Alice is home

After a dream-come-true visit to New Zealand, it was special returning to days of summer rain. Alice Springs is home, and contrary to recent headlines, I think we can move into 2014 with our cup of confidence more than half-full.

 

OK, our numbers are supposedly down, and slow economic activity has seen some shops close. But this is cyclical, and as new residents arrive, they will bring new enterprises with them.

 

Addressing our shortage of residential blocks, Kilgariff is finally up and away. Thirty-three blocks is a long cry from a mini-town, but at least it’s a start. If the initial 33 sell quickly, and further interest is shown, another 33 might soon be released. And then another. And then another.

 

Before we know it, Kilgariff will be an established suburb, a desirable location in which to live and raise a family.

 

Also, I have heard that plans are afoot to demolish the old Commonwealth Bank building. If true, and if this coincides with an anticipated announcement that our height restrictions will be lifted from three storeys to seven or eight, then building in the CBD will become economically viable.

 

I know there are those who will oppose any crowding of Adelaide House and Flynn Church, but I think those worries are unnecessary.

Most cities have in their centre a living presence of what once were tall temples.

 

At one extreme, search for images of Trinity Church, a stone’s throw from Wall St. Or look for St Andrew’s Cathedral in Singapore, still standing proud in the heart of a high-rise explosion. Our growth will be a fraction of that, but we will gain, not lose, by going up.

 

Our artistic life remains exceptional. The new sculpture on the tip road leads the way, and the Desert Mob continues to innovate and excite.

 

What is needed to live well in this day and age? I know a good dentist, a good doctor and a good mechanic. We even have our own coffee roaster, or will have when Mr DuYu gets back to town.

 

For those of us lucky enough to have gone to primary school, all the world is a mere mouse click away.

 

It is possible to live well in Alice Springs, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

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6 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Posted January 28, 2014 at 10:48 am

    What a pleasant change Hal to read something positive. Yes, Alice Springs has problems like any community, but it’s still a nice place to call home.

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  2. Ray
    Posted January 27, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Thanks for the reply Russell. I do read all of your alcohol watch articles, and I too believe that something needs to be done in the major cities, where grog, combined now more with steroids, ice etc is something we must rein in, but it is more than just alcohol supply.
    Agreed, we have a problem here as well, but it goes hand in hand with disadvantage, different cultural ideals and a different way of thinking.
    You fire me up sometimes, and I fire back. But it’s good to see all views and understand that we will never all agree, and that is the biggest issue.
    How do we solve it? I think alcoholism is more of a symptom rather than the underlying disease, but I don’t have the solution, sorry.
    Unfortunately restrictions will make the barons richer. Less staff for a shorter service period but the volume will be the same. I will keep reading your articles and will reply from time to time.
    Cheers.

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  3. Russell Guy
    Posted January 26, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    @ Ray. Posted January 26, 2014 at 3:54 am
    The Australian flag flies beside the Aboriginal flag atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge on this Australia Day and I’m reminded that you still believe that Uluru should rightfully be called Ayers Rock.
    I’m not surprised to find that you post in support of populism. You too, seem to have abandoned your ad homimem formalism, while still retaining a formalist position in other posts.
    Libelling that chap from the Middle Ages is a bit of a worry, but you appear to have a sense of history.
    A populist would make a comparison between Melbourne and Alice in terms of alcohol-abuse, but principles are what’s required in the national response.
    I hope we get there, because the degradation caused by alcohol-abuse removes dignity and as Daryl Gray wrote in these posts recently, ‘there but for the grace of God go I.’
    I agree that “the misuse of alcohol is the problem”, but only a part of it. However, it’s solutions that are needed.
    65% of people in NSW are in favour of restricting trading hours (Australian 25/1/14: 20).
    Perhaps, next time you go to Sydney, rather than Melbourne, you could give us a report. They too, are quite different cities.
    I’m glad you have enjoyed some of the reasoning that I’ve attempted to contribute to this debate and regret that you have thrown the baby out with the bathwater.
    It seems an over-reaction, but at least you enjoyed reading my piece in response to Hal, even if it seems you did so for the wrong reasons.
    Alice has one of those chaps you referred to from the villages of the Middle Ages and he is quite a wit.
    He can often be seen wearing colourful hats with plastic flowers in the brim, accosting pomposity in the Mall and on occasion, sitting in a tree. I have a great admiration for him.

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  4. Ray
    Posted January 26, 2014 at 3:54 am

    Hi Hal, good to see a positive story. Sometimes it’s they way we think that can affect our surroundings as much as the way we act.
    We will grow as a town and as a result will have growing pains, but we have new developments, new buildings, new businesses, new suburbs and yes, a very good coffee roaster.
    We also have Russell, and even in the middle ages most villages had one of those.
    Naturally Russell will assume any cup you carry will be half full of that demon drink, and he will not be happy until it is up-ended and soaked in by the Red Ochre soil that is underfoot.
    Do we hold onto the romantic tag and keep ourselves locked in the 50s to remain a Town LIKE Alice, or do we progress and continually improve on the town that IS Alice.
    I like to see us moving forward. Just when I found myself starting to agree with some of Russell’s points of view, he comes out with this drivel and re-affirms my previous opinions were right. Why is it Russell, that when I flew to Melbourne in July, and stayed just around the corner from China Town, every second shop was a restaurant, with a liquor license, and there was a bottle shop across the road that stayed open until 4am, yet no violence, no begging, no vehicle damage, no rock throwing.
    Maybe it’s not the availability of alcohol at all, as there would have been at least 100 outlets with alcohol available within walking distance.
    Maybe it’s the misuse of alcohol that’s the problem. I enjoyed reading Hal’s piece, but enjoyed yours even more.

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  5. Russell Guy
    Posted January 25, 2014 at 5:13 am

    After a dream-come-true visit to New Zealand, it was special returning to days of getting pissed. Alice Springs is home, and contrary to recent headlines, I am so glad that the Memo Club and the Rock Bar are back, because my cup of confidence is now more than half-full.
    Things looked grim there for a while, but this is cyclical, and as new residents arrive, they will bring new liquor outlets with them and we can all get pissed together.
    Addressing our shortage of residential blocks, Kilgariff is finally up and away. It’s only a short drive to the bottle shop and it’s open seven days a week. I’m so glad I moved here and can call Alice home. Pity about those drunken bastards down the road, but you can’t have everything, I suppose. The town will grow pretty quickly and we’ll be right.
    Before we know it, Kilgariff will be an established suburb, a desirable location in which to live and raise a family.
    If this coincides with an anticipated announcement that our height restrictions will be lifted from three storeys to seven or eight, then building in the CBD will become economically viable and we can visit our friends in their apartment downtown.
    I like riding the lift down to the mall and mingling with Adam, Matt, Damien and the rest of the town’s hoi polloi, especially that bloke who talks the town up so nicely. He knows how to gargle that fella.
    Most cities have in their center a living presence of what once were tall temples, but we’ve got more liquor outlets per square meter than Shanghai. That’s why all the Chinese come here now.
    I especially like looking down at that old stone hospital. Such interesting night life. Not too keen on the heap of bottles in the garden, but you can’t have everything, I suppose, but our artistic life remains exceptional. And the churches flourish.
    What is needed to live well in this day and age? I know a good dentist, a good doctor and a good mechanic. We even have our own coffee roaster, or will have when Mr DuYu gets back to town, but I do miss those cocktail waitresses who do those promotions every happy hour on the roof. That’s what I like about the liquor industry, they always choose the best looking women to advertise their poison.
    For those of us lucky enough to have gone to primary school, all the world is a mere mouse click away and I can even revisit my liver op by virtual reality.
    It is possible to live well in Alice Springs, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

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  6. Ian W
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    Good on you Hal. We need more positive thinkers, especially those willing to voice their positive thoughts. Well done.

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