Venturing

Part One of Vent Visits

This Monday I took a train to Strathfield and walked in the complete opposite direct, like a lost tourist but in my own city! I do not have the best sense of direction (even with a map) but it only took me about ten minutes to find the street I was looking for – Churchill Ave, Strathfield. Churchill Ave leads from the shopping centre and Strathfield train station to apartment buildings, but the bulk of the street is cute one story dwells of brick with chimneys. About three houses from the end of the street is a fenced off yard with a Sydney Water sign warning off trespassers and containing a steel sewer vent!

My next two stops were in Burwood, Grantham Street and Railway Parade. Rather than taking the train from Strathfield to Burwood, I walked from Churchill Ave to Parramatta Road and proceeded to Grantham Street where I saw the second steel vent! This section of Parramatta Rd was full to the brim with cars going in both directions but the footpath was on the desolate side of life. The vent was located in the back corner of an importer’s visitor parking lot, which had the appearance of abandonment. No lights or life in the building a modest one story dwelling that had seen better days and no cars in the lot. The vent however is tall and imposing, I’m amazed I walked passed it twice (I was looking in the complete opposite direction)!

Then I walked down Grantham Street, Rowley Street, Mount Pleasant and Wentworth Road to Railway Parade. Railway Parade is bordered on one side by train tracks and the other apartment builds, houses and intersecting streets. This next vent was very easy to spot from a street away (in fact I’ve seen it nearly every single day on the train)! Located on the corner of a street at a junction and in the backyard of three apartment blocks with a wrap-around fence. It is even taller than the steel vents and concrete, it looks like a lonely column without a roof or building to support and fellow columns to stand up with.

The next stop on my routine was in Paisley Road, Croydon. Again I walked from Burwood to Croydon and this time was even quicker and easier to find because Railway Parade leads straight into Paisley Road. To get to Paisley Road I passed through the centre of Burwood shopping centre with the train line on one side and apartments, streets, office buildings, shops and house on the other. This vent like the last one is made of concrete and like the last one looks like a lonely column only it is bigger and more imposing!

Continuing along Paisley Road I made my way down Meta Street, Hennessy Street, Elizabeth Street, Grosvenor Crescent, Longport Street, Railway Terrace, Hunter Street and finally to my next stop The Boulevarde, Lewisham. I did get somewhat lost in Lewisham but I will maintain that it was the low light (a clear case of underestimation of the speed of winter sunsets)! This sewer vent is made of bricks and looks much like an excessively grand and oversized fireplace chimney without the house or the fireplace! Like both the concrete vents this brick one is large, but I can’t quite decide which is taller?

The final destination was Corunna Road, Stanmore. Being the last it was naturally the hardest to find! (It was quite dark at this point) I walked from The Boulevarde down Railway Terrace, Trafalgar Street and Crystal Street to Corunna Road, Stanmore (incidentally although the vent and street are recorded as being within Stanmore they are actually closer to Petersham station). This vent, like the last one is of brick but rounder, a little on the shorter side and where the Lewisham vent seemed to be positioned in between two houses, the Stanmore vent is clearly on the corner of a street smack bang in the front yard of one house. It would certainly make the conversational piece to break any awkward silences when guests come to visit.

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