Sunday, September 14, 2008

Distance lends enchantment to the view

When Mark Twain, who was traveling around Australia in 1895, described Newcastle as one long street, a graveyard at one end and, at the other, a gentleman’s club with no gentlemen in it.”, he was, as expected, not warmly received by locals at the time. As he left Newcastle. he may walked to the rear of the train as it departed & been inspired to record that memorable quote "distance lends enchantment to the view"

So for this little assignment, I decided to walk around Newcastle & instead of capturing the outstanding natural beauty of this wonderful town, I decided to cast my eye over some of the blemishes of a growing, thriving city such as ours.

Of course, one of our biggest problems, as wth most urban area's, is graffiti, which at times, seems to plague any available wall space in the city, from bus shelters to buses & anywhere where these visual terrorists can blot the landscape with their 'art'

Also Newcastle has a plethora of buildings that were only purchased for the anticipated rises in the real estate market & then left to decay when the speculators couldn’t offload them quickly for a juicy profit . This is sadly represented by the old Newcastle Post Office, once an icon of this town with its beautiful sandstone facade, now left to rot away, home only to pigeons & vandals.

Slowly but surely we are getting Newcastle, especially the west end, together & hopefully in a few years, the ugly gutted buildings along Hunter Street will only be a vague memory

As for Mark Twain, if he could return back to Newcastle today, I'm sure that his view of this wonderful city would be vastly different ..... we moved the graveyard!