Designed by a French Impressionist, created by German Nihilists and attacked by large red brick apartment buildings, the leafy suburb of Randwick certainly has a colourful history!
It was Australian celebrity. world record breaking burper and cover model for “Slightly Dead” magazine, Scott Cam, who famously said “those who are tired of Randwick are tired of life.” Though he later claimed he was misheard and actually said, “those who buy Randwick tyres are lired of tife”.
Still, he was onto something. Randwick grew from a small toxic pool of slime, infested by mosquitos and rugby union players, into a thriving city with a world famous Bondi Beach, the Dr Frank Hollowes Reserve for The Blind, and three pedestrian crossings (with many more scheduled for 2021 – well, one more), two of which are uniquely painted black to match the tar of the road.
Randwick also gave birth to some famous Australians, such as Sir Charles Kingsford Smith – who discovered Sydney’s airport; Randy Wick – who gave the suburb its name; and Wylie’s Baths – not a person but a place of worship. And we mustn’t forget the evil French genius La Perouse who also gave the suburb its name. Though, ironically, he himself was actually named after La Perouse Beach where he was born. One of those rare cases where art imitates geography.
In the early 1920s, Randwick really took off when several large red brick apartment buildings were dumped in the suburb by a mysterious black van and left there. Curious townsfolk and itinerate two dollar shop owners, flocked there and soon this became the classic Golden-Red Age of Randwick.
These days Randwick is famous for more than just its Red Towers Of Power*. It’s a university town – as the new tram line means you can catch a tram to Sydney University. It has a famous racecourse where drunken hornbags compete in nation stopping hat wearing competitions. And it has a rifle range with low to moderate carnage.
A typical day in Randwick might involve breakfast at the Shell Petrol Station on Ocean Bay Road, where the mostly salmonella free sausage rolls are a major community talking point. Then you stroll over to Mick’s Grass Verge at 49 Wandesby Road, Randwick for a gentle roll across the verge until Mick chases you off with a whipper snipper.
At lunch you might saunter down to Maroubra Beach, making sure not to bring any wallet, jewellery or expensively filled teeth with you. Or a nice looking towel – as they too get stolen pretty quickly. In the afternoon you might wander over to the Long Bay Correctional Centre to feed the prisoners their daily ration of peanuts and toothpaste. Later at the Maroubra Rifle Range, if you pay for the Premium Experience, you can even have a go at shooting one of the prisoners in a sort of “Snipe the Duck” thing. Then, finally, in the evening, you’ll probably want to head over to the Sydney Opera House to drink at the Opera Bar, gaze at the Harbour and dream of a better world where grass verges are uniformly mowed.
As the Randwick Mayor, Jules Verne, says: “Great place to visit, even better place to live and its got everything you could ever want… on a budget. I’m talking about Batemans Bay.”
- Not notionally a person for another 112 years!