(Wherein our intrepid hero channels a bitter, acerbic Joni Mitchell)
of modern civic planning
in these narrow streets
seems an impossible dream
for this narrow mind.
Bright, efficient street-lamps
to match those oh-so
bright, efficient sales-persons
that dot our boutique stores.
to match our wheelchair-friendly hills
and pavement cracks.
A much more manageable round-about
for those oh-so common public buses
that flood our narrow streets.
It resembles now,
it must be said,
a public space in western Sydney
as provided by your friendly development conglomerate
as per council requirements
16(a), (b) and (d).
The once grand round-about,
Stood there only twenty years;
“an insignificant historic blip”
(almost my entire life).
Banished, we are to understand,
for inconveniencing the buses
(which haven’t stood anywhere at all).
An inconvenience, I imagine,
6 months of leaking ceilings
following a hail-storm
waiting for heritage-appropriate roof tiles
invisible from the street,
but quite spectacular
(I am assured)
for passing hot-air balloonists.
And now a less confusing intersection – 4 ways!
What a grand improvement
to that inconvenient heritage.
Revitalised Five-ways is many things
clean, flat, open, bright, logical
yes, it is many things,
but it is not Paddington.
The character-building footpath cracks
presided over by the Ancien Régime of Paddington
– her trees
all scrubbed conveniently away.
How fortunate, at least,
one needn’t walk too far
from this concrete veneer
to find Paddington again.