Thursday, September 23, 2004

Let the sun beat into Kings Cross

Snapped a pic yesterday, on our first hot day, of pedestrian behaviour under shortened awnings. As the sun beat down and the heat and glare reflected up from the new expanse of grey granite, the people all formed into single file under the very narrow Crest Hotel awning, hugging the 1-metre strip of shade. Wait until summer. Thanks, Council, for the people-friendly chopped awnings we are getting. Global warming will show your concepts to be really far-sighted.

But hey, eventually the pavements will be covered in cafes, big umbrellas and yuppies sipping coffee. And that's cool.


Anonymous said...


The Crest Hotel has been like this for years. If thats the look, with the cut back awnings and smart signage, then I am all for it. Its really cool.

If the pavements will be covered in cafes, big umbrellas and yuppies sipping coffee.That's cool too. Better than junkies sipping coffee lying in the doorways of empty shops and spewing all over the footpaths.

The Editor said...

Lucky you like it, as no-one was ever consulted about it and well over 30 objections to it were lodged and ignored. Funny how the people were all walking single file in the only shady bit. Funny how the people who support this stuff seem to have no regard for democratic accountability, or lost heritage.

And, how many yuppies drinking coffee under umbrellas does it take to keep afloat the 3,000 cafes we would have to have to fulfill this simplistic dream?

Mate, coffee's a drug too!

Anonymous said...

The Crest did all that work, I think, before the Olympics. That was when the new slick Goldfish Bowl lost most of its patrons, funnily enough. The yuppie solution might be fine for Macleay St, but it won't work in the Cross.

Anonymous said...

Like so many others I left the goldfish Bowl for the Vegas. Its got nothing to do with awnings. It was the price of a scooner.

The Editor said...

Isn't it a coincidence -- when the renovations get done, the price of the schooners goes up. Maybe there is a connection, and maybe it is a microcosm of the Kings Cross trend being imposed on us.

Tip: The Hampton Court in Bayswater Road not only has cheap drinks, but the friendly staff fill them right up. No renovations either, although upstairs is being converted into -- you guessed it -- more apartments.

I still don't see why narrow awnings are essential to any of it.

Anonymous said...

Unclogged roads give emerging city villages room to breathe

By Tim Dick, Urban Affairs Reporter
September 25, 2004

Standing between Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore and the realisation of her promise to create a City of Villages, 34 to be precise, is the vexed issue of transport.

Providing timely, cheap and fast forms of public transport, according to the Deputy Lord Mayor, John McInerney, will help reduce traffic, slow it down and give breathing space to emerging High Street shops.

Crown Street in Surry Hills, Cr McInerney says, was once a four-lane, one-way through-road sustaining only a few hardy cafes and pubs. The opening of the Eastern Distributor allowed a change into a two-way street, with one lane in each direction and kerbside parking. That slowed traffic, and it soon morphed into a thriving village centre.

An inner city transport strategy is being developed by the State Government and the City of Sydney, which may include light rail. When that, finally, is bedded down, attention can shift to developing the villages.

The City is auditing the viability of Cr Moore's original list of 34 villages, some of which are unlikely to survive. "Hollywood", an area around the Hollywood Hotel near Central Station, is the one most likely to miss the cut.

For those that remain, Cr McInerney wants to encourage a High Street of shops and small businesses, rather than Westfield-esque malls.

"We're going to have to rethink this big box shopping centre," he said. "The new Woolworths up in Kings Cross is exactly what we want. There's no parking. As soon as you have parking ... you have separated the shopping centre from all the surrounding residential areas."

And separation-by-parking is not conducive to a walking, talking village, which residents will be asked to help create. "We'll build up a vision of a place they want their community to be," he said. "You can ask them what they want their village to be like, and out of that you can grow their village."

Residents will be given disposable cameras to show the council what they like and dislike and, once each village's plan is formalised, money may be set aside for the community to spend on anything they think will help create that village. All of which, he says, is at least two years away