The Garden of Down-to-Earth Locals
Hurtle Square held a get-to-know-your neighbour day for residents of a new apartment block and the people we met made us feel like Adelaide might not need to rely so heavily on our festivals to make us feel international.
It was a standard enough invitation and event – come and join the developers of a new apartment building on the city’s south side who were shouting a happy hour in Hurtle Square. Cheese and muscatels: check. Alpha Box & Dice wines: check. A couple of doctors from Ireland: check. An architect from Iran: Wait, what?
As we introduced ourselves around the party, each new resident we met seemed more intriguing and international than the last. Conversations jumped from pleasantries to impromptu interviews. Chloe and Barry are working at the new Royal Adelaide Hospital. They’re very happy for the heat, though they do tend to stay in the shade with their Irish complexions. Chloe tells us how good the working conditions are here and that even a long shift by Australian standards would be considered a normal one back home. Elmira can’t call herself an architect here due to Australian regulations. Here she’s a ‘graduate of architecture.’ Currently she and her husband Behrang, a structural engineer, are looking for work but both are just happy to be in Adelaide.
Taking over the public realm in this way, putting on some drinks and filling the city’s parklands with cheer, these residents do more for the fabric of this city’s culture than a million Fringe Festivals can. Local people building connections and adding culture to this place is how we’ll make a safer, more prosperous and exciting city for all.
Colleen and Arthur and Mithma
Chloe and Barry
Jane and Tate
Gavin and Sophie and Jeremy
Peach the Whippet
Ben and Cameron and Tom
Nicole and Eric
Chris and Trish
Greg and Lynda
Behrang and Elmira
The garden of down-to-earth locals by Josh Fanning originally appeared in City Mag 29 March 2019, Pictures: Andrè Castellucci
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