Sunday, 2 September 2012

A-Z of Australia - N is for Northbridge

Northbridge (formerly known as "North of the Bridge" and "North of the Line" when still part of the CBD) is a suburb north of the Central business district, known famous or infamous for it´s nightlife.

It can be reached by foot from the Perth railway station and the Wellington street bus station, or by the free "CAT bus" (central area transport).

Originally a swampy area it was later drained in the 1860´s by convict labour, so construction could start. In the 1890´s due to the gold boom, many hotels were built to accommodate prospectors and rich people.
During World War I, the elite moved out of the city, and due to European immigration, Northbridge was populated mainly by Greeks and Macedonians.  Perth´s first Orthodox church is here located.
Post war European migration brought a lot of Italians to Australia with a culture of the outdoor alfresco lifestyle and outdoor cafés, which was introduced to this area.

Nowadays the suburb contains a wide range of ethnic restaurants with cuisines ranging from Asian to Mediterranean, as well as being the hub of Perth´s nightlife.

It can get quite rowdy on the weekends with drunken youngsters and a lot of Policemen always present to keep problems to a minimum.
The few times I have been, I never encountered anything out of the ordinary and we had a good time eating out in the Chinese district or going to a movie in the beautiful Cinema Paradiso in James street, but then we probably weren´t there that late at night when the youngsters are out in force and we didn´t go into the bars either!
Cinema Paradiso is an attractive building with a lovely Art-Deco foyer, with four small cinemas showing mainly foreign language and independent films and is also home to Perth´s film festivals.

Foyer of Cinema Paradiso (photo from their site)

The Piazza with the gigantic screen and funny illuminated seats

Street Sculpture
The entrance to the "Chinese Quarter"


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