Right Place/Time

“Are you alright there, mate?”, I was asked by one of the workers (presumably the supervisor) chopping down trees on nearby Cleveland Street earlier today. Along with about a dozen others, I was there simply waiting for a bus. He was obviously mindful of the potentially political and social impact of chopping down trees, these days. As it was a significant local event, I told him I took a couple of photographs, primarily for this blog, and because I like history-making events.

As previously blogged, the Surry Hils Shopping Village is currently undergoing a transformation. The smallish shopping centre is being transformed into something much larger, which will also include residential apartments.

“No worries”, I told him, adding that I was a long-term local.

Trees being chopped down on Cleveland Street.
Trees being chopped down on Cleveland Street.

I shared the photographs with friends via email, and on a Facebook group site of interested locals.. The group is primarily concerned about changes to the speed limit on Cleveland Street, to the ability to turn off Cleveland Street, and to the impact on neighbouring streets.

Comments varied from this…

This really gives me the sh*ts- I believe as part of their DA they’re required to replace trees on a 1 for 1 basis, but there’s no way a sapling can replace a 40 year old mature tree- I’m surprised the city didn’t push harder for them to be preserved (on that note, I believe the remaining trees on Baptist street are city owned so they should remain)

…to this.

Sacrificing a few gum trees is a small price for this overdue development.

By the time I got home from work, the trees were all gone.

Later, I reflected on this being the second time in the last few days when I was “in the right place at the right time”.

On Sunday night, I was sitting alone having a beer at Stonewall Hotel on Oxford Street. The rain was tumbling down, and I was staring blankly at the passing parade outside, enjoying my beer.

At about 8.30pm, I thought my eyes were deceiving me when I suddenly saw a naked man walk past. Yes, absolutely, completely naked. He was walking quite briskly, and so at first I thought my eyes were deceiving me, and maybe he was just wearing shorts. Though I could be wrong, he looked 60-something in age, and had one of those all-over tans.

But yeah, he was absolutely naked. I knew for sure when I saw the shocked reaction of someone standing outside having a cigarette. I jumped to my feet and rushed outside to take a photograph to document this other “history-making” event.

This was the best I could do.

Naked man on Oxford Street, Darlinghurst

3 Replies to “Right Place/Time”

  1. “Are you alright there mate?”

    That’s a less-than-passive aggressive thing to say isn’t it? A bit like “you looking at me?” and next thing a biff.

    If your job is chopping down trees for developers in built up areas where trees are scarce you probably know that many people think you are doing the wrong thing.

    Good on you at holding your ground. My heart would be beating with the confrontation.

    But what if (and we don’t know, do we?) it was a tree which was not meant to be chopped down? (I’m reasonably sure that in the context of a DA for the site the preservation or not of trees would have been a condition dealt with specifically.) Seems to me that his confrontation of you was to deter you from the obvious next question (or it would be obvious if we had proper tree preservation laws): “Do you have a permit for that?”

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