In praise of safe spaces

Fortunately I recently stumbled upon the last safe space in Sydney’s inner west for the grumpy old white male. It’s a watering hole with a splendid view of a cement works and architecture that wouldn’t look out of place in a communist leader’s mausoleum. It’s no place for snowflakes, full of salt of the earth types, old salts from the nearby wharves and the occasional outburst of salty language. Here everybody’s truth is heard, considered and roundly jeered.

The beer is cold, the lamb is rare, the racing and the cricket are always on the television and the clink of glasses is punctuated by the whistle and thwack of dart on board. Everyone’s a winner, baby, that’s no lie. In my safe space I am known as “the world’s greatest journalist”. My drinking companions are, in no particular order, “the world’s greatest and second greatest cleaners”, “the world’s greatest printer”, “the world’s greatest plumber”, a bloke who looks like Donald Trump and a revolving assortment of fishermen with calloused hands, sunbaked squints and all manner of tall tales on ice.

The only trigger warning is when an attractive female passes outside and the cry goes up. “Window one!” “Window two!” “Window three!”. I realise I should strenuously object to this crass objectification of women. I should also eat more vegetables and less red meat, sleep longer, meditate often and not sweat the small stuff. What I do is have another sip of my beer and wait for the next outrageous yarn to be spun.

Jason Gagliardi

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42 Responses to In praise of safe spaces

  1. Confused Old Misfit

    That place should be a National Monument!

  2. Allan Charles

    And life goes on.

  3. MJ

    What do they think about Somalia and South Sudan?

  4. John Constantine

    Sounds dangerously like fixated individuals, denying the right side of history.

    Obviously requires metadata surveillance and on property inspectors to enforce compliance with all regulations.

    Comrades.

    ( hope nobody rides their motorcycle there, a few bikes in the carpark and it could be raided as a clubhouse.)

  5. H B Bear

    Done well to find anywhere in the inner west of Sydney that isn’t full of homosexuals and hipsters.

  6. Rabz

    LOL. Obviously not the Sir William Wallace (that was decades ago).

  7. Nick

    Any clues where it is Sinc? It sounds like it’s on the waterfront near the fish markets in Glebe.

  8. duncanm

    Any clues where it is Sinc? It sounds like it’s on the waterfront near the fish markets in Glebe.

    There’s a couple of places in Pyrmont which (fortunately) fit that bill.

    Corner of Harris and Bridge is a likely suspect.

    sounds like it needs research (pub crawl).

  9. Tator

    duncanm,
    sounds like an appropriate plan of action, speaking as the holder of a Masters Degree in Tavernology awarded by the Hall Committee of University Hall at Flinders Uni back in 1990. You could only earn the Masters after earning the Batchelors of Tav and Honours Degree of Tav. Each is held once a year in a 20 pub pub crawl in the CBD of Adelaide. The Batchelors requires just one standard drink at each pub, the Honours is skulling a South Australian Schooner of beer (otherwise known as a pot) at each pub, Masters is the third year and requires skulling a pot at each pub and at the last, a Jug of beer and keep it down. Some pretty horrible sights are seen out of many Masters candidates.

  10. Pickles

    White Bay Hotel. Neddy ran a bloke over there one day. Wool store men. Schooners of black.

  11. Cementafriend

    Sinclair, please look up the difference between cement and concrete. Cement is a binder. One can cement a friendship. Concrete is something that sets hard. Have you heard of concrete boots which are used by some not nice people from certain countrirs to silence opponents permanently and get rid of evidence. Concrete is slso the material from which the Gladsville bridge was constructed- the largest concrete bridge at the time in the eorld. The Pantheon in Roman still has the largest concrete dome in the eorld. Portland Cement is just one type of cement. The cement used by the Romans would these days be called hydraulic lime which sets under water. Roman cement was first used by the Greeks around 450 BC.

  12. Sinclair Davidson

    Sinclair, please look up the difference between cement and concrete.

    Why?

  13. duncanm

    I think [email protected] has it.

    It’ll be new or old , though google street view says cheap jugs of VB and carlton.

    Reminds me of the 24 hour pub up the road from Uni digs.. pool tables, seedy cab drivers (and more), sticky carpet and cheap drinks.

    Safe spaces for the middle-and-later-aged male.

  14. Cementafriend

    Sinclair, there is no cement works Sydney. The nearest is at Maldon about 80km or 50 miles away. However, most cement is now imported into NSW.
    Being an economist you should know that cement production is a lead indicator of growth and the position on the development curve. China produces about one kg per capita. Japan and South Korea went through a similar phase of close to 1kg per head. India and Indonesia have a long way to go. Vietnsm is now matching the growth of China.

  15. Roger

    In search of safe spaces

    Whereupon a metrosexual type stumbles upon a MUA pub & mistakes it for the real Australia.

    Get thee west of the Great Divide, man!

  16. Nick

    Thanks [email protected], that’s the one I was thinking of.

  17. johanna

    I stayed at the Star Hotel in Newcastle in 1974, the one immortalised by Cold Chisel.

    There were three bars. One was for wharfies, sailors and other working types. Another was a music venue aimed at the younger set, with the band playing on a portion of the large bar. A third was the haunt of gays and some of the ugliest trannies and drag queens I have ever seen.

    The music bar, where I hung out, was rowdy but policed by seven foot Islanders who rarely had to do more than politely escort people from the premises.

    As I was staying upstairs, the only solution for sleep was to drink myself into a semi-coma and then stagger upstairs and crash.

    Good times.

    When I see all those young people transfixed to their screens instead of enjoying life, I feel sad for them.

  18. Nerblnob

    mistakes it for the real Australia.

    Real Australians don’t go to the pub anymore.

    And here comes minimum alcohol pricing, an exciting new prohibition:
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-20/will-a-minimum-alcohol-price-make-any-difference/8964158

  19. Sinclair Davidson

    Sinclair, there is no cement works Sydney.

    Why do you think I care if there is a cement works in Sydney or not? Maybe there was a cement works near the pub, maybe the author used poetic licence.

  20. Leigh Lowe

    Why do you think I care if there is a cement works in Sydney or not? Maybe there was a cement works near the pub, maybe the author used poetic licence.

    This is the internet.
    Nothing but pure, unadulterated, verifiable facts will do.

  21. Tel

    Sinclair, there is no cement works Sydney.

    I presume the reference would be to Glebe Island Bulk Cement Terminal … we don’t make things in Australia but we sure import a lot, so that’s close enough to count as a “cement works”.

    Those big silos used to be a grain elevator, for export but I’m pretty sure no grain goes through there any more, the whole monstrosity is heritage listed, so we can be reminded of the concept of industry in Sydney even if all the people sitting around Pyrmont looking up at those things aren’t too sure how they work.

  22. jock

    Ahhh for the olden times. Be grateful tht you have found this small nirvana which has evidently missed the ravages of PC time. Most pubs thes days are for pc types, metrosexuals, gsys , alphabet types etc. Most ordinary blokes drink with their eyes averted and their hands in their pockets to stop any misunderstanding. Young women dress provocatively with semingly the cruel intention of catching a guy out if he says something crass like ” you look great”. Me too beckons for everyman. Will there be another generation? Sorry I wandered.

  23. Jessie

    By the sounds of it a good drinking hole in Sydney town.

    For the economists and quibblers in an otherwise entertaining yet sobering article: –

    The plant, which produces up to one million cubic metres of cement each year, has been part of the inner city landscape for more than 40 years, overlooking Blackwattle Bay and Sydney Secondary College.

    Sydney cement plant to relocate to Glebe Island under Fish Market redevelopment plans

  24. MPH

    Tel – that bit about heritage listing is one of the funniest things I’ve read on the Cat. Would make a great guest contribution to expand on and do a virtual tour of any similarly categorised facilities.

  25. Rabz

    architecture that wouldn’t look out of place in a communist leader’s mausoleum

    Great work, Gary. Some of the “architecture” can be seen in the picture you posted. Don’t think I’ve been to that pub since the late eighties.

  26. The only trigger warning is when an attractive female passes outside and the cry goes up. “Window one!” “Window two!” “Window three!”. I realise I should strenuously object to this crass objectification of women. I should also eat more vegetables and less red meat,

    Or maybe it’s just men being men, observed by a typical modern day soy boy.
    I don’t need to get into the vegetables and red meat bull then do I?

  27. dopey

    The Kauri for sure. You can buy white powder there but it’s not cement.

  28. Nato

    ‘World’s greatest drestroyer’ checking in. To think I almost missed it applying for a cushhy university admin gig. God brings good to us.
    Love the story

  29. Ubique

    What do they think of Turnbull’s 8 billion dollar Snowy battery?

  30. Stimpson J. Cat

    Yes but can you smoke?

  31. Dr Fred Lenin

    The Nazishave taxed beer beyond the workers means ,many buy bottles and drink at home ,ex pubs are eb[verywhere ,probably the u.n.communusts will be inadvertently responsible for a new industry springing up ,the illicit grog industry ,bit like the US prohibition days with crooks,mafia mobsters etc running it ,like the illicit tobacco industry they helped form. With a bit of luck the son of one of the gangsters might become president of the elites ,peoples decromatic socialite republic ,like the kennedys .
    If elected I promise to increase the excise on premium wines ,you can binge drink on it as easily as on beer ,just costs a bit more . Love the excuses for not increasing excise on premium wines ,be honest. It’s because they drink it using taxpayers money.

  32. johanna

    Excellent point, Stimpy.

    The smoking ban in the UK has caused thousands of local pubs to shut down. Instead of providing a place where the locals can get together and form a community, the wowsers have further atomised society. People now drink at home and, to quote Wodehouse, spend the long winter nights brooding about what a tick their neighbour is.

    I never go to pubs or clubs or bars any more, because being treated like a pariah by being sent outside like a naughty schoolkid to have a smoke is infuriating. The loss of congeniality and human contact right across society is apparently all worth it, even to the extent that voluntary smoking spaces are banned.

    No wonder pubs with character are no more.

  33. Tel- well said. Jessie look up the dictionary. Cement is a binder or inorganic glue. Concrete is a mixture of cement and aggregates which with the addition of water sets hard. The footpath, roads, buildings, bridges, wharfs are made with concrete. Those trucks with the rotating barrels are concrete transit trucks which were one of Australia’s great inventions. Australians have been good with concrete technology. Australians were involved with building the world’s tallest building the Burj Kalifa Dubai. But the Greens and stupid unions want ruin the country shutting down industry so we have to import and forcing those with inventive technology off shore to earn a living. Clever country? I do not think so.
    Even Sinclair on this site does not care about technology and does not seem to understand the role of commodities in the economy. He should care about limestone, cement and concrete: iron ore, iron and steel; bauxite, alumina, and aluminium,: coal, coke and power generation etc. China and India care about these to lift their population out of poverty

  34. Clam Chowdah

    Looks like someone has cement Aspergers…

  35. A guess – Kauri Foreshore Hotel.

    Couldn’t have been for 2 reasons;

    1. “The only trigger warning is when an attractive female passes outside and the cry goes up. ”
    Kauri is in Glebe, home of the GreenProg, some of the most vile, ugly, vomit inducing, hairy armpitted monstrosities imaginable. The stone statues of men who accidentally glimpsed these harridans are cleaned up each morning and used to make concrete. Rumour has it George Lucas modelled the Mos Eisley Cantina patrons on Glebe residents and that the last attractive female seen in Glebe was circa 1907.

    2. If Sinc had gone to the Kauri the locals would have used him as the main prop in a game of “Toss the Bald Fascist Gnome.”

  36. John Murphy

    Bet there wasn’t a Cultural Cringer amongst them.

    Wouln’t even know what it meant.

  37. Cementafriend:

    Being an economist you should know that cement production is a lead indicator of growth and the position on the development curve. China produces about one kg per capita. Japan and South Korea went through a similar phase of close to 1kg per head. India and Indonesia have a long way to go. Vietnsm is now matching the growth of China.

    You haven’t taken import/export into account.

  38. Winston it is position on production per capita vs GNP/capita curve that determines growth potential and being a developed nation. When development reaches a certain point which for example Japan went through the 1970’s to the early 1980’s then exports start of commodities, technology and capital. However, through corruption as with Japan development can plateau and even go backwards.
    Does not the Austrian School of economics say it does not help to stimulate demand by government spending which delayed USA coming out of the great depression. Growth is stimulated by supply. For example if governments stopped putting shackles on electricity supply Australia would have cheaper more reliable electricity which would allow cheaper production or supply of other goods and services. That also goes for government interference in labour costs.

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