Newtown, Sydney

Newtown, Sydney

It’s tempting, when arriving somewhere new, to ground yourself with comparisons.

Oh this muggy heat and the persistent sound of locusts reminds me of Taipei.

This building with the plants growing all over the exterior (and the heat) reminds me of Singapore.

These winding alleys and brick buildings reminds me of London.

The grunge of Newtown, with its tattooed, bearded men in ripped t-shirts and buzzed-cut ladies wearing mechanics’ jumpsuits reminds me of Brooklyn.

After a while though, you realize the place is just marching to the beat of its own drum, a compendium of internal and external influences that together, make up what it is. And all the little enclaves and pockets, the things that remind you of other places – those don’t change, but the way you look at them will. In a few months I’ll return to the U.S. and probably to Brooklyn and think, “Oh these people remind me of Newtown hipsters.”

Anyway. After fleeing the mold palace we stayed two nights at an eerie little boutique hotel called The Collectionist (eerie because it’s in a quiet part of town and they don’t have a front desk staff. When you arrive, there’s a number on the door you call, and then a guy with an iPad shows up to check you in and disappears. You check out via text message. But the rooms are nice and I rather wish I’d taken a few photos of it).

We then checked into what turned out to be one of the worst Airbnbs ever. So terrible that I spent more than three hours on the phone with Airbnb trying to get a refund, while Tom spent the better part of an hour crafting a review, trying to find the perfect balance between angry rant and objective assessment. In the meantime, we tried to spend as much time as possible outside of what we called the “AirHovel”, apartment hunting and walking around Newtown.

We decided pretty quickly that the area’s overall dinginess, the lack of trees on King St. (the area’s main drag) and the proliferation of young smelly “bohemians” precludes serious contention for “neighborhoods we want to live in”, but we appreciated Newtown’s energy and the plentiful assortment of good eats, bars, and artsy things found within and around the neighboring suburbs of Enmore and Merrickville. We watched our first comedy show at The Factory Theatre and have discovered a favorite pub in Courthouse Hotel. We will be back tonight for some decent Italian food and friendly service at Pastizzi Cafe. And we’ll take our visitors to Newtown, as one takes visitors in New York to Brooklyn.

Newtown, Sydney
AirHovel, where we had to take the paintings down for makeshift blinds.
What to do in Newtown Sydney
The bush air conditioner.

King Street, Newtown, Sydney

King Street, Newtown, Sydney
Thank you.

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What to do in Newtown Sydney
Tom enjoying roadside dining at Pastizzi Cafe.

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The first “good” house we saw was in Newtown.

Newtown, Sydney

What to do in Newtown Sydney
Beware of.
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Over ordering at The Pie Tin.
The Pie Tin Newtown

Newtown, Sydney

The Factory Theatre Enmore Sydney
Ladies who laugh.
What to do in Newtown, Sydney
Wipe on sex appeal for purchase at Courthouse Hotel.

The Factory Theatre Enmore Sydney

Good Cocktail Bar in Newtown Sydney
Cocktails in Australia are weak since the alcohol is carefully measured, but this bar was still a good time with wine.

Good Cocktail Bar in Newtown SydneyGood Cocktail Bar in Newtown Sydney

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One thought on “Newtown, Sydney

  1. ScareBNB. Yep I still remember the place we checked in to and checked out of in Reykjavik almost immediately. We took one look at the dust everywhere attempted to use the bathroom only to find blood spots and hair all over the bathtub 🛀 Checked into hotel “Apotek” and thought wow. How did that happen? Damn hard to get money back from airbnb. They are so stingy. Feel free to hand Tom your phone. He can take some photos too. Takes two to tango ;). -Teddy in Kauai.

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