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January 29th, 2005

The Urban Sprawl Project Update

I'm not religious in any shape or form, but I love the image below.

The sign is found in Blacktown, the one time border town of Sydney. Used to be that you drove out of Blacktown, you were leaving Sydney well and truly behind, but it's no longer the case. The Blue Mountains are that divide now. However, after years of neglect, of being told it was the one stop crime and drug central of the city (a title it lost about fifteen years ago to Cabramatta) Blacktown is now trying to rebuilt itself into a mini metropolis. Looks like it's postal address should be Iraq right now: roads cornered off, planks of wood over pot holes, old buildings pulled down into rubble, new ones half built, and a line of scaffolding on the horizon like Blacktown's skeleton has been torn open and the survivors are living in the remains.

You find this sign down past the car park of the train station, next to the nasty squat brown brick building that you go into for unemployment and health care cards and so forth. Inside that building, there are posters of ethnic families: smiling Aborigines, frolicking Asians, dependable Middle Eastern citizens, and so on and so forth. You've never seen a bunch of happier ethnic families than in the Family Planning Office in Blacktown. Couldn't say that about anyone who actually enters the building, mind you. Ten years ago, when I first entered the Unemployment Office, which is on the floor below Family Planning, I was out of High School and without any idea what I'd do. Within half an hour, I found myself in front of a woman in her late twenties who told me, "You've bring nothing to the work force. The kind of jobs I can get you are in factories and shopping centres. I can get you an interview with a hardware store today."





This livejournal (blog) has been picking up traffic of late. Since November, traffic has doubled, which is neat, though I find myself a bit baffled as to why, exactly. Still, I've seen a few people linking the Urban Sprawl Project to their blogs, and if you're one of those people, and would like me to return the favour, send me an email or drop the link into the comments here. Apparently I can keep non livejournal links down the side.

New bits of the world include: Costa Rica, Uruguay, and France. Well, I think France is new. It might not be. Still cool though.