Friday, November 27, 2009

suburb No 12: Marrickville

I have been itching to explore Marrickville ever since a regular follower of 52 Suburbs suggested it. 
I've been before, many times, but only to visit friends at their homes. Never once have I walked down 
the main street, only ever driving through it, impatient to get to where I was going. So when I hopped
out of my car this week with a reason - an excuse - to stick my nose in to churches, homes and people's 
faces I felt as if I was visiting an entirely new suburb ...

Part 1: Chockful of churches

the church with the blue light atop, St Brigids

Spiro and his beads

that light

St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church


time for reflection

feed the soul (Lien Hoa Buddhist Temple)

Part 2: Little Greece, Vietnam and Germany

from the continent all the way to China

neighbours (cake shop and the deli)


you wouldn't want to be a vegetarian

the secret to longevity? (Chinese herbs :: Vietnamese couple in their late 80's)

Concordia, the German Club

Part 3: Good sports

the Marrickville Bowling Club

ladies of the lawn

how's your aim?

Newtown Jets legend (Frank Farrell :: Henson Park where the Jets still play rugby league)

different religions

Part 4: The changing face of Marrickville

taking the bull by the horns - the old butchers shop, now architect office (Mackenzie Pronk)

house (to be) and garden (model by Mackenzie Pronk)

fantasy versus reality (model by Mackenzie Pronk)

stick 'em up!

i see bananas in your winged dragon

fresh face

i wondered if he changed his hat when he goes back to work at the building site

Part 5: Reversing our consuming ways

it's all very serious (mannequins from Reverse Garbage)

before and after (frames from Reverse Garbage)

in the pink (elastic from Reverse Garbage)

Part 6: Random otherness

i'm a fan

orange flowers

soft and spiky

these could come in handy

Beauty... Marrickville seems to have a little of everything. A mix of industrial, residential and 
commercial. People from all over the planet. A great big old river. Churches of every description. 
A couple of social clubs and a place you can save a mannequin or a piano from the scrap heap. Not 
to mention some of the finest examples of chipped ceramic tiles and rusty garden gates 52Suburbs 
has seen so far. No wonder everyone from Newtown is moving there.

Other news...

The 52 Suburbs Corner Shop is open! As you'll see I'm starting small. I hope you can grab a moment 

and go and check it out - if you have any questions or comments please email me, I'd love to hear 
from you. See you next week.


  1. I love the plane - I remember its early morning drone so well when I lived there - and the Ladies sign.

    Great project. Beautiful shots.

  2. Love it! Have always loved living here & I never want to leave!

  3. Fantastic.
    Love your photos.
    Especially the fish photo and the old vietnamese fella.
    I'm curious - what do you tell the people to get them to pose for you?

  4. Hi freefalling
    Thank you. I approach someone I want to take a pic of by briefly explaining what I'm doing and would they mind if I took their photo. I often also have a quick chat with them which I love - random encounters with people from different worlds. In the case of the gorgeous old Vietnamese couple it was tricky as they didn't speak much english but we managed to communicate with a few words and lots of smiles.

  5. Amazing. You have such an eye for patterns.
    Love time for reflection, different religions, i'm a fan, orange flowers, i see bananas in your winged dragon, the tea pot and the Ladies sign in the glass.

  6. This is a fantastic photo essay. I quite like the suburb, had a friend who lived close by, and it's a great part of Sydney.
    How long does it take you to collect all these photos?

  7. Thanks everyone - I love it that you love it!
    katiecrackernuts (great name!) - in answer to your question, how long does it take to collect the photos - well, I usually make three visits to a suburb and spend around 3 hours each time. Sometimes longer depending on my week.

  8. what a beautiful idea for a blog!!! and i love the very first photo of this post - gorgeous

  9. congrats on the shop opening can't wait for larger prints to be available!

  10. LOVING what you are doing here!
    i started & finished 'project 365'

    and now doing '52weeks' with a diff theme every wk (but im so so so behind...
    i would love to do this project but i just dont have enough time boooo :(

  11. Happy to see you back ! And I feel overwhelmed to see and discover a new suburb again !
    Like the pics of the little models. Congrats for the shop opening !

  12. We've just moved to Marrickville - so it's such a pleasue to see it on 52 suburbs. I'm inspried to do an aweful lot more exploration! Thank you for this project...

  13. Thanks all for the support.
    Kate - So glad I could provide some inspiration. If you see Spiro around say hi from me. He's good for old Greek wisdom...

  14. thankyou for making my lovely lovely suburb look like the coffee table photo book I always knew it could be. I've lived here off and on for 3 years and still have yet to explore all the nooks and crannies. Job well done.

  15. I think Different Religions is a great pic, I'm faithful to the image on the left.........Which means I must point out that the Jets play at Henson Park not Marrickville Oval.

    Jets Fan

  16. Beautiful pictures!
    Living in London you have made me so homesick.
    My brother and his girlfriend have just bought a house in Marrickville and I am so pleased for them. Even more so now!!

    Truly wonderful.

  17. Jets Fan
    Oops! Thanks for that, will change it.

  18. I saw you at reverse garbage! There was a lady with a profi camera and you looked at me and i looked at you, and then we moved on... Oh if only I'd known. Been following your series from the start and love it.

  19. Mirabelle
    How funny, wish I'd known too.

  20. So many familiar sights here (including my favourite deli owners!) after several years of loving living in Marrickville. Our kids finally outgrew our hose there and we moved to east Bexley, but my brother still lives in our house there.

    Just curious - how could you run ALL these great photos and NOT include one of the addictively photogenic battle angel outside the Marickville Town Hall/library?

  21. HOUSE - the kids outgrew the HOUSE... not the hose.

  22. Love the photos. I lived in Marrickville for ten years, after moving out of Newtown because it was getting too expensive. Now Marrickville has been 'discovered', have had to move again. I will miss a lot of places - for those lucky enough to live there check out South Marrickville - the public golf course, and the Cook River foreshore all the way to Tempe - beautiful walks, and fantastic if you have a dog, as I did. They love it too. The Greek Orthodox churches are beautiful, both large (Livingstone Rd) and small.

  23. Bec - Didn't see the battle angel - I was so taken with the etched glass and tiled floors of the Town Hall that I missed it.
    Cath - Agree, the walks and the churches are special. Hope your present suburb doesn't get discovered!

  24. Wonderful Louise. You've done my home town proud! I've been living here 18 years and am rusted on to the place. The shopkeepers here are lovely people, and I particularly like your 'neighbours' photo of the guy from Lamia deli and the lady from the Marrickville Road cakeshop a few doors down from Lamia.

  25. Jamie
    I was wondering if you'd seen the post - I remembered that was your hood. I've got a handful of friends who live there and they are wedded to the place too. And yes, those two shop keepers seem like fun.

    Glad you approve!


  26. this is so awesome!! i'm moving to marrickville next week, this has made me so much more excited to go exploring!! thankyou! x x

  27. These are beautiful photos, which made me very homesick for my old suburb! Thank you.

  28. We just moved to Marrickville too. Such an inspiring, eclectic place.

    Your photos really do it justice.

  29. Great post! beautiful pics. If you want to learn more about the wonderful suburb that is "God's Country" we have just started a new little blog, dedicated soley to Marrickville.

  30. Makes me homesick for Marrickville, now that I live in the country!

  31. I love your blog. Loved Marrickville. Thank you for your weekly inspiration. The graffiti artist that you photographed is Phibs (one of Australia's finest)

  32. I love this blog! I love Marrickville! You should check out the neighbouring suburb Earlwood. With so much history in its buildings I'm so interested to see how you would photograph it!

  33. I love your photo's and can't wait until your book comes out, one question, what street is that statue (pictured next to mannequins from reverse garbage) in? An elderly lady I know recognises it from her former workplace and believes it ended up in the garden of a colleague in Marrickville after they moved offices.

  34. Made me homesick. I lived there for 18 years before moving to the South Coast. Still go back for a fix when I can.

  35. Such amazing photos!
    I live in Marrickville and am so glad it is being discovered as the eclectic and fantastic place it truly is.