Monday, May 25, 2009

A Bit Shit

Our Newtown, while being the best and most famous, is not by any means the only Newtown in the world. Close to home, and close-ish in feel, is the Newtown in Wellington across the ditch. Near a hospital, home to many students, famous for its grungy feel, it in many ways resembles Newtown (Sydney) circa 1988. Hell, it even has a Wilson Street !

Towards the end of last year there was a bit of a stink in the Wellington press when a local resident created the t-shirt above: Newtown - It's a Bit Shit. The local progress association and council got involved - displaying a total absence of a sense of humour, and generating priceless publicity for the shop that was by now selling them. There's a good summary of the blue in this article on the excellent Wellingtonista website.

Your mayor, who was there at the time, tried to buy one but was put off by the price (70 Kiwi bucks), and more concretely, by the fact that the store selling them on Cuba Street was always closed. I did, however, spot one at the Eveleigh Markets a couple of weeks ago and I'm sure there's a market for an enterprising enterpreneur (is there any other kind ?) to start making some similar here using a photo of one of the Top 5 Eyesores.

For those interested, there are 5 Newtowns with their own postcode in Australia - the others are in Toowoomba and Ipswich - home of Hanson - in Queensland, and Geelong and Ballarat in Victoria. No fewer than 23 Newtowns have earnt an entry (or stub) in Wikipedia - including Newtown in Pennsylvania which recently celebrated its 325th Anniversary - surely it will soon be time to rename it Oldtown ? There are other clusters of Newtowns in Ireland (5), Northern Ireland (5), California (5) and the rest of the United Kingdom (12), but strangely only one in Canada. Special recognition to the Newtown in Wales, owner of the domain, and, having been founded in 1321, almost certainly the oldest Newtown in town.

I've only been to the Wellington Newtown so far - I think I can feel a junket coming on. Anyone visited any others ? Any visitors from other Newtowns to this blog ?


  1. I live in the Newtown that's a bit shit, and that man in the photo owns the cafe I visit every day - although it and his home is in Newtown. The store where the shirts are from is called Duncan, and Prudence, so even though their commas are dreadful, they still have an okay name. Oh, and plus aren't our Pacific pesos worth like 2 cents to your almighty dollar anyway?

  2. there's also a newton in auckland. almost there but not quite.

  3. I didn't even mention what's now sadly the most famous Newtown of all; in Connecticut.