Sunday, April 29, 2012

Old Motor Advertising

Last September, a fire on King Street (good set of photos here) in the Laundromat next to the King St Cyclery revealed (after demolition) an old advertisement on the side of the cyclery building. It was a great looking blast from the past - until of course it got tagged by some tossers a couple of days later.
As it was briefly

As if that wasn't insult enough, once the now empty block was put on the market, someone thought it would be a great idea to paint over the wall altogether, leaving yet another invitation to tagger morons. Sydney music enthusiast Greg Poppleton has been following the story of this old ad on his blog; which I recommend anyone interested in this story read. He even spotted a potential culprit for the second crime in this post !

Happily - all is not lost, and it appears the wall will be recreated at the Motor Life Museum at Albion Park. Credit to Greg Poppleton for chasing this up and ensuring this little piece of history will remain in some form. Check out the full story here.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Newtown Hotel Collapse

At first it looked like another fire; although in the end it was 'just' a collapse. Renovations for the Newtown Hotel have been delayed while repairs are done to the floor and wall collapse last month.

Watkins Street remains closed during the emergency remedial repairs; who knows, the closure may become permanent if there aren't too many complaints ! In the mean time the developers may want to think twice before applying cacky green paint.

Thanks to Detective Chow - I've updated this post with a video of the demolition of the side wall:

Hatches X - April 2012

In the 3 months since the January edition a lot has changed on and around King Street; not a lot of it positive. Most of the dispatches over the last few months have been of much-loved local businesses - in their place more and more generic franchises have popped up. Following the migration of the many generic clothing shops from the also suffering Oxford Street, there's a risk we're losing what makes King St special. On the positive side this trend is mostly confined to King St north of the station and SoKi or South King Street is going from strength to strength.

Newtown Station April 2012

The Newtown Station renovations grind on towards their end 2012 finish, and we're starting to get an idea of what the finished product will look like. Here's my January update. Not much action on the AusGrid works lately, but there's been a container on Brown Street the last couple of months that is apparently going to support the introduction of Sydney Council Smartpoles between Wilson St and Missenden Road - more details on the council's website here.

New Openings
Not too much to get excited about this time round, most of the openings are the aforementioned chains:

  • Mad Mex, MooCow, Gelatissimo have all opened up Newtown branches this year
  • A new yoga venue, Yoga Union down on Union street - sorry I missed you last time :)
  • Funky Mark V (or so it seems) opened up this weekend - fingers crossed that this incarnation will go the distance, it's a great venue and their support of live music deserves to be rewarded - hopefully that will continue. Update - now called Black Sheep
  • A 'local supermarket' is replacing the furniture haven near Vanguard; apparently not a chain or known brand as had been rumoured. Looks like a couple of weeks away
  • Young Henry's brewery opened up in the back streets near the flour mills
Going ...
Unfortunately most of the news is here this time:

  • Quite spectacularly - Newtown Hotel collapsed last month (I mistakenly thought it was a fire) and remedial works are under way - Watkins Street still closed to cars.
  • Many departures of much loved businesses: Books on King (cats and all), So Music (not Hum) a while ago now, Fish, Cinque - both due to the Dendy makeover, but no sign that they will return
  • A Coffee and a Yarn have closed leaving cryptic messages about a potential rebirth
  • Repressed Records will soon be vacating the beautiful St George's Hall
  • The Asian supermarket Qmart near Burger Fuel disappeared without much notice; not sure if it was collateral damage from the short-lived Mr Cheng's up the road.
  • Dendy Newtown closed for renovations - no re-opening date at this stage
  • Gould's struggling according to their newsletter - but hanging in there. Drop down there and buy something, it's an institution we can't afford to lose. 
  • The Ramen noodle bar in Berkelouw has been replaced by a mum and bub's style cafe; according to tipster and reviewer Detective Chow.

Development Applications

  • Nothing much of interest. I had to laugh at the advertising for Newtown Village (next to Oporto) implying a nice quite lcoation with a leafy outlook rather than being squeezed between Enmore Road and the train line. Stand by for the noise complaints against Notes Live
  • There's a whole industry of food bloggers out there now, I've stored some Newtown specific links here for you to explore 
  • Detective Chow continues to bring his unique take to food blogging to Newtown 
  • Noted Newtown non-fan Terry Durack gave Spencer Guthrie a positive review in the SMH recently
  • Short lived street art in the carpark next to Mitre 10 - already painted over sadly
  • New online book review: Newtown Review of Books set up by locals Jean Bedford and Linda Funnell
  • The 100 year old advertising uncovered by the burning down of the laundromat has now been painted over after being tagged. See more here.

You can see all the links that I have shared on Twitter via my public timeline.