An attempt to visit every suburb in Sydney.

The Inner West exploration continues. This suburb has a little bit of everything, and even though I spent hours walking around, I'm...

I Want It All: Marrickville

The Inner West exploration continues. This suburb has a little bit of everything, and even though I spent hours walking around, I'm sure I've barely scratched the surface.


Marrickville is a fairly large Inner West suburb which is tucked in between a bunch of those "ham" suburbs (Sydenham, Petersham, etc.) To start my Marrickville suburbsing, I crossed the border over from Sydenham, just by Sydenham Train Station. 

On Google Maps, I saw some amusing reviews of a drainage pumping station just nearby, alongside a few interesting looking photos. I thought "why the hell not" and thus my first Marrickville destination was the revered "Sydenham Pit & Drainage Pumping Station No.001".

To get there, I had to walk along the train line which straddles the border of Marrickville and St Peters.

This path gives you the distinct impression you're not supposed to be here. Along my walk, I met an abandoned Ofo share-bike (2017-2018, never forget) as well as these very cool graffitied couches.

I got there in the end. Interesting enough but probably not worth the risk of being stabbed with a syringe. 

I skedaddled back the way I came and into an industrial area of Marrickville. 

I actually really enjoyed walking around these streets. This section of Marrickville has all of the standard industrial area stuff: car repairs, rock posters

and something called Pleb City. As a proud pleb myself, I can only assume this place does Completing-Sydney-related things. 

I was tipped off by my brother (who is an Inner-Westie through and through) to poke my head into this nondescript seafood shop, "Faros Bros".

Inside is a literal fish market. Wherever I stood here, I was in somebody's way due to how packed it is for its size, but it definitely looks like a fantastic place to pick up some seafood if you're in the area. 

I eventually made my way to the main road of Marrickville, named, funnily enough, Marrickville Road. From here the industrial area continues. I'd never seen a dim sim factory before, but they look like this.

I continued along Marrickville Road. After not too far, the industrial clears the way for commercial, starting with this 1980s-chic travel agent.

Marrickville's commercial centre has a pretty diverse range of stores.

The demographics of Marrickville have fairly large Greek and Vietnamese communities in the suburb (each claiming 7-8% of the population in the 2016 census), but the suburb's commercial area definitely tips to the side of the Greeks.

This scene right here is pretty Marrickville - "nutrition station" cafe (which sounds like a place that doesn't let you in if your almonds haven't been activated) next to the proudly Greek Souvlaki Boys.

An interesting thing in Marrickville's commercial centre are these cute statues of people on top of the awnings of a number of stores. There's a handful of these all down Marrickville road, but here are two sets.

I took a left off the main road into a secondary street in order to see this gorgeous old police station, built in 1895. Even though it's no longer in use by the police, I love seeing these historic buildings dotted through our suburbs.

Just next door to the police station is this adorable blue house. I can't tell you anything about this place except that it also looks pretty vintage. 

Similarly (although back on Marrickville Road), the old Marrickville post office is another example of a beautiful historic building no longer serving its original purpose. Being Sydney, there's now a cafe inside (with the actual post office sitting behind it).

It was time for lunch, so I took another turn off Marrickville Road to this mural of Nelson Mandela. But I wasn't having South African food for lunch today.

Across the road from Nelson is a literal hole-in-the-wall place - Marrickville Pork Roll. This place is #1 on TripAdvisor for food in Marrickville so I thought I'd see what the fuss is about, while giving Marrickville's Vietnamese 8% a chance to represent.

As the name suggests, this tiny shop (the actual store is about 2 square metres in size) specialises in Vietnamese pork rolls (also called banh mi).

I opted for the BBQ pork roll with chilli ($5), and couldn't stop myself from having a bite before taking the photo. Everything about this pork roll was great - the crusty bread, the mystery meat that Viet rolls always have, the burn-your-face-off chilli. A++ would eat again.

Full of delicious sandwich, I was now at liberty to continue "completing" Marrickville.

Before I went to explore the residential "third" of the suburb, I stopped to check out some of the grander buildings on Marrickville road.

Here's Marrickville Town Hall.

And just nearby is this absolutely massive church and Catholic school which is much closer to a castle than my scruffy high school ever was. 

I finally turned off Marrickville Road and onto an Inner West staple, the "tree-lined residential street" full of terraces and small detached houses.

This was one of the nicer examples of this type of street I've come across while doing this blog.

I call this duplex house Bert and Ernie.

A few blocks north from here is Henson Park. I found this entry gate to the park quite pleasing. 

The park itself houses a very large football field (and many dogs running around).

I continued heading north and eventually took a turn off the main street onto a small alleyway.

to immediately find people on Persian rugs drinking chai. Hippies or hipsters? You be the judge.

The chai was what greeted my introduction to Addison Street Markets - Marrickville's Sunday markets.

I came a little late in the day so many stalls were starting to pack up, but the markets are your standard weekend market fare with fresh food, fresh bread, and of course plenty of ethnically inspired "street" food to tuck into.

Just next to the market is actually what I was most interested to see - "Reverse Garbage". This is where they take the term "one man's trash is another man's treasure" to heart.

If we weren't sure if the chai was for hipsters or hippies, this sign all but confirms that Reverse Garbage is firmly in the hippies camp.

Here they sell all kinds of crap, from lengths of cloth, to old CDs, to mannequin butts (can you spot the mannequin butt?)

Not needing any cloth offcuts nor any artisan sourdough, I left the community centre that houses the markets and Reverse Garbage.

To get to my next suburb, I had to walk through one final residential street. 

On my way I passed this particularly ornate house. 

And remember Bert and Ernie? Well this is Bort and Yernie. 

It's hard to give an overall summary of Marrickville. It is, by far, the most diverse suburb I've had the pleasure of documenting for this blog. Is it my favourite Sydney suburb? No, it's not, but it is a damn good jack of all trades. 

Marrickville: It'll leave a good taste in your mouth (after the chilli from the pork roll stops burning).

1 comment:

  1. Marrickville has a really good music scene developing. Camelot Lounge, Red Rattler, Lazybones Lounge, the Marrickville bowlo and Gasoline Pony!