Thursday, October 30, 2008


I am pretty sure we went to Balmain in 2007.  My new Sydney friend invited us to go to a dinner club with her and her family. We ate yummy food, had a lovely chat, and watched this fun guy entertain children by singing "The Time Warp" and other fun songs.

I THINK that was in Balmain.

We also would see a glimpse of Balmain when the ferry would stop there on our trips from Darling Harbor to Circular Quay.

What do I know about Balmain?

Pretty much nothing.

I guess it's time to do some learning.

I'll start with Google Maps.

Balmain is west of the CBD.

There's a regular Balmain and a Balmain East.

Balmain involves another one of those land grant things.   This one was granted in 1800 to a man named William Balmain.   He was an assistant surgeon on the First Fleet.

Here's some fun  trivia.  According to Lord Wiki, Balmain delivered the Fleet's first child.

And this is even more exciting! It was Balmain who removed the Eora speer from Arthur Phillip.

Does anyone else find this incredibly exciting. Or am I really weird?

Balmain was very industrial in the 1800's and 1900's. It even had a coal mine.

It had a reputation as being a rough working class area.

Oh! The Labor party began here.  Lord Wiki said that happened in 1891 at the Unity Hall Motel.

I wonder if that still exists......

It DOES still exist. Cool. Here's their website.

Lord Wiki says Balmain is home to the West Tigers Rugby League Club.  Things are starting to click for me.    The name of the dinner club we went to had Tigers in it.  Actually I think it was
called Tigers.   See, I am so not in-tuned to the world of sport.  I was totally oblivious to the athletic aspects of the club.    It was fun though; one of the best nights we had in Sydney.

I'm now going to look at Cityhobo to see what kind of shoe Balmaim is. They say it's a Campers, Birkenstocks, and Blundstones.    The only one of those I've heard of is the Birkenstocks.   I know as much about shoes as I do about sports. Well, in all honesty....I probably know a LITTLE more about shoes.

Cityhobo says that Balmain is a good place to live. And you know what?  Just like Dulwich Hill, it's postcode's numerology number is 7.  My number again!

Balmain is good for people who are politically aware.  I'm fairly aware. I know Sarah Palin is an expert on Russia and all that.

Well, here we go.  It's a nice place to live, but close to impossible to afford. According to Cityhobo, it seems more suited to people who buy expensive clothes for their offspring. I buy most of my offspring's clothes at the thrift store.    See, I know the laws of the universe.   Buy your child something expensive and it shall have a stain on it after the first time he wears it.

Okay.  Cool.  On Saturday there's a market with food and fun stuff.    I'm going to have to figure out these weekends.    We're going to have only 2 weekends in Sydney.   I guess that's not so bad.  We'll dedicate those four days to going to markets and stuff.  During the weekdays, we'll go to tourist attractions such as the zoo because it will be less crowded then.   That should work. 

The more I read about Balmain, the more I'm thinking it's not for me. I mean to live there!  Visiting as an obnoxious American tourist sounds great.

Cityhobo says it's a happy trendy community. I don't think I'm very trendy.   I'm happy like 75% of the time, but for the other 25% I can be pretty grouchy and sad.   Like the other day when I watched the fifth episode of The First Australians.  I was crying and angry. I wanted to go find a time machine, go back in time, and kill certain people.   And I'm usually not a physically  violent person.    I promise.

It seems Darling Street is the place to go. It has lots of shops and stuff--including the Unity Hall Hotel.  Well, at least it looked like it from their website's map.   The market is also there, in St. Andrew's Church.

Anything exciting about the church?

It's the oldest continuing Congregational Church in Australia. I guess that can be seen as exciting.  


  1. I'm thinking about going there again.

    By personal it was fun.

    I liked playing with my friends.

  2. Jack,

    I hope we get to spend more time with friends : )

  3. Balmain is great. But I grew up near there, so maybe I'm a bit biased...

    It's full of fantastic restaurants and cafes and cool shops, and there's a beautiful park where the wharf is.

    The Balmain markets are awesome, and the best thing is that the Rozelle markets are at the other end of Darling you can do a two-market Saturday morning!

  4. Gina,

    I'm excited about Balmain. I don't think I knew about the markets in Rozelle.

    Maybe you can meet us over there on one of the Saturdays. Do you go to the markets often?

  5. Meeting up with you at the markets sounds like an excellent plan. I'll give you the local's tour of the markets and surrounds.

    I don't go to the markets as often as I would like...but when I do I always wonder why I don't go every week!

  6. I think it was Neville Wran who said "Balmain boys don't cry". Also, I believe that Balmain was the childhood stomping ground of the (in)famous Governor-General, Sir John Kerr. As a Western Australian, I don't know know much more about it!

  7. Blundstones are work boots, they're a Tasmanian company. Blunnies are my oldest son's favourite shoes, he wears them to school (the school uniform requires black leather shoes except on sports days). Unlike any other school shoe I've ever bought him the Blunnies just don't wear out, they're fabulous.

  8. Gina: Cool!! I think it'll be fun!

    Retarius: It sounds like you know a lot. Or a fair amount at least. I do hope to go to Western Australia someday.

    Mim-Thanks for the link! I'll have to look into it. I don't need new shoes now, but one day......And it will definitely be nice to see what this cityhobo is talking about : )