Construction Doesn’t Mean We Lose Our Quirkiness

Laura Kebby -

Lifestyle Opinion

Novocastrians are notorious for being pretty well resistant to change. Things happen slowly, yet surely and this can be both a good and a bad thing. I’m a loyalist myself, and I never really understood the whole East End mindset until I moved there. It’s a beautiful part of the world, and the epicentre of our town, and I’m definitely pretty wary about change. But change seems to be hurtling towards us whether we like it or not, and although we are losing various ‘iconic’ structures, surely  our charm and quirky nature isn’t buried along with the rubble, only to be lost and forgotten forever?

Each and every generation, as the next moves in, thinks they’ve got it made. The music is always better, the scene always brighter, and different hotspots become the next ‘it’ venue. This is just the way it is, and will always be, in a town like ours, and someone is always banging on about the glory days. I feel like the only people who can really throw that phrase around is Bruce Springsteen and maybe Andrew Johns, but for everyone else it just seems like a bit of a cop out.

But it wasn’t until someone finally noticed the disappearance of the rainbow steps of Wickham Station or the inevitable sale and destruction of something iconic like the Store, that we actually started to notice
As fierce loyalists, it’s as though we would much prefer to drive things towards their bitter end, rather than appear proactive, productive, innovative and (at the risk of sounding like Julie Gillard here) as though we are moving forward. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to care for the over gentrification of things, and I would hate to look towards the skyline and see nothing but high-rise buildings, stuff like that makes me nervous. But what Novocastrians should embrace, is someone willing to push boundaries and make our city a better and brighter place.

People just don’t seem to leave. And I mean why would you? We have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, everything you could ever want is pretty much on your door step, it’s definitely not as high pressure as living in Sydney, and definitely a lot more fun than whatever goes down on the Central Coast. But it’s not the iconic landmarks or simple structures that keep us here. Surely not. People come here because they want to be here, not to simply form an attachment to the buildings we drive past on the daily.

I feel like we have to treat the Supercars like a boss that you really can’t stand…

It’s true that Newcastle probably hasn’t gone through as dramatic a change period as the one we are going through right now, but we’ve gone through change periods all the same. But it wasn’t until someone finally noticed the disappearance of the rainbow steps of Wickham Station or the inevitable sale and destruction of something iconic like the Store, that we actually started to notice. It’s not only that, finally we have something and someone to blame – (another favourite past time of many a passionate Novocastrian): The Supercars. Because the Supercars to many, mean big business and big business apparently means we’ve sold our soul to anyone who was willing to take it. It’s what the punk kids would call it selling out.

Honestly though, I feel like we have to treat the Supercars like a boss that you really can’t stand, but they keep inviting you to stuff, paying for your training and presenting you with the tools to be a bigger and better person. The Supercars will really surface as just the kick those in power needed to actually start looking at our city in a completely different light. It doesn’t mean we lose our quirkiness or character at all, it just means we have the chance to make the place we call home, better. There will always be spots that locals treasure, that aren’t included in any guide book or glossy tourist guide and it’s just the way we like it. It’s the hidden gems that we treasure, that make our town the place it is, and always will be, regardless of how many cranes cloud the sky.

Our quirkiness, and sense of township isn’t tied to any structure or location. It’s the people who bring that sense of quirkiness with them. We aren’t a town of two dimensional beings, who exist purely in the eyes of the structures we’re surrounded by.

Novocastrians have been here long before those ‘iconic’ structures existed, and we’ll be here for a long time after.

If it's on in Newcastle, it's on Newcastle Live

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