Friday, August 22, 2008

What's in a view?

This is what I saw from my living room window this morning:

Cherry picker 2

I couldn't work out what the purpose of the cherry-picker was...though it wasn't actually doing anything this morning, as it was too wet. Possibly cleaning out or in some way repairing the old watertower you can see in the left of this photo. The watertower is a reminder of the times when steam trains were built and tested in this area. I love the watertower and my view of it. I love the rusted texture of its surfaces, and I particularly love the geometry of its supporting structure.


My view is over the old Eveleigh* Railway Workshops (now the Australian Technology Park) and along the western stretch of the city railway line. I'm not sure if it qualifies as a 'view' as described by real estate agents - it's certainly not beautiful in any conventional way. But I enjoy its expansiveness and its busy-ness, and take pleasure because it is so much a part of Sydney and its history and development.

The (now) Australian Technology Park has some remarkably intact examples of late nineteenth century industrial architecture, and some of the more dramatic large pieces of machinery from the train building era have been retained and preserved. Parts of the space can look moody and gritty - particularly on rainy mornings like today - and from time to time it is used as a location for noirish films or TV series.


In the more than twenty years I've lived here there have been many changes. My living room view used to be of the tumbledown sheds of the railway locksmiths' workshop, without a single tree in sight. In recent years, lots of trees have been planted and paths laid, and spaces cleared so you can see the beauty of the shapes of the buildings. It's become a pleasant place for walks and lingering on summer evenings (or taking photos on rainy winter mornings).

I like my view.

* Spelling slips between Eveleigh and Everleigh. Not sure which is correct.


Emily said...

I love this sort of urban view, and a bit of rust or crumbling is a great addition to my pleasure. I love wandering around streets looking at the buildings, and noticing the small details I usually rush past.

BTW, have you been to Carriageworks (about which so many leaflets at the moment) to the theatre or the restaurant? It appeals to me...

LynS said...

The Carriageworks development is located under the light-coloured roofs just behind the platform of the cherry-picker in this photo. I have been to performances there and the shapes and atmosphere of the foyer areas are wonderful. The actual theatre spaces are less wonderful with poor sight lines and uncomfortable seats. But it's certainly worth an outing.