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Where Preston is going

Post by: kasio99

Wednesday, 02 July, 2014

So the other day I decided to take some photos of the crane at the construction site on the corner of St Georges Rd & Murray Rd in Preston. Is there any other word to describe this eyesore other than ‘A fucken monstrosity’? Everytime I look at it, it reminds me of the film ‘District 9’ where an alien spaceship just appears over Johannesburg.

This location is where the Preston Bowls club previously stood providing a pastime for our elderly community to socialise and get some exercise as they enjoyed their retirement. It had been there ever since I could remember and I’m sure many years before that. I was saddened to hear that it was closing its doors. I guess it lacked the visionary creativity that was needed to help it become more profitable.  One possibility could have been widening its demographic appeal to a potential younger market.

So I decided to take these images of the crane in an attempt to capture what it means for this great suburb, Preston.  It is no secret that Preston is well on the path of gentrification and reaching cafe saturation limits. Young hip family are flocking to the area in search of cheaper rent and greener pastures. This migration is quickly turning Preston into the new Northcote or Brunswick.

Growing up here was fantastic and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. This of course was a time when the streets were full of kids riding bikes, water fighting and knick knocking. Parents actually let their kids play out on the street instead of silencing them with iPads and smartphones.

I can’t speak for any other suburb at the time because Preston was all I knew. I loved the fact that I knew everyone in the street.  Everyone knew that we were the only house on the block that had a lemon tree and they wouldn’t hesitate to knock on the door and ask for some lemons. We would happily hand over a plastic bag full.  If I arrived home from school and had lost my key I knew I could always take refuge at a neighbors house until my parents got home from work.  I loved the fact that we had a backyard where we could play cricket and a front yard where we could hide and play games.

There is still a lingering opinion especially amongst those from the wrong side of the Yarra river that Preston is a rough area.  Telling people I grew up in Preston immediately prompts them to tell jokes about it being rough and jokingly saying things like 'Oh don't stab me?' in a sookie voice. I just laugh along with the joke while thinking to myself “What a fucktard”.  Preston was the best when I was growing up but I can now sense things are changing and at a rapid rate.

Of course the domino effect is at play here. It began with the inner city suburbs and is making its way out to the north. Now sitting firmly on Preston’s doorstep, ready to force housing well out of the reach of those that grew up here, and provide shoebox living solutions for those willing to live in the area without the luxuries of what made this suburb great to begin with.

So let me wrap up by saying if you live in Preston or the surrounding suburbs, say goodbye to the affordable housing prices, cheap rent, large backyard, the neighbors you once knew and the horizon. Start getting used to being able to piss in the kitchen sink from your bed in the shoebox apartment that some bloke decided to build along with the 50 others on top of it.

And that is where preston is going.

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