One of the more noticeable aspects of urban life in the inner city of Adelaide is the number people staggering around the streets after having too much to drink. I notice them more than usual because the poodles are very aware of them –the behaviour of drinks is unpredictable because they stagger.
The drunks are often the homeless older men, aborigines who spend the day in the parklands, and young men staggering around the streets after boozing all night in the nightclub strip. The latter are the most violent and are often aggressive. They are to be avoided because the poodles will attack them if they get too close.
One of the areas for poodle walks is Port Adelaide. The Port has fallen on hard times and has become a site of rustbelt. Despite the signs of urban renewal it has an industrial scruffy look, that is a long way from the sunbelt cities (eg., Brisbane) with their gleaming condo towers, bistros and boutiques that are so trendy because they signify vibrant urban environments full of young people.
Yesterday was a horror day. The temperature was around 35 degrees with a strong north wind blowing dust everywhere. It was the last day of the ten day or so spell of hot weather. During the night the rain started to fall lightly, and today we have had a steady, soaking rain all day.
There have only been odd moments when there was a break in the rain. I took advantage of one break around lunchtime to do some shopping at the Central Market, then we used another around 6 pm to do a poodle walk in Veale Gardens.
It was established in March 2010 and is situated behind Veale Gardens. It forms part of our afternoon daily walks in the parklands. More often than not we pass it on our way to the more open and dog free spaces of the south western parklands.
Halfway between Adelaide and Victor Harbor on the coast lies McLaren Vale, one of South Australia’s premier wine wine districts. We often stop there to visit a winery, have lunch, pick up some native plants from the local nursery or walk with the poodles.
It is a high tourist region and we generally avoid the wine and dine weekends where you go from winery to winery drinking wine and eating food. I have done little photography in this region because our visits are so very short.
As I mentioned in the previous post I rarely work in the street photography tradition. I don’t have the skills and it is difficult to do this kind of photography whilst walking the poodles. On the rare occasions that I do so I generally hang out around Chinatown.
Chinatown is very small in Adelaide, but it has been given a new lease of life with the flow of international students into Adelaide. Suddenly, this area has come alive with people going about their daily business.
One of my great frustrations on the poodle walks is the lack of accessible locations that give a view of the limited urban skyline in Adelaide. With the roofs of the corporate and public buildings are closed off with security in the lobby. That pretty much leaves the car parks.
Though these are accessible most have fences around the edges to prevent people from jumping off them and committing suicide. Those with fences and with open rooftops are few and far between and of these, few have interesting urban views.
One of the oft visited weekend locations for our poodles walks when we are in Adelaide is the Young Street Car Park. There are more and more car parks being built in the CBD at a time when the state government’s public policy is aimed at allowing for greater use of public transport, more walking and cycling in the CBD.
However, they are not prepared to roll back the car. The car rules our cities. It chokes them–it’s what town planners called congestion. Inside the spaces designed to park cars in the CBD we find waste:
We visit the Young Street Car Park less now because it is being extended, and the upper story has been closed off by the builders. My reason for exploring the car park is because it opens a little door on the underside of the city that sees itself as the Athens of the South–an enlightened city.
The poodles found this little alleyway in John St in the CBD of Adelaide. I had walked by, even though it is just around the corner from our inner-city townhouse. You see differently when walking the streets with poodles.
The picture indicates how homelessness for mostly single and aboriginal people in Adelaide is hidden and that requests for immediate accommodation cannot be met by homelessness agencies.
This rough sleeping indicates that access to safe and secure housing is not accepted as a basic human rights and the steady decline of social or public housing in spite of the political rhetoric on the issue.
Another of our favourite areas for poodle walks is the Port Adelaide area. I am working on a project there, and it is a good place for the poodles to explore on their evening walks.
This picture was a study for a large format photography and a number of compositional variations were explored. Whilst working on the project I’ve changed from using a medium format camera to large format ones and exploring black and white (8×10) as well as colour (5×4).