Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Canning St

My habitual route home takes me down Canning St. If you are not from around here you might not know that Canning St is a street in Carlton which has been deliberately set up to frustrate everyone except cyclists. It works really well at this and so it is alluded to with exciting words like "bicycle superhighway" "bike boulevard" etc. I have pretty mixed feelings about these descriptors and also about the street itself*.  Sometimes, as I ride northwards of an afternoon, shouting along with Cold Chisel's Greatest Hits in my headphones, I ponder whether to abuse my blogging privileges by expounding these feels, at whatever confusing and overwrought length it takes to get my point "across". Such a tempting prospect, but realistically I have enough on my plate already without taking on another responsibility.

It's a tough decision to mkae, or alternatively, to make, but two things tipped me over the affirmative edge.

1. This afternoon I saw this:

And in the split second before I pulled over to the side of the road and dug my phone out of my pocket, I had already seen what it is that I need to do. 

I have stopped and investigated median strip happenings before, but now I'm also going to document them. I asked the woman if I could take a photo and she said I could, but only if I patted the pony first. The pony's name is Sugar. I don't know anyone else's name, or how they got Sugar there, or why. Something about the lot of them made me feel quite keen to hop back on my bike and get the fuck out of there as quick as possible. 

I am now a literary journalist and street photographer, but only of Canning St, and only of the things that go on in the median strip. I am almost exactly the same as Joan Didion combined with Diane Arbus, who was described in a recent LRB as a "little minx", which I thought was a bit off until I realised it was Colm Toibin calling her that, and then it seemed fine. Perhaps my sojourns among the demimonde of the Canning St median strip will eventually result in me producing images like this one. Although I have most likely missed my chance for a while because the days are starting to get shorter and colder now.

2. I also asked Yes/No Tarot if I should start this project and it gave me the green light. Y/N T, always such a great support and comfort as long as I keep choosing another card till the proper one comes up. Ain't nobody gonna steal this heart away!

* Aren't you just staggeringly astonished to learn that I - I - have mixed feelings about something? Just about all that I'm capable of having an unmixed feeling about is this. Well, this too I guess. But that's all.


JahTeh said...

I thought I was the only one who flipped the tarot until the answer was the one I liked best.
The cheese looked interesting the CPyne less so.

Annie ODyne said...

"Room for a pony" is never going to be the right claim for a Carlton real estate sale board so you were right to get out of Dodge. They probably keep the poor thing in the laundry.
Median strip flashmobs. Let me know when there's a Helen Garner sighting.
In the new estates of Ballarat's perimeter, on land so recently farmed, they have Saturday Night Cul De Sac gatherings. I suspected it was a way of being neighbourly while keeping other family's kids out of one's new house.
Keep 'em coming.