Saturday, January 19, 2013

Photo essay - a taste of Glebe markets

For those who don't know Glebe, it is an inner city Sydney surburb 3km north-west of the CBD. The suburb derives its name from the mediaeval practice of giving land (a glebP1010083e) to support a priest.  In this case, "The Glebe' was a 1790 land grant of 400 acres (1.6 km2) given by Governor Arthur Phillip to Reverend Richard Johnson, Chaplain of the First Fleet.

I spent a lot of time in Glebe at one point because I had a girl friend there. By then, the suburb's glory days had long past. Many of the once grand houses were run down, while the suburb was home to working people  and students from the nearby University of Sydney. Social life along Glebe Point Road, the suburb's main thoroughfare, centred on the pubs where the men gathered on a Saturday afternoon to drink beer and listen to the races; the students has their own watering hole elsewhere, while the little shops were run down.

The process of gentrification began in the 1960s with the building of the first flats at the end of Glebe Point Road. The huge growth in the number of university students from the 1970s attracted more students to Glebe's then lower cost accommodation. New shops and eateries emerged.

Today, Glebe forms part of that sweep of inneP1010089r city suburbs that have been metrofied, the domain of young singles and couples attracted by the metro life style with it bars, eateries and vibrant street life. Glebe is arguably the most cosmopolitan of all the inner city suburbs measured by the mix of people.

I actually miss the old working class Glebe, most of the working class families are long gone, but no one can deny Glebe's attractiveness even to some of the Eastern Suburb's young, to my mind Sydney's most locationally parochial young.

Within Glebe, the Saturday markets  have become an institution, attracting locals and tourists alike.

Held in the grounds of the local primary school, they are not the biggest of the markets but put others such as the rival Paddington markets a little in the shade because of the sheer variety compressed in such a small area.

Crowds throng the narrow lanes between the stores.


There is much serious consideration of the offerings available.


For the stall holders, some feel ignored, hoping for the next customer.


Others are more engaged. I really like this shot, by the way.


Sometimes there is hard bargaining.


Advice needs to be obtained.


Sometimes there is time to chat.


As always, men follow their women around!


Sadly, the one thing that was missing that day was the incense stall we were looking for. There wasn't one in sight, an odd result given the clientele!  So we left the hubbub of the markets for the relative quiet of Glebe Point Road.

I had enjoyed my visit to the markets. I hope that you did too.

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