08. 07. 2016
The Port – is it happening?
Before I go to Barcelona, I will pause for a moment at Port Adelaide, which is where I am currently working out of Vitalstatistix, a theatre company based in the Waterside Workers Hall. Port Adelaide, and co-presenter of Life is Short and Long. The photo is of my at the Harts Market in the newly-loved old area of the Port. You mention Port Adelaide to most Adelaide folk (or South Australian folk for that matter) and they may say something like, “It has so much potential” or “I think it’s just about to take off”. These two comments have been repeated in various forms since the 1970’s, when the industry in the Port really had completely move on, leaving behind grand buildings and infrastructure fit for a hoard with the population of a small town.
Hence Port Adelaide feels like a small town in a city, and walking around it you do wonder at times, “but where are the people?” Visitors have been known to ask locals if today is a public holiday – on a Wednesday. It’s quiet until you get off the main roads with half filled shops (though at this very moment in time the Port is looking fuller than I can ever remember) and into the Port Mall where as a local who like to dance and dress rock n roll told me yesterday, “Our crisis is parking. There is none and everyone is going round in circles looking for it. I almost bloody die every time I reverse outta here. But come here at 7pm, you won’t see a soul.”
So here I am looking at what the people now think its crisis is, and if the Port is really, finally, actually changing now, or is it still locked in a cycle? I spoke to a parts interpreter at the Harts Markets where I had set myself up as the photo indicates, and he said it so well that no one is paying attention to it. Its not in a crisis, its neglected. Where there are signs of some love given – like the Harts Mill, the new playground, a housing development that looks like it might be attractive, an old pub re-opened with some bells and whistles, then the locals feel lifted, as though something is moving, some attention paid, a place worth living and being. So with all the new life, why do people still feel like the Port is not quite happening? This is only the beginning, more to come…