‘Down the alleyway and through the cracks – from the dark and dingy to the beautiful’.
Words Taly Hamilton
Hobart may be quieter and smaller than most cities, but you might find something
more intriguing, down cigarette-butt paved alleyways where Hobart’s oddities
For one, Hobart has an elusive graffiti community. Hidden gems behind carparks
and street corners out of the way. Such as the Anglicare carpark off Watchorn
Street and its huge spanning Batman mural. Opposite the road is a mural of a
glass swan with a pyramid on the back of the Odeon theatre, lit up with orange and
blue streetlights at night. I worry about mentioning these as I hope the pieces get
to stay and that we as a community, have the insight to leave the more intrusive
pieces alone. Not every bit of beauty or insight needs to appeal to the masses or
be advertisable, marketable and sellable, even the well-known and easy to find.
I find the same applies to Hobart’s night life. You can advertise your pubs and
clubs, or your events and get togethers with friends, but make room for the
Sometimes you’ve gotta take a walk and just see what you find. Like sitting and
watching hard-core bird politics between sparrows, pigeons and seagulls over
that one table with a single chip on it. When, ooh a twist… it’s actually just a
cigarette butt. Sometimes peoples’ most honest intentions are around animals,
especially at 3am in the morning outside of clubs. I’ve seen at least more than one
melancholy club goer after hours, sitting outside crying and petting a cat with the
utmost care and gentleness.
Of course there is a small element of danger at night from loud obnoxious fights that
spark out of things like strangers staring at each other, or someone’s relationship
falling apart outside a club or pub.
As the night comes to an end, I often see the things that people do when no one’s
watching. Like the news van speeding over speedbumps in the morning just a little
too fast, or fence posts suddenly going missing. These don’t harm anyone but it’s
an interesting insight into just what people try to get away with.
Early morning also brings our gorgeous sunrises and tourist boat horns plus an
obnoxious amount of birds vowing for each others attention. This occasional
wandering of the night may also bring you to other absurd situations or observations.
I’ve often seen trash in the Derwent River or a couch under a bridge someone once
slept on in cinders surrounded by burnt plastic. But just because others leave a
mess, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do anything about it. It’s much more valuable to
contribute and do something to help add value.
The harder we work for the city the more beautiful it is. One time, I even pulled
a shopping cart out of the river and returned it. A small act, which made a big
difference. I noticed that people stopped leaving trash there in general.
Another time, I noticed the letter ‘R’ fell off ‘The Wall of Friendship’ on Collins
Street, making it read, ‘Fiend ship’. So I promptly called to let someone know about
this ironic problem, so that it would be fixed.
Not all our observations and contributions turn out the way we want, but we have
to be there to observe and act on it regularly. The Derwent River is not ‘clean’ but
at least it’s free of shopping carts and the bigger bits of trash now, and The Wall
replaced its letter. Funnily, another letter fell off, though at least it didn’t read ‘Fiend
ship’. Stop to smell the roses and also pick up the trash beneath them.