Heroes of the Golden Triangle

I live in a very eclectic neighbourhood. It is in an area which I dearly refer to as the Golden Triangle. No, it’s not the Golden Triangle in Southeast Asia that you are thinking of, but the Golden Triangle that is Alexandria, Redfern and Waterloo.  In fact, I am smack bang in the middle of this melting pot. If I walk 2 two blocks uphill to Saint Germain Patisserie for a toasted croissant, I am in Redfern; if I cross Botany Rd to get to The Rag Land for their Nasi Lemak on a weekend (and it’s only served there on the weekend), I am in Waterloo; the newly opened Fratelli Fresh is just 5 minutes walk and three blocks away. If only there’s a gelato shop within walking distance, I will never have to leave The Golden Triangle.

You see, one might think that Surry Hills and Darlinghurst are better neighbourhoods to live in because you are basically spoilt for choices when you step out the front door. But just like my attitudes in relationships, I believe in investing financially, temporally and emotionally. There is almost an unspoken pride about witnessing the gentrification of a neighbourhood, as if you have followed an indie band for a long time and all of a sudden, they have become international phenomenon, at which point, you would think that they are sell-outs but still is still secretly proud of the fact that you were one of the original groupies. I have the same relationship with the neighbourhood I live in. Like all great suburbs and cities, the gentrification phase is often the most exhilarating part of the history; think Paris in the 20’s, Buenos Aires in the late 90s, Surry Hills and Newtown in the early 2000’s and Marrickville in the last 3 years. Was I really naive in comparing my neighbourhood to two of the most beautiful cities in the world? Very much so. But I can also see the similarities in these places. When I first arrived in Sydney over three years ago, I read an article that has stuck with me ever since. It is a very insightful article on SMH by Elizabeth Farrelly in which she explored the reasons behind gentrification of cities and drew on her own experience with London that  “…[London] is a perfect place for the miserable … [but] it’s being miserable that gets things done. No one comes to the capital to be happy. They come here to do stuff.” It is the collective effort of a number of individuals who make significant contribution to the cultural and culinary development of this wonderful neighbourhood but their individual efforts are usually omitted in the glossy reviews. So I feel like it is my mission to dig deep and uncover identity of these people that are changing the food scenes in this neighbourhood. Please, stay tuned for the 1st instalment of Heroes of The Golden Triangle series, out next week. And of course, the best way keep track of it is to subscribe.

You sty classy.

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