Occident Prone

Welcome to Australia’s wild West

Dance with the Muses in Northbridge

Posted by occidentprone on May 21, 2008

Plans for a microbrewery and piazza in Northbridge have been getting some press but is the proposal enough to get Northbridge back in our social good graces? 

The City of Perth says work on the piazza will start next month.

Well-considered design features and uses in and around the piazza will ensure its vitality, comfort and safety: As well as providing for everyday informal activity, the flexibly designed spaces allow for performances, festivals and other cultural and even sporting events.  A large grassed area, for example, could host anything from cricket matches to markets. Al fresco dining from surrounding cafes and restaurants will spill into the space, adding on-going life to the piazza. Perth’s first permanent LED screen is expected to be a major attraction, operating 24 hours a day.

As only local government can do, they’ve made it sound sterile and without spontaneity but we still hold out hope.

Northbridge’s history has been up and down, trendy and ugly, ethnic ghetto and mainstream, drunken dark corner and sunny family spot. It is in a bit of a lull at the moment (although the media stories about louts and violence seem to have waned).

But after walking through both Northbridge and Perth city centre in daytime in recent weeks, at least Northbridge has a soul that can be revived. There is life in pockets of small shops, cafes and boutiques. Art galleries and art supply stores will draw that recently recognised commodity – the creative class.

Scoff if you want, but in these days – and this state – of flowing wealth successful baby boomers and X-ers are prepared to spend to buy soul back into their overworked lives. Watercolour painting on the side, weekend writing or joinery or cake decorating courses, thousands dropped with ease at the Fender store. And not with an eye on glory (well, maybe) but with an eye to filling the void, creating something.

So business gurus and planners, don’t underestimate how much people like to hang out with the Muses in dark corners, feeding their inner boho with inspiration – and spending large while they’re at it. That lust for life can’t be built into a structure, it’s a vibe and it’s made by people.

 Now what are they doing about Forrest Place and the Hay Street Mall – what a mess.



One Response to “Dance with the Muses in Northbridge”

  1. […] a post a few months back I looked at some criteria for making a place desirable but outside the obvious […]

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