a lovely quiet street that you can walk along happily enjoying the trees and the architecture.

Surry Hills has changed significantly over the last twenty years. When I first moved in, it was pretty rough. My family were concerned I’d moved into the area, remembering a family member who lived in the area back in the 30s and 40s when it was desperately poor. There are still large pockets of poverty in Surry Hills now, but there’s now an affluent class as well.

Despite the cliches you hear about the place: single, middle class hipsters, wankers yaddah yaddah, Surry Hills is culturally and economically diverse. There’s a huge amount of public housing a few hundred metres from my place. Across the road from where I live there’s a lovely park where there’s always lots of kids.

Which brings me to a video I spotted the other week which, frankly, rather annoyed me. I won’t bore you with a lengthy critique. I’ll just tell you, there’s a lot more diversity in Surry Hills than you’ll see in this video.

Published by James O'Brien

Born: Lismore; Lived: Brisbane, Bourke, Renmark, Wagga, Perth, Sydney | Work: Radio | Love: Travel, Genealogy, Sweden, Family and Friends.

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  1. Yeah, this video annoyed me too. Where are the gays? And The Clock?? No one except for tourists go to that s*** hole.

    To be fair, the people who make these videos are deliberately choosing the worst types of people (they work for Tourism Queensland or something). The one on Newtown is equally bad – not a single lesbian from one end of the video to the other. Not one!


  2. I am not familiar with south of Oxford Street, but I can picture what you are saying. The car is a stunner. Not only does it look good, I am sure it ‘went like the clackers’.


  3. I imagine each of those interviewees would consider themselves to be original thinkers in which case it is amusing they all give almost identical answers to the questions. Wasn’t scripted was it?


  4. Early 1950s Buick Eight, 51, 52 or 53 Featured an 8 cylinder in line engine, I had a slightly earlier model for a couple of years when I was younger and even sillier than I am now. Very thirsty but almost silent engine. Just one step down from a Cadilliac


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