Monday, February 1, 2010

Suburb No 21: Brighton-Le-Sands

Over the years I've driven through Brighton-Le-Sands many times on my way down to the South coast
for weekends. Not that I actually knew it was Brighton (as the locals call it). I just knew it as the 
place you drove through with a huge bay on one side and a small clump of restaurants and shops on
the other. And on the way back home late Sunday night it was all go with people spilling out of
packed gelato bars and young hoons spinning their wheels. 

So I was interested to see how much more there was to the suburb when you actually explored 
it. To start with it was a little grim. The big white hotel, looking grey and tired, towers over a
main street filled with places to eat and not much else.

But as soon as you cross the main road towards Botany Bay, a kind of magical world unfolds. 
Nothing but miles of blindingly white sand and a huge expanse of water and sky. Well, nothing 
except for a major airport's runways to your left, perfect for people like me who could watch 
planes soaring heavenward all day long. Or the twinkling lights of faraway industry straight ahead. 
Or a bunch of kite surfers to your right, gleefully gunning along, pausing every so often to rise up
effortlessly or spin around in a mid-air somersault, looking as happy as kids in a lolly shop. 

Some facts: First Fleet arrived in Botany Bay in 1788. Now a mix of Greeks, Lebanese, Egyptian 
and Chinese. If you're not into plane-watching or kite-surfing, you can always have a dip in the 
shark-netted enclosure, once the site of beautiful baths destroyed by a freak storm in 1966.

Part 1: The place

the big blue (and little red)

 stairway to heaven

a seagull's worst nightmare - sky or mirrored glass?

Brighton Terrace (now derelict, a home for pigeons)


 wind power

belinda thought the puffy flowers looked like hairy lanterns 


yellow poles

 just yellow 

nice curves

Part 2: The people

circles and dots

United Colours of Soccer (Nepalese, Fijian and Anglo)

 he's got a head for soccer


 pink digits

 creatures from the sea

the Lebanese and the Greek 

 No 9

Part 3: The wedding

 it's a nice day for a white wedding

the local cake-shop and a local wedding :: 1

net, fine and coarse

the local cake-shop and a local wedding :: 2

Part 4: The cars

rockin' the suburb

No 22

behind the wheel, old style

what more do you need? faith and a red car

Is there beauty in Brighton? I enjoyed the little bits of old suburbia here and there but mostly I 
loved the bay with its energetic mix of the natural, aeronautical and industrial. A fine place to 
sit and wonder what it's all about.

On matters mundane, I've decided Monday will be my new post day - it means I can visit suburbs on
weekends if necessary and then start the week with a post. So, barring the onset of unexpected
domestic or natural disasters I'll see you Monday.


  1. Hi Louise! Love love love your blog and amazing photos! I was just wondering what camera and what lenses do you usually use for these photos? They are stunning :)

  2. Brooke - Thank you! Camera is a Canon 5D Mark II and I only use one lens on this project - a wide angle (16-28) Canon L series.

  3. Thanks for another great post, Louise. My parents used to go watch planes at Brighton back when they were dating.
    I haven't been there for a long time, but I think you may enjoy the surprise of Campbelltown - nice sculptures around town, particularly at the Campbelltown Regional Art Gallery.

  4. Photos turned out fab as usual. I was so looking forward to see an outsiders perspective on Brighton. There certainly are 2 different worlds once you cross the main road. I'm sure the boy racers where a sight to see at night!

  5. Good idea, the Monday starts, Louise. Loved the soccer team. I associate Brighton with visiting rellos who lived there, when I was a kid back in the late 60s, and being introduced to splashing vinegar on fish and chips. That, for me, was the height of culinary adventurousness at the time.

  6. Twenty10 - Lovely image of your parents and the planes.
    StinkyMel - I loved the boy racers! So much passion - and lurid paint jobs!
    Jamie - I loved it when I asked the soccer guys where they were from - "Nepal", "Fiji", "Er, just over there" - very funny.

  7. Great photos and pairings again! You have a wonderful color sense. and now something to look forward to on Mondays too. Since I only discovered you a short while ago I'm slowly making my way through the older suburb posts and enjoying them immensely.

  8. I found your blog through Death Wears Diamond Jewellery and I must say, you have one of the best and most unique blogs I've ever come across!

    I've always wanted to go to Brighton. Seeing your gorgeous pictures make me want to go there even more =)

  9. Helen - I thought Mondays might be nice too - glad you agree.
    Ria - Thank you - and yes, go to Brighton! Recommend a late afternoon dip followed by gelato and people watching.

  10. 'the Lebanese and the Greek' is so striking, and full of symbolic meaning.

  11. Too many muslims in that area - and not very dog friendly at all!!!

  12. MUSLIMS, MUSLIMS, MUSLIMS everywhere - epecially on Sundays. This area needs to consider the wider Australian population a whole lot more! This area has a lot of potential but only if council members are more representative of a wider picture of the Australian demographic!!!!