Monthly Archives: February, 2014

Pizza Hut/Exciting New Development Coming Soon – Woonona, NSW

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Why Pizza Hut, I didn’t recognise you without your signature red (or green) roof and 70s decor. What were you going for here?

Woonona is notable for being the site of the first attempted landing on Australian soil by Captain James Cook in 1770. Rough seas prevented that landing, and he was forced to sail on to Botany Bay.

Pizza Hut don’t appear to have faced such conditions. Woonona’s original Pizza Hut was apparently only ever a take-away affair, with locals missing out on the eat-in experience. This meant that locals also missed out on sneezed-on salad bars, cold pizzas sitting out all day and a wide variety of leftovers fused to poorly washed plates. You’ve really gotta feel for the Woononians.

What’s interesting about this Pizza Hut is how even back in the day, when the Hut was building its trademarked eat-in restaurants all over Australia, they didn’t deem this area – between Wollongong and the Sutherland Shire – a viable enough zone to bother, instead taking over whatever this building was (possibly a panelbeater by the look of it?) and decking it out Hut-style. Why does Hut-style involve such indelible signage? A mystery for the ages…

Now, I’d like to stop proceedings right here to draw a valid comparison. I just can’t keep it bottled up inside any longer. I’ve always felt that the original, superior Pizza Hut logo:

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reminded me of another glorious former logo:

wwf old

…while the Hut’s new branding:

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is to me highly reminiscent of that other organisation’s new standard:

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Am I wrong? Is it mere coincidence, or is there some larger conspiracy at work? You bloody well decide, I’m not here to do your thinking for you!

The Hut had moved on by 2008 at the latest, and after a long time on the market, the building is now in the capable hands of the guys who were inside renovating and giving me funny looks the day I took the above photo. What, you’ve never seen a dude taking a photo of an old Pizza Hut before?

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Corner Shop/Residential – Merrylands, NSW

IMG_1866 Once upon a time, on the corner of Henson Street and Chetwynd Road, Merrylands, there existed a corner shop.IMG_1863All the locals would journey to the shop whenever they were out of the Big Three: bread, milk, cigarettes. For those who couldn’t make the trip, perhaps those too elderly to easily leave their houses, the shop provided free delivery.IMG_1865In the summertime, on their way to or from the local pool, or maybe just in the midst of riding around the streets on their BMX bikes, kids would stop in for ice cream, or drinks of the icy cold variety. IMG_1864In the 80s specifically, their choice would have been that of the new generation.IMG_1867None of that “Good on ya, Mum” nonsense here – strictly Buttercup Bread. Today, the name seems to have disappeared, but it lives on through the ‘Mighty Soft’ brand for those of you interested.IMG_1869Those shelves, once fully stocked to provide a community with the essentials, are now empty. If you imagine it as a metaphor for the emptiness of the concept of community in the modern age, you’ll probably wind up feeling pretty bummed out, so don’t do it.

This shop may be confined to Merrylands, but the underlying themes apply to just about every has-been corner shop in any suburb. They’re relics from another era, and one that can never be again.

From the archives…

I’m proud to announce that Past Lives of the Near Future has been selected by the National Library of Australia for inclusion in their Pandora internet archive!

Since 1996, the NLA has selected sites deemed culturally or historically significant to the Australian community and archived them for posterity, and it’s rewarding to learn that Past Lives fits that criteria!

The NLA plans to archive the site annually, which at the current rate is more often than I update. 

I’ve added a link to the archived Past Lives on the sidebar. A big thank you to the NLA for their hard work archiving the many images on the site (not an easy feat), and for you, the readers, for making this site what it’s become after two (!) years. I appreciate it immensely.