In current real estate jargon Newtown is home to a “vibrant, cosmopolitan café society”. When I came to live here with my boyfriend in 1981 it was a Sydney suburb where multiple languages (Greek, Russian, Croatian, Serbian, Turkish and more including English among the long-established Anglo-Celtic working class) were spoken at home and in the small shops along King Street and Enmore Road.Now, there is but one greengrocer, no butcher, no hardware merchant and soon. We are grossly over-supplied with cafes, high end, and therefore expensive, clothes shops, about eight pubs and too many small bars to count. Oh, and book stores, art supply stores and a cinema multiplex.
Sound like a great place to live? Perhaps, but only if you can afford astronomical rents or million dollar plus houses. We paid $285,000 for our extremely run-down timber house in 1995. Today it is conservatively valued over $1,000,000. We are not rich. I am an Age Pensioner and my house mate is a student.
Our place, built 1870
Newtown Bridge & railway station
This large intersection of King Street and Enmore Road is known locally as The Bridge it spans both the main Northern and Western rail lines out of Sydney.
King Street is the beginning of the Princes Highway leading eventually to Melbourne, over 1000 kilometres to the south. Newtown Station, which dates from the late 19th Century, was recently refurbished to make it more weather-proof and accessible to people with limited mobility.
It is always busy here as there are connections with eight bus routes outside the station.
Alpha House is a collection of artists’ studios, workshops and accommodation for artists. Newtown, and its surrounding suburbs of Enmore, Erskineville, Marrickville, St Peters and Petersham is an important creative centre. Sadly, many artists are now being driven from the area by real estate developers.
Clark and Lois?
King Street façadesNewtown High School of the Performing Arts