Saturday, June 29, 2019

Leichhardt North

Leaving behind the verdant glories of Hawthorn dog park the light rail curves to the right for the very good reason that if it kept going it would do what the Hawthorn Canal does and run into the Parramatta River.  Instead the light rail parallels the river and manages to insinuate itself into a only slightly wider than light rail sized gap between a suburban street and the city west link motorway.  To be fair the rail track was there first.

Leichhardt North appears to be one of those "we have a little money left over in the budget" stations.  Unless your destination happens to be a multilane motorway (in which case why were you catching a train) there doesn't seem to be a lot of point in getting off there.  The onboard announcements informed me that the station was convenient to bus stops that would take you somewhere else.  There was no attempt to persuade you to get off at Leichhardt North on its own merits.

The station is on the border between the suburbs of Leichhardt and Lilyfield.  The actual border is pretty much that motorway which makes dropping in on your neighbours to borrow a cup of sugar more or less impossible.  In its own small way the light rail station attempts to redress this issue by providing a bridge over the motorway.  If you cross this bridge you find yourselves surrounded by houses whose property values were probably somewhat higher before six lanes of traffic became their closest neighbour.  There's also an early learning centre for the kiddies.  An early learning centre is essentially a supervised pit you can drop your too young for school kids in while you go to work.  It backs right onto the motorway (a significant wall prevents any messy consequences for kids who wander off), presumably one of the things the kids are learning early is how to deal with persistent traffic noise.

Having exhausted everything the north side of the station had to offer (time elapsed, three minutes) I retraced my step and crossed to the other side.  This is the Leichhardt side where (as the announcement promised) you could catch a bus to the actual shopping part of Leichhardt.  In case you hadn't already had a bus induced excitement overload the station is only a few blocks from the Sydney Bus Museum.  For those who are interested in such things it must be terribly exciting.  I am not among their number so I didn't go.

Instead I wandered the back streets of Leichhardt.  At least they're back streets now that the motorway has blocked off most of the access.  Paradoxically this makes the streets quiet and rather peaceful.  I greatly enjoy wandering around quiet, empty areas.  Specifically I enjoy wandering around quiet, empty areas in the middle of a city.  I'm not crazy about it out in the country where the place is actually quiet and empty.  I don't particularly like it in the outer suburbs either where the quiet emptiness can be explained by the fact that housing was built for several million people without bothering with any infrastructure the result being that the place is empty because everybody who lives there is somewhere more interesting or inside tending to their drug labs.  Quiet emptiness in the inner suburbs of a large city I find peaceful and enjoyable the more so because travelling ten minutes in any direction will take you away from the quiet emptiness.

Still unless I actually wanted to catch a bus into Leichhardt (I didn't) there wasn't a lot more for me to do so I trotted back to the light rail station and caught the next train home.  I still remember the look of surprise on the faces of the passengers when somebody actually got on at Leichhardt North.

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