Marrickville Markets: Week 179

Marrickville Market statue garden: Sydney, Australia

Sydney loves it markets and what separates the Marrickville Market from all the others is its distinctively alternative vibe. It’s the kind of place where you can pick up organic food and run into a guy in a red beanie with Jesus hair that is passing out flyers for a charity concert. That obviously wasn’t my experience.

There are many reasons why these civic-minded people might like the Marrickville markets, but I’m guessing the primary reason is the food. The bread is delicious and a gluten-free option is always on the table. Green juice is available by the gallons and there’s more organic produce than you can shake a stick at.

Barret enjoying the Fritter House at the Marrickville Markets: Sydney, Australia

If you can’t wait to go home to cook your delicious vegetables, there is always the Fritter House. Barret’s plate of fritters came with dill mayo, hand cut fries, sausage, and a side salad. It was absolutely delectable and I was more than a little bit sad that I had filled up on corn fritters from a competitor’s stand.

Reverse Garbage by the Marrickville Markets: Sydney, Australia

The last and definitely best reason to visit the markets is Reverse Garbage. It’s a local institution that began in 1974 when a group of teachers came together to divert landfill-bound material that could still be used for creative projects. Forty years later the material is just as eclectic and reasonably priced.

Reverse Garbage: Marrickville, Australia

It wouldn’t hurt if the place had a spring cleaning, but that doesn’t detract from the fun of searching through the rabbit warren of curiosities. There is pretty much everything you could possibly wish to find, from plastic baubles to old video projection screens. I wish this place had been around when I was in art school!

Reverse Garbage: Marrickville, Australia

How to get to the Marrickville Markets: Cnr 142 Addison & Illawarra Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204

How to get to Reverse Garbage: 8/142 Addison Road, Marrickville NSW 2204

Cornersmith: Week 108

Cornersmith: Marrickville, Australia

Scritch scritch scritch

Barret +2 was now scribbled on a small blackboard hanging next to the door. Cornersmith, a trendy café in Marrickville, often inspired this kind of devotion. Sure other restaurants did not have a cue, but they also didn’t have a rooftop apiary and cheese making courses. Instead, the businesses along the main street had wacky didactic tube people sculptures. Totally not cool.Polaroid of the weird business sculptures along Marrickville Road: Marrickville, Australia

What was once a Vietnamese sewing thread shop was now a buzz-worthy chic café. Cornersmith was a refreshing breath of country air on a busy commercial corridor and an excellent example of sustainable urban renewal.

The faded and weatherworn posters advertising long distance calling plans and community events had been scrubbed off the glazed tile exterior. The café was small, but the high ceilings and large uncluttered windows lent airiness to the space. Jars of colorful homemade preserves on wood shelves decorated the spartan white walls.

A large chalkboard over the far end of the counter announced the locally sourced goods of the week. It reminded me of a theater marquee listing famous actors and actresses.  Hand sprouted from organic beans by Amanda Roberts.

I ordered a frothy cinnamon blood plum shake and a pork shoulder sandwich with paprika cauliflower and capers. My lunch was tasty, but more importantly it looked so pretty that I felt the need to sign up for Instagram. Actually, all of Cornersmith was ripe for off-color photos with heavy vignettes- an observation not missed by the owners. I am sure that’s how they have enticed at least half of their customers.

How can you resist this Instagram? Courtesy of the Cornersmith FB page.

As soon as we stood up our table was cleared and another couple squeezed into our warmed seats; the line outside contracted and resettled. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon and Barret and I felt good. Really good.

How to get to Cornersmith: 314 Illawarra Road, Marrickville NSW 2204

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