From The Burbs, To The Bustling. What Kind Of City Are We Hoping To See - by Laura Kebby / by Laura Kebby

I was sitting in class this morning, when I noticed something next to me. I’m nosy by nature, I know that, but there was something really particular that caught my eye. The person sitting next to me, their background on their laptop, was a photo of the foreshore. Capturing a whole bunch of local landmarks all in one shot. I was really taken aback by this, and it’s really just not something you see every day. I mean I love Newcastle but even I don’t reserve the background of something that I look at every single day, for our town. It really made my heart happy, seeing that someone else, in my ever extending network, clearly loved our town just as much as I do. 

I actually saw a lot of our town this week, and yelled a lot the process. I realised exactly why they call “The Hill," “The Hill," I mean, the gradient is actually insane. AsI wandered up to my mates house, panting, trying to distract myself with Smith Street songs, it’s actually hard not to notice, just how high some parts of the inner city actually are. Because of the pace I was walking, (yes again, my athleticism is not on point at all) I noticed details that I usually miss, as I’m usually driving around searching for a park. I’ve been trying to walk more, just to clear the mind and attempt to stand for longer then two minutes a day. 

When I finally got to my mates place, sinking into a lounge chair, I spotted what I’d been looking for. The view. “You can juuuust see the harbour” she said pointing out onto the balcony, and what a sight it was. Inner city living has always appealed to me, and the fact that we as Novocastrians get to enjoy the city as well as being literally a stones throw away from the waters edge, is something that we should treasure every single day. But during the slower part of the weekend, I retreated to the burbs, because really, that’s what the burbs are for. I wanted to seek quiet, working internet and some wide open spaces, and I’m lucky to have that option. 

But I think some of us may get things a little confused. Inner city living is just that, living in the middle of a city. There will be noise, there will be activity and there will be traffic. I’m incredibly dumbfounded by the incessant need for local residents to make noise complaints. And I’m not talking about a loud house party, I’m talking about noise complaints from local residents aimed at local establishments. But in the same breath, these same local people, will continually claim that the city is dead. So which one is it? What kind of Newcastle would we like to see? 

On Sunday evening for example, I picked my younger sister up from the Ori. (This is extremely out of character for me, despite the fact I have woken her at many an inconvenient hour, I usually dish out life lessons and strongly encourage her to find her own way home.) It’s a Sunday ritual for a lot of Novocastrians, and rightly so. It’s one of the most laid back, yet rightly intimate, venues in town. Great bands, good pizza and longnecks all round. But driving into the city, at 9:00pm on a Sunday evening, I asked myself why is it, that King Street ‘Maccas’ was busier then anywhere else in town? “It’s a Sunday though” I hear many may protest, but this trend is growing, expanding and swallowing the city. 

If we truly do, as we all say, love this town, what kind of town are we hoping to see? The inner city should always reflect a thriving metropolis, not the quiet tranquility of the burbs. This is what I’m really thinking about this week, as I finally return to my terrace house in the middle of a hill.