Tuesday, February 23, 2010

54. Remembering Rowe Street


Little remains to tell of glories passed, save insecure, fading memories.

The elegant millinery shop of Henriette Lammotte stood shoulder to shoulder with the Robin Lea Tea-rooms of the spinster sisters, Norah and Kitty Carr, which held sway at No. 2 for eighteen years. Visiting celebrities staying at the Hotel Australia wandered along the narrow passageway, stepping on and off the gutter, mingling with the gawking lunchtime throng of shop assistants from David Jones’ Elizabeth Street store.

Not working class enough for Jack Mundey, Rowe Street and the Hotel Australia succumbed to the development push of early 70s Sydney, when Harry Seidler’s Sulman Medal winning design for the MLC Centre came to fruition, with its piazza paved with porfido imported from Italy.

Oblivious, he sips his espresso, reading his broadsheet, in a nondescript lane off Pitt Street, unaware that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

5 comments:

Joan Elizabeth said...

I like the story a lot, but feel the last para comes down too heavy. I would remove "unaware that ...." because it is telling me what to think whereas stopping in at a nondescript lane of Pitt Street leaves me thinking for myself.

Vicki said...

I sort of agree with Joan Elizabeth with regards to telling us what to think, but I do like the phrase ”… unaware that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat.”

That and the opening sentence are my favourite lines.

Julie said...

In the two middle paragraphs I can see that I simply strung a bunch of proper nouns together. That should have been my starting point, and I should have "extracted" from that.

I agree about the "telling the reader what to think" angle. Very weak method.

Now for tomorrow's ...

diane said...

I needed the last sentence to help me understand the story.

Joan Elizabeth said...

'Twas in the city yesterday and off there again today ... last night the power went on the blink just as I was about to savour the delights of your blogs ... twill have to wait until tonight. I just love reading this one thoughtfully.