There's something tragic about Brisbane; the city speaks of an older more Romantic time, though the people speak of a newer, modern; more disposable age. It seemingly looks at you with a lost lovers eyes.
Though the city still retains some of its antique glamour; take a stroll down any street in the center and around you will be found the remnants of that age.
Victorian Red-bricks dot the city like proud sentinels, keeping watch over the ever expanding invasion of its contemporary neighbours.
What tales would these monolithic madmen tell is if only we had the ears to listen, who's feet did once trample up the now year-stained wooden stairs, who lived and died and loved and uttered curses and birthed within those walls...and what tales would they have to tell if we only listened?
Ah, gentle reader, you see how your mind wanders at the mention of these thoughts?
The City certainly has its landmarks: the Clock tower of Town Hall, over looking the new modern space of "The Deck" in King George Square, the facade of Grand central station still retaining its grandeur and majesty; now turned into theme bars and a nightclub *****. The old houses littering West End and the ***** of red bricks running like a sepia toned river up Elizabeth Street. And of course the dotted remnants of Old City Life being ever encroached upon in the center of the City's smoke filled heart.
The most curious of these is the impression wrought in plaster and cement, white over red, of a window in the city center, with a set of stairs leading up to a place that no longer exists; 50 feet in the air.
Whenever I gaze up at that window, that reminder of the past, I cannot help but wondre who would be staring down at us, on this date in the last century.
"Suffer them not" I wish to say, "for these people are of a different age, with different Gods and values than you."
Suffer them not, ignore their slings, suffer them not.
I love Brisbane.
It's mish-mash of centuries, its people, the tales of its unwritten past, it seems as if the city exudes both a sense of joy and one of unutterable melancholy.
I'm on the train, homebound now to my modern house in the ultra-modern Gold Coast. This is quite depressing. The freedom, the movement, the chance, the ebb and flow of the people soaked tide of the city is leaving fast behind me as this electric trap with seats barrels under facades and tunnels, with enormous neon snakes glittering down from the peaks of modern and ancient towers and we find them reflected in the winding river like innumerable fireflies...dying and twisting and being reborn in the soft moonlight.
South Brisbane Station.
An immortal Victorian construct, still surviving to this day. The same architecture, the same route...different paint though. This Industrial Relic is overlooked by the shining modern whirlpool of THE EYE, a gigantic Ferris wheel giving you the chance to see the city by air, to one side; and a multicoloured, four story glowing monument to the hairdresser franchise god Stefan on the other...which I dub "Stefan's Pintle".
It's garish as ****.
Passing through the night the train goes ever on, powered incessantly by the ticket payers seemingly endless dollar supply.
There's a strange transition from City to Coast, the outerlying towns left in the dust and wake of one and unsure whether they belong to the other. Places such as Kuraby, Banoon, Runcorn, Altandi, Logan and Eden's Landing.
Yet the train ponders on into the night, as it's denizens relinquish themselves to its discretion and desires.
Yes; the train ponders on into the night...
We slowly pass through Woodridge, one of those last bastions of civilisation, neither here nor there. A glittering town trying desperately to be a city. They have a McDonalds. Yay. These places always scare me, and confuse me.
What are they like? Their people? I guess I'll never know, i've never stayed in one long enough to realize.
Welcome to Loganlea, this is a strange place...the funniest thing about it is the fact that it IS a hole. Yet the sign into it shows a shining beach with palm trees and boldly proclaims "WELCOME TO LOGANLEA".
As you draw closer you realize it's pock marked with bullet holes and rust stains.
A train whizzes past, and we find ourselves reflected in its windows, our reality traveling one way; our ghosts another.
Into the long, pale night, coloured by the stars of a thousand distant streetlights. Like a million tiny man made suns; created to fend of the darkness and keep our fears at bay. We truely live in the age of endless day.
The melancholy of the city is far behind now, it's streets, its smells, its people all gone. As we are lost in the brightness of the endless day and the night grows ever long, touching those distant, far between places with its natural, velvet splendour, running its hand down the cheek of time. For there will always be a night, even when we create days, and the city will always be melancholy, and the coast will always be a glittering sequin on the dress of a cheap, soulless *****.
I love Brisbane.