Simply wandering... Marrickville, Sydney

After far too long, I am making an effort to uncover more treasures around the Inner West of Sydney. The more I see, the more I like, and the more I can't believe that we haven't done more exploring before. In so many ways it doesn't feel like the Sydney that I've known over living here for the past 5+ years, and I mean that in a good way!

Yesterday I took some time out to explore Marrickville whilst checking out some local fabric suppliers. Despite living just over the way and hearing great things about local food joints in particular, apart from a previous trip to Reverse Garbage, I've only ever really driven through Marrickville. This time I made the effort to stop and take some snaps about what I liked (mainly around Addison Rd)...

Street art

Ears work + tags on corner Addison & Philpott in Marrickville (this pic on Philpott St side)

I'm a big fan of good street art. THE best present I was ever given was from my lovely man D who secretly managed to compile two books worth of photos around Surry Hills mostly of great street art (most of which has since been removed, which makes it even more special). Must share some pics of the book on here sometime.

At one of the Creative Sydney events I went to, Someone mentioned it's considered much cooler to live on the Marrickville side of King St. The difference is clear and understandable given Sydney City Council's tougher approach to street art compared to Marrickville.

Once of the first things to catch my eye after turning off Enmore Rd onto Addison St was a wall featuring work by, amongst others, local street artist Ears. I know his work initially from when he was one of the artists that wa part of Sydney Design Festival's live art demo outside the Young Blood Designer Markets last year (note to Sydney Design and Powerhouse organisers re this year's disappointment - if it works, stick with it, including the artists!). The artists were doing pieces on small pieces of cardboard which you could take for a donation. I bought one by Ears which is hidden away safely to be framed. I've since seen his stuff not only around the streets but in the Oh Really gallery in Newtown and at exhibitions at Carriageworks. He's got a really distinctive style and I will not be at all surprised if we end up seeing him make it big in the "real" art world

Ears piece on same building, Addison St side

The other piece around the same area I loved was by an artist named (I think) SMIKOE. I can't find any reference to them online unfortunately. The piece was done inside an empty billboard frame. It took a double take to see that it wasn't in fact a real billboard (now THAT would be a great idea for media companies to fill unsold space instead of letting companies keep their signs up or leaving empty ripped up spaces).


"Before" (via Google Street View)

Preloved shop fronts
One of the steps in my master plan I am yet to write is to open my dream little shop, stocking a small range by me and lots of goodies from other talented designers, artists, crafters and makers around the place. Once some other things fall into place, it is all going to be about location and shop front potential. While I am not ready yet, I am constantly spotting "the perfect site". I am particularly fond of old and tiled shop fronts. Addison Rd had plenty of them screaming out to be given a new lease on life.

Love the tiling on this place

You can't really tell in this photo, but there are tiles and probably coloured glass windows that have been painted over. It saddens me, but at least they haven't ripped them out altogether. Hopefully they will be salvageable and saved one day.

How gorgeous are these blue tiles? I think most of these places are currently occupied as residences. If it was me living there, even if I couldn't have a real shop, I would at least be playing shops with my own window displays.

This one's for lease now... if you took it, how could you not go with a barber shop theme in some respect?

I can so see this strip becoming a very groovy little hub in about 5-10 years. I don't think I am the only one. I spotted this shop below just around the corner from the barber shop (I think it was Agar St). I couldn't really get a pic of what was inside because of the glare, but it looks like some very cool bits and pieces of furniture. There was a handwritten sign saying "Open Sat 29th Aug". I might try and drop back over there tomorrow.

I share their excitement.

If you brew it, they will come

While street art and cool empty shops may do it for me, I can understand it's not enough to get everyone jumping on the bandwagon. However another little player in this strip signals what could be. Across from the empty barber shop, at around 102 Addison Rd is a little cafe named 2204 (after the postcode). I can't find anything else about the place online, but I recommend it. It's a great space, with that polished stripped back feel that is so hard to pull off well (they do). I only had a coffee, but it was great, and the food looked simple but tasty, proven by the cool kids and laid back locals hanging out.


The Likkle Girl Who Wurves Pwetty Things said...

I love those old-school shopfronts too! And also harbour a little dream of setting up shop in one of them. If you get there first, please let me know. x

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