When I posted a photograph of an embellished â€˜bicycle routeâ€™ stencil in Little Eveleigh Street , near Wilson Street, back in March 2010, I suggested that the bike rider with a giant penis was not simply a joke but an expression of tension between local residents and the â€˜greeniesâ€™ who cycle through on the way to and from the city.
It seems I was not wrong. The battle between cyclists and locals has escalated in this neighbourhood. In August 2010 I posted another photo from Wilson Street, this time a verbal blast: Eco-cycle rapists. This week on a walk through Darlington I found another angry notice, still readable even though it has been hashed over: Â Attention bike Nazis no entry!
Wilson Street is a long back street stretching from Redfern Station to Newtown Station, and passing through Darlington and MacDonaldtown on the inner-city fringes of Sydney. It has been undergoing change for some years. Its corner shops have become art studios; Sydney University threatens to engulf it as it devours real estate to the north; and along the street’s southern side the former Eveleigh Railway Workshops â€“ which would have provided employment for manyÂ residents of the little terrace houses in years gone by â€“ have been turned into a theatre and arts centre. â€˜Gentrificationâ€™ is the name of the street drama that is being performed here daily.
Whenever I visit Wilson Street it never fails to provide me with material for my pavement graffiti collection. This week, not far from the warning to cyclists, I noticed a worn little stencil in the middle of the road: Save the shark. According to other bloggers itâ€™s been there a few years.
Near the â€˜CarriageWorksâ€™ cultural centre, some fairly recent wet concrete scratchings include an Aboriginal flag. In the background of this photo you can see the Skippy Girls painted on the corrugated iron fence.