September 21, 2009

Perth - Winter, Heritage, Nightclubs, Skateboarders, Graffiti Writers, and Asians.

Perth is currently in an eternal winter. Now I know what English summers feel like. Terrible. The leaves on that tree may never grow back.

Should it be heritage listed? No, not the Perth Entertainment Centre. The sea container combined with the Today Tonight billboard. The PEC has to go, sooner or later. I like the PEC. However, the huge shed sits on the prime real-estate of the soon-to-be Northbridge Link project (soon-to-be as in probably never). Personally, I believe the PEC has huge cultural significance. Twenty years ago today, it was the spot where I got angry at a movie for the first time, watching Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing. Even then, the PEC's Lumiere cinema seemed like a run-down cinema. But it will be a sad day when the most perfect commentary of all - "FEDUP" written below the Today Tonight billboard, finally disappears. Thanks FDP crew, for providing an intelligent piece of public art, at no cost to the rate-payer.

Since its been raining, a lot, its time to reminisce about the Perth of old. Seems like a bit of a cop-out, but fuck it, I haven't taken many photos lately.

The Underground was the best night club I ever went to in Perth. Three levels, a run-down federation building, and a train carriage. Drink specials, free entry. These days, its a back-packers hostel.

Many people don't know that Tony Hawk, professional skateboarder, would frequent Karrinyup shopping centre. Yes, THE Karrinyup Shopping Centre. Yes, that really is Tony Hawk. This was shot around 87 or 88. Yes, it was a really shitty camera.

The Firm was a great establishment. Now its the Old Melbourne Hotel. Back then, it was the OLD Melbourne Hotel. The nightclub was upstairs, and the floor would genuinely bounce. Structurally, that place was a nightmare back then. People would try and make the floor collapse. Fortunately, everybody was too drunk/high to really care. Like The Underground, it was a very popular place.

Even in Osborne Park, skateboarding was huge. This was taken around 1990, at the rear of a surf store that no longer exists, on Scarborough Beach Road. Chris Miller, and Natas Kaupus, are in this photo, somewhere!

These days, the Perth City Council feels a need to inject "vibrancy" into the CBD. The solution? Spend tens of thousands of dollars on a jazz band and a tent in Forrest Place. Back in the early 90's, there was a cheaper, easier, more effective solution - just allow visiting professional skateboarder John Cardiel, and a few locals, to run riot.

Is there a point to all this? Maybe. Skateboarders, Graffiti writers, and of course Asians, are the signs of future vibrancy. All three cultures utlilise sections of the CBD for their own enjoyment long before the masses cotton on. Long before there were bars in Howard Lane, there were skateboarders and Graffiti Writers in Howard Lane. Head into the CBD on any weeknight, and observe - Asians. You get the point.

These cultures are the future of our city, and I for one, like that future. If you don't know, now you know.

September 9, 2009

Perth - Atlantis Abandoned Marine Park, and Iwan Iwanoff Again

Atlantis Marine Park. Or was it Atlantis Sun City? In any case, this was Perth 80's theme-parkery at its finest. Constructed in 1981, at Yanchep (just past the other side of Walcott Street) it has been abandoned for the last 19 years. Sadly, in 1990, the entire troupe of dolphin trainers disappeared without a trace, leading to the financial collapse of the theme park. King Neptune still keeps an eye towards the unique town centre of Two Rocks. Around the grounds you will see tunnels, bridges, exotic fauna, weathered statues, and locals taking the dogs for a walk. Big dogs.