Thursday, 20 May 2010

The drive to work
Getting to work in the morning takes me about eight tracks of Katie Noonan's wonderful, brilliant new album.
(I interviewed her yesterday and she was lovely.)
Everything looks good in the low gold of winter sunshine (look beyond the dirty cars waiting for a good night's rain).
Whatever the time I leave home, I always get stuck at these traffic lights, corner of Loftus and Vincent. There's a lovely median-strip garden, though, and these old peppermints and grass-trees love this light.
There's a whiz through Leederville and under the freeway, and then (below) one of my favourite rows of little old houses in West Leederville, opposite Subiaco Oval on Railway Road.
I'm in Subi here, with the entrance to Subi Oval, The Home of Football, on my left at this intersection (below). But I love the old house on the opposite corner. For years and years it was wasting away into a ruinous mess, but it looks as though someone's restoring it at last.
A lot of really old Subi houses have pairs of these huge old palm trees in the front gardens. Apparently, it was something of a tradition, around the turn of the last century, for a husband and wife to plant a tree each when they moved into their first house together. They're called wedding palms.
Today, I took a pic every time I stopped at a red light.
This next one is the corner of Townshend Road and Hay Street. See that low concrete wall on other side of the car on the left?
It's a building site, but just a few weeks ago, a big old Victorian two-storey house stood here, which was one of Subi's best-known shared hippy-student houses in the early 1970s.
I lived there with Simon's dad in the summer of '73-'74, at the end of my second year at uni, before I set off for a year's hitch-hiking through Europe.
It's sad to see the old house has gone.
Subi is just minutes from the University of Western Australia, and in the '70s it was a poor, run-down, grotty suburb full of fantastic student houses that we'd rent for $9 a week after the landlord dealt with the fleas.
You can't buy here for less than $1 million today. Students have left!
This next pic is of a row of shops on Hay Street in Subiaco. I have a few pics of these buildings - I always imagine I'll work them into a painting or a drawing one day. Or I'll get Will to get out the Big Black Nikon and get me a really good shot.
Some mornings I leave what in the US we'd call the "surface roads" and take the freeway.
This takes me quickly through the city and then on to the road between King's Park and the river, which is even more beautiful in the morning light.
Might show yo that another day!
Have a great weekend. Go Dockers. See you soon.


Anonymous said...

Hi Les,
What a great blog of the home town, I love looking at Perth/Subiaco this way. I had forgotten that story of the wedding Palms, an elderly neighbour in Subiaco told me the story years ago, so thanks for reminding me. This blog also reminded me of how much I loved the old "Friday in The Hood ' Series. Have a great rainy weekend. Shelley

Karen said...

Yeah, Les, what Shelley said! Love your photo-essay.
Word verification: balingst. Existential anxiety felt by whales.