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Marlborough Street

“Marlborough House” is a building I’ve walked past possibly hundreds of times, and yet have had no idea what was located inside. A bit of googling reveals this massive building is home to fashion graphic designers, fashion designers, furniture designers etc.

I only really discovered it today when I went walking along Marlborough Street as part of my ongoing photographic project, Surry Streets. I actually thought it was one of those massive residential apartment blocks springing up around Surry Hills, but apparently not.

It absolutely dominates one end of Marlborough Street which stretches from Cleveland Street right up over the hill to the other side of Devonshire Street.

As you walk along the street you pass interesting old terrace houses, interesting businesses, Ward Park, and St Peter’s Catholic Church to name but a few of the sites you encounter.

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Miles Street, Surry Hills

Miles Street

For the last four years, from time to time, I’ve been indulging in a photographic project I’ve called Surry Streets. The project came out of a personal discovery desire to get to know the area in which I live a little better.

There’s a tendency just to walk along the main streets and the same streets every day, isn’t there? And so that’s when I started to look for streets I have either never known existed, or have always walked past.

The latest two were Marlborough Street and Miles Street.

Though I’m not really sure if you could call Miles Street an actual street. It’s tiny, and half of it is gated off as a private road for the Catholic Church.

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Corner of Ridge Street and Ridge Place, Surry Hills

Ridge Place and Ridge Lane

Corner of Ridge Street and Ridge Place, Surry Hills

Corner of Ridge Street and Ridge Place, Surry Hills

“Hi, how’s it going?”, a bloke shouted to me in a friendly manner from a backyard BBQ in Ridge Lane. As I walked a few metres on, he asked if I wanted to come in for a beer. “Fine, thanks”, I shouted back.

That simple exchange convinced me Ridge Place and Ridge Lane are probably nice little places to live, although strictly speaking I doubt if anyone actually lives on either, since both seem to be back laneways for people living on Ridge Street and Cleveland Street.

As part of my ongoing efforts to document the streets and laneways of my neighbourhood in a more interesting manner than Google Street View, I went for a further wander this afternoon.

Compared with some of the laneways I’ve seen so far, these two are quite interesting for their diversity, and for the wonderful colours, shapes and textures to be found.

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Cleveland Lane, Surry Hills

Cleveland Lane

Cleveland Lane, Surry Hills

Cleveland Lane, Surry Hills

Even though I’ve walked past it several hundred times (if not more), I didn’t know there WAS a Cleveland Lane, Surry Hills until earlier today.

Anxious to try out my new camera, and engaging in my ongoing photographic project – taking random photographs of various streets and laneways in Surry Hills – I set out to look for somewhere new. That’s when I decided to try a laneway I’ve walked past many times, but have never actually been down before.

And what a pleasant surprise it was. Cleveland Lane has greenery, terraces, some new apartment blocks, some street arts, and a very intriguing backyard to the hardware store on the corner.

I love the hardware store. It’s one of those great “old fashioned” (pre-Bunnings) hardware stores. And behind it is a large forest-like backyard you might not otherwise expect to find in Surry Hills. It’s great. It gives Cleveland Lane an interesting level of depth that you find less and less with the so-called “gentrification” of Surry Hills.

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Crown Street crossing

Snap Happy on Crown

Crown Street crossing

Crown Street crossing

I got a little “snap happy” on the way home last night, although I’m not exactly sure why.

Perhaps it was the glass or two of wine I had?

Perhaps it was because the semi-full moon made everything seem so bright?

Perhaps it was because I pretty much had the street to myself and felt less self-conscious about taking photographs?

Or perhaps it was just an appreciation I live in a pretty terrific neighbourhood with lots to see?

Whatever it was, I found myself inspired to take photographs of some of the more interesting signs, shops and sights I noticed, as I walked home along Crown Street, Surry Hills at about 12.30/1.00 this morning.

Enjoy the walk…

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Cartmore Lane

Surry Laneways

Cartmore Lane

Cartmore Lane

The sign leading to Cartmore Lane is very inviting.

In the midst of the corporate green of the City of Sydney street signs, these days, it’s a refreshing reminder of the past.

And it’s in stark contrast to the brown and orange painted wall.

I don’t know how many times I’ve walked past Cartmore Lane. Probably hundreds. But as I came home from lunch today, and noticed that all-too-familiar sign, I realised I’d never been down Cartmore Lane before, even though it’s just a few hundred metres from my home.

The street sign gives you an expectation of something wonderful. Maybe just around the corner, as in other parts of Surry Hills, there’s a hidden garden, or wonderful street art?

Unfortunately, there were no hidden gems to be found in Cartmore, nor the adjoining Hastings and Alexandria lanes.

Instead, there were lots of parking spaces, signs about parking, garage entrances, and garbage bins.

I took some photographs, nonetheless.

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Lansdowne Street sign in Surry Hills

Lansdowne Street

Lansdowne Street sign in Surry Hills

Lansdowne Street sign in Surry Hills

I felt like a bit of photographic exploration today, though I didn’t feel like wandering too far from home.

So I wandered over to Lansdowne Street, just off Crown Street, Surry Hills.

It’s only a small street, and not all that remarkable really. It has a few nice houses. A couple of shops. A power station. And a park.

And I think Tilley Devine lived on the corner of Lansdowne Street for a while, though I could be wrong.

And it crashes into Belvoir Street.

That’s about it, really, unless you know something else?

It’s not as pretty, nor seemingly as interesting as other parts of Surry Hills, though I guess it has a charm those who live in the street obviously enjoy.

So here it is…. Lansdowne Street, Surry Hills

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