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Observations of Marrickville, Sydenham, Enmore, and Newtown
On Good Friday I went out to Marrickville (map) and made my way over to Newtown (map). Honestly, aside from places with clearly demarcated physical (natural or manmade) boundaries, where one suburb ends and the next begins is a bit on the arbitrary side. While a peninsula clearly defines a boundary, as does a freeway, in much of the Inner West of Sydney, the edges of these areas are hard to differentiate. On the other hand, the centres are much clearer, look for the old Post Office building, or Town Hall, which are often adjacent or across the street.
Marrickville Town Hall
The heart of Marrickville comprises a few high streets, served by two train stations (Marrickville and Sydenham, which is a suburb in its own right, though much smaller according to this Google-istic definition (map)). Since I went to Marrickville station, I first saw Illawarra Road, and then made my way over to Marrickville Road, and hit a bit of Sydenham Road as well. These suburbs date from the early 20th century, judging by the building dates. Illawarra Road has seen better days, and there is a graffiti issue here, some of which could perhaps be addressed with murals (taggers seem to respect murals).
The more main High Street is Marrickville Road, much of which has a narrow median with flag poles (and presumably decorative flags from time to time). The road has one parking lane and one movement lane in each direction, and is welcoming to cross the street. High streets are mixed in this regard, some are well-designed for pedestrian crossing flow, others are hostile.
The high street is chock full of restaurants and shops, as befits the town centre for a suburb with two train stations. While not as bourgeois as say Glebe or the eastern suburbs, and more ethnic, the cafes are not simply coffee shops. The housing around seems suitably middle class.
I walked north from Sydenham, though somehow missed the Marrickville Metro shopping centre, and made my way to Enmore (map). Enmore, like Newtown, is a much more youth culture, college student, alternative type area, whose shopping/eating district best described perhaps as a mix of Camden and Portobello Road, London, and Telegraph Avenue Berkeley, with some State Street in Madison thrown in. Though a block off the main drag you find typical suburban housing as is common everywhere throughout Sydney from the same era.
Enmore Road (A34), like much of King Street (Princes Highway, A36), is a four lane shopping street, where one lane in each direction is given over to parking, and traffic is very congested. It is fronted with two story buildings with ground floor shops and apartments upstairs. There is a lot of pedestrian traffic along these streets, especially King Street, though I cannot tell how much is local (foot or bike), how much arrived by bus or train, and how much by car, I suspect most is local.