Arncliffe: Amenities

Neighbourhood amenities

1. Arncliffe Library Recently renovated. New children’s area and free wi-fi. 7-11 Firth Street. Phone: 9562 1816.

2. Al-Zahra Mosque Shi’ite mosque opened in 1980. 1 Wollongong Road. Phone: 8021 8153.

3. Arncliffe Studios Stained glass and leadlight repairs. 17 Barden Street. Phone: 9567 7348.

4. Peace Bakery Fresh Lebanese bread every day. 39 Wollongong Road. Phone: 9567 0270.

5. Saint Mark Coptic Orthodox Church Former Methodist church opened in 1905. 72 Wollongong Road. Phone: 9597 1413.

6. Hijazi’s Falafel Famous for its Lebanese breakfast. 53 Wollongong Road. Phone: 9599 0726.

7. Said Pastry Cellophane-wrapped baklava in every shape and size. 106 Wollongong Road. Phone: 9567 3799.

8. Elzein Bakery Pick up a za’atar bread and pizza for under $10. 1a Firth Street. Phone: 9556 3136.

9. Woolworths Wolli Creek Has recently opened at 78/94-96 Arncliffe Street, Wolli Creek.

Related articles:

Sicilian Food Tour of Five Dock: 13 July 2013

On a lovely sunny Winter’s Saturday in mid July 2013, I did a wonderful food tour with my cousins Paola and Rosie.

Organised by Carmel Ruggeri, who co-owns La Casa Ristorante in Russell Lea, the tour was a Sicilian Food Tour that focussed on the Sydney suburb of Five Dock as a speciliast hub for sourcing great Sicilian-inspired ingredients and food.

We met at Carmela’s restaurant La Casa Ristorante at 9.45am where we were greeted by wonderfully warm hospitality and a lovely freshly roasted coffee before the tour began.

After loading in to a mini van, we soon arrived at Five Dock and our first stop, La Cremeria De Luca.

This place was really special and so beautiful inside. Take a look.

IMG_2770

IMG_2771

IMG_2768

They made wonderful granita here, which is a traditional breakfast in Sicily. We tried one made from ice, frozen espresso coffee, blended with cream and sugar. It was delicious! Carmel said the recipes would be supplied.

IMG_2773

IMG_2774

IMG_2781

IMG_2785

A brother and sister team have opened up Cremeria De Luca, with help from their Dad, who is quite a character. The grandfather had a gelateria in Siciliy and a picture of the Grandfather’s licene in the shop is a lovely, nostalgic touch.

IMG_2772

IMG_2787

Next up on the Sicilian trail was Caminiti Butchery, across the road. They had set up a barbeque out the front of the shop to try delectable sausages that they make. There were two types: Sicilian Pork and Fennel; and Provolone and Tomato.

The pork and fennel ones were lovely, but in terms of an unusual taste, the Provolone cheese and tomato ones were amazing.

IMG_2788

IMG_2789

Next up was Bar Rizzo and some amazing arancinis. Bar Rizzo is a cafe now more known for its breakfasts. But they also do the most amazing arancini, according to Carmela.

We tried them and they were sensational.

The lady who made them said the recipe came from her brother. Arborio rice is used, as is neapolitan sauce. Egg and parmesan is mixed into the rice. Some have mozzarella, peas, bolognese sauce. They are prepared for celebrations and the lady who made them said they were “a lot of work”.

Our stroll took us past a memorial to Sicilians in the area. Here we saw elderly men hanging out on benches and shooting the breeze.

Onwards to Pasticceria Tamborrino, the most amazing cake shop.

Cristina was our guide who, together with her partner, run the place. Her partner trained in Rome as a pastry chef and opened the store 12 years ago. There is a huge variety.

We sat at a big table at the back of the store and were informed: cannoli are prepared on a stick, then deep fried. They are then filled with custard, ricotta (Southern Italian specialty), or chocoloate (Rome and Northern Italian specialty).

Large cannoli bubble up because white wine is used. Cottonseed oil is used for frying. Sicilian varieties of canneli have candied fruit and pistachio.

Cristina also showed us the most famous cake Pasticceria Tamborrino make, the baccio cake. It is made from an elastic chocolate (a secret ingredient, says Cristina) and filled wih semi-freddo. It won’t melt in a fridge and is 76% chocoloate.

Our final stop was Peter’s Delicatessen. This place has for several generations been Raineri’s delicatessen.

Here, they strive for traditionalism. There’s Sicilain olive oil and San Daniele proscuitto. We tried a cheese from the North of Italy, the Veneto region, called “Asiago” . It was mild, young cow milk cheese.

Our guide explained that we can’t bring salami from Italy. Some of the Australian salami makers have been going for a long time and this deli uses Casa products, from St Mary’s.

We also tried a pecorino, sheep’s milk, cheese. It was aged uner pepper and because it is very light, you “can eat a tonne”. It had a lovley aftertaste.

Next up was a salami from Lismore and some Provolone piccante. We also had mortadella from Perth. Peter explained that there was not a prestigious following for mortadella here as there is in Italy. The chicken and chilli was excellent.

Peter then proceeded to make us a three cheeses pasta disha, using home made fusilli or strozzapreti. The cheesese were asiago, parmeggiano and truffle pecorino.

We tried the truffle pecorino too and it was out of this world good. The flavour of truffles cut through and deeply infused in that beautiful cheese!

CREMERIA DE LUCA

84 Ramsay Rd
Corner First Avenue
Five Dock

CAMINITI BUTCHERY

185 Great North Rd

Five Dock
(02) 9713 7027

BAR RIZZO

157 Great North Rd

Five Dock

PASTICCERIA TAMBORRINO

73-75 Great North Road

Five Dock

PETER’S DELICATESSEN

97 Great North Rd
Five Dock New South Wales 2046
(02) 9713 6886

Related articles:

Alpha leads Sydney odyssey: Peter Conistis

Tags

, , , ,

Peter Conistis’s new venture Alpha is a monument to everything that’s great about Greeks in Australia

Chef Peter Conistis shows off Alpha. Picture: Adam Taylor

Chef Peter Conistis shows off Alpha. Picture: Adam TaylorSource: News Limited

 THE freshness and zing of the flavours, and the idea of ordering enough for a table to share, are trends very much in favour.

One thing you say about Greeks is they don’t mind building a monument. Greece, of course, has one of the world’s most impressive collections of marbleware, done large, but even a drive around Sydney reveals the wonders of red-brick and faux-colonnade suburban monuments Greek-Australians affectionately call “wog mansions”.

And now Sydney has the Hellenic Club, a building, or group of buildings, in the process of a revitalisation so wonderful it’s like a gift to the city from the Greek community. It’s hard not to be impressed, and grateful.

The first part of this redevelopment to open is Alpha, a restaurant occupying the bones of an 1880s church on Castlereagh St. The space has been disused since the 1950s, with threats to tear it down to build an office tower mercifully never realised.

f7effb6c-fbed-11e2-983c-b7c40a81e930

New-fashioned dolmades at Alpha. Picture: Adam Taylor

New-fashioned dolmades at Alpha. Picture: Adam TaylorSource: News Limited

 

The $4 million-plus renovation has been transformative. Walk through sliding glass doors to find an airy white space with probably 20ft ceilings held aloft by arches and colonnades, fitted out with clever fixtures that include lamps in the shape of fishing nets.

In the kitchen is one of Sydney’s favourite Greek sons, Peter Conistis, a man whose culinary journey has been something of a personal odyssey spanning 20 years.

His credits include Civic Dining, Omega, Cosmos and Eleni’s, some of which have succeeded fantastically, others which haven’t. After a two-year hiatus, he’s back, and how.

At Alpha, Conistis has been careful not to alienate the Greek diners who are here in their droves, while striving to attract a new clientele with food that’s at once homely and honest, precise and sophisticated.

It’s village food, really, but done beautifully. It’s a happy coincidence that the freshness and zing of the flavours, and the idea of ordering enough for a table to share, are trends very much in favour right now.

ef67e81a-fbed-11e2-983c-b7c40a81e930

 The rabbit and olive pie at Alpha. Picture: Adam Taylor

The rabbit and olive pie at Alpha. Picture: Adam TaylorSource: News Limited

 

The menu opens with a selection of dips that include an excellent and rustic sheep’s milk yoghurt tzatziki ($7), all chunky with dill, garlic, mint and cucumber; and melitzanosalata ($8), a gorgeous smoked eggplant dip, eaten with fluffy, charred pita ($2 per person).

Dolmades ($10), those famous Greek vine leaf parcels, are sexed up with almond rice and preserved lemon, while ouzo-cured ocean trout ($11) with grilled fennel and ruby grapefruit, is coolly summery, ambitious and eats well.

Diners with even the barest knowledge of Greek food will find much that’s recognisable, from meatballs in tomato and red wine ($11), to an oregano-and-lemon marinated lamb shoulder ($29/$39), spanakopita ($16), Greece’s famed spinach and fetta pie, and twice-cooked octopus with spinach and white beans ($21).

ee3957ee-fbed-11e2-983c-b7c40a81e930

 The gorgeously luxe

The gorgeously luxe “retro” scallop moussaka at Alpha. Picture: Adam TaylorSource: News Limited

 

The sentimental will love Conistis’s nod to his past via two “vintage” dishes from 1993 – one a gorgeously luxe “moussaka” ($24) of just-cooked scallops layered between slices of creamy eggplant, the other a rabbit and black olive pie ($32), that’s dense and gamey, the rabbit flaked so it resembles the texture of tuna, the filo pastry dry and crisp.

The salads are lovely. Try a Horiatiki salad ($13) of cucumber, capsicum, red onion, olives and a slab of fetta that’s like a day trip to Athens. The crunchy, textural cabbage salad with kohlrabi ($7) is also very good.

fa4e668c-fbed-11e2-983c-b7c40a81e930

Alpha's Horiatiki salad is like a day trip to Athens. Picture: Adam Taylor

Alpha’s Horiatiki salad is like a day trip to Athens. Picture: Adam TaylorSource: News Limited

 

Desserts, which include chocolate baklava ($6), are Greek-strength sweet, and the addition this week of skilled pastry chef Nic Waring (ex-Sailors Club) to the staff will add class.

The Greek and Australian wine list has its hits and misses while the service, under ex-Aria maitre d’ Jye Hong, is enthusiastic, if not necessarily very Greek.

I love Alpha. If I worked nearby I’d eat here a lot, not just for Conistis’s food that’s as comforting and wholesome as that of a favourite yiayia’s, but because the project is devilishly ambitious and enterprising.

Later this year, Conistis will open a fine diner upstairs in a gorgeous space yet to be finished, and a mezze bar will open on Elizabeth St next year.

In the meantime, enjoy Alpha. It’s a very fine monument to everything that’s great about Greeks in this country.

f5778a76-fbed-11e2-983c-b7c40a81e930

Greek Donuts with spiced honey syrup and walnut ice-cream at Alpha Restaurant. Picture: Adam Taylor

Greek Donuts with spiced honey syrup and walnut ice-cream at Alpha Restaurant. Picture: Adam TaylorSource: News Limited

 

ALPHA

238 Castlereagh St, Sydney

Phone 90981111

Web alpharestaurant.com.au

Food Greek

Open For lunch, Monday-Friday, and dinner, Monday-Saturday

Service Excellent

Value Exceptional

Highlight Beautiful food, beautiful place

Lowlight The lunch menu is limited

Rating 7.5/10

Secret Marrickville

Simon Black explores the inner west’s multicultural village. Pictures Rohan Kelly

FOOD

Tasty retreat

IF you’ve eaten a buffet breakfast in NSW chances are you’ve tasted Richard Deignan’s bacon.

The fourth-generation butcher and owner of the Black Forest Smoke House on Victoria Rd supplies most of the large hotel chains in Sydney and surrounding suburbs.

“If you’ve stayed in any of the large hotels in the city you’ve woken up to our breakfast,” Mr Deignan said. “Which is lucky, during the GFC the one thing, the one constant was breakfast. It helped us to make it through.”

Marrickville - Secret Suburbs

Black Forest Smokehouse owner Richard Deignan with a Hand rolled double smoked Ham.Source: News Limited

While most of Mr Deignan’s business is supplying chains and wholesalers he still maintains a small shopfront on his 1000sqm factory.

The suburb is known for its produce, from the Marrickville pork roll which sees a lunchtime queue at the Hellenic Bakery and Cake store, to the organic markets on the weekend.

Every cheese and pasta producer has a shopfront with the local producers and council banding together to create a Made in Marrickville brand.

Owner and manager of the The Pasta Factory on Buckley St, Gino Farrugia, said the food community is relatively unknown in surrounding suburbs.

“You pay $30 (in other suburbs) for what you can buy here for $7,” he said.

ARTS

A thriving theatre hot spot

Marrickville - Secret Suburbs

Producer Jessica Burns and Monique Salle at The Factory Theatre, 105 Victoria Road, Marrickville.Source: News Limited

LIKE much of the inner west Marrickville is becoming a centre for arts with many theatres, art galleries and boutique coffee houses cropping up in the once industrial suburb.

On Faversham St the famous Red Rattler theatre continues to host everyone from musicians, artists and designers to the more ambiguous “experimentalists” and activists.

The artistic community is strong in Marrickville with more than 40 arts spaces, including the ESP Gallery on Illawarra Rd and Factory 49 on Shepherd St.

THE WARREN

Past glories

Marrickville - Secret Suburbs

Corinna, mum Paola and Tharen Candi walking home from school past the ruins from an old castle at The Warren.Source: News Limited

THERE is a castle in Marrickville which still has its own feudal community.

Wool merchant, politician and eccentric millionaire Thomas Holt built The Warren, a gothic mansion complete with art galleries, Turkish baths and rabbit breeding ground (hence the name) in 1864.

While Holt left Australia in 1883 and the castle was demolished in 1919 after playing host to an order of Carmelite nuns and an artillery training camp during World War I, the area, several blocks long, is still known by locals as The Warren.

“My husband grew up here,” resident Paola Candi says. “He doesn’t tell people he’s from Marrickville; he says he’s from The Warren.”

WHAT’S UP WITH THOSE METAL SCULPTURES?

Marrickville - Secret Suburbs

Things of interest around the suburb of Marrickville. Statues on shop awnings on Marrickville Road.Source: News Limited

The strange figures perched above the shopfronts in Marrickville are the work of Victorian artist Ces Camilleri who erected sculptures prior to the 2000 Olympics.

“It was funny because Marrickville used to have a bad name down in Melbourne,” Camilleri said. “People would say to me `oh it’s pretty rough there isn’t it’. It doesn’t seem like that anymore, it’s much more welcoming.”

Marrickville - Secret Suburbs

Marrickville — Secret Suburbs. Things of interest around the suburb of Marrickville. Statues on shop awnings on Marrickville Road.Source: News Limited

Mr Camilleri returns to the suburb each year to maintain the sculptures and has noticed a change.

“There’s more artwork,” he said. “And people are happier. It’s just a nice culture sort of place now.”

REVERSE GARBAGE

Trash becomes treasure

Marrickville - Secret Suburbs

Warehouse Manager Andrew Cutts at Reverse Garbage.Source: News Limited

A MASSIVE T-Rex head, a 2m King Kong and coffee cup jellyfish were all garbage once, but now they’re part of Australia’s largest creative reuse centre.

Located in warehouse eight at the Addison Road Community Centre Reverse Garbage was the brainchild of a collective of school teachers who, in 1974, wanted an easy way to source materials for craft collection.

About 100 football fields worth of recyclable materials per year finds their way back into reuse rather than ending up on the trash.

Here you can find a piano for $80, hundreds of store mannequins, clothing, books, DVDs and some astonishingly hip-looking furniture.

“We’ve started to do reupholstering lately,” manager Andrew Cutts said. “For example we had some old purple cinema curtains donated and an ugly old vinyl couch.”

Marrickville - Secret Suburbs

Here you can find a piano for $80, hundreds of store mannequins, clothing, books, DVDs and some astonishingly hip-looking furniture.

“We’ve started to do reupholstering lately,” manager Andrew Cutts said. “For example we had some old purple cinema curtains donated and an ugly old vinyl couch.”

PARKS

Solid as a brick

Marrickville - Secret Suburbs

Hunter Schiller, 4, playing at Enmore Park.Source: News Limited

ONCE upon a time these were the brick pits which helped build Sydney with a single factory forging up to 300,000 bricks per week from the clay earth around Marrickville.

When the boom ended the pits became old and unused, eventually filling in with rainwater and posing a public safety hazard with drownings occurring in several of them.

The council resumed the old pits in the 20s and 30s creating many of the small public parks which populate the suburb.

Marrickville - Secret Suburbs

But the history of the area is lost on four-year-old Hunter Shiller who simply wants to get to the top of the rocket slide.

“The rocket is the best thing,” he said. “But they block it off.

“I want to get up there.”

The top levels of the slide are now blocked off to the public in much the same way as the brick pits were filled in with dirt but Hunter and mum Carolyn still enjoy the rest of the rides in the afternoon sun.

The Best Ten Cafes in Sydney’s Inner West

The Best Ten Cafes in Sydney’s Inner West

We’re all devoted to our own local cafe, but there’s no denying that the inner west has had particularly rich pickings of them lately. After a spate of new openings in 2012, the area offers everything from big-breakfast old faithfuls to fine-dining-trained chefs and experimental commune-type sanctuaries.

But if there’s one quality that ties these disparate breakfast-to-lunch hangouts together, it must be their sense of community. They all pride themselves on their local and hyperlocal produce, in-house preparation techniques, and nose for what their most important customers — locals — want.

So if you’re an inner westie, here’s our guide to the ten best cafes you’ll want to visit and revisit. And if you’re not from the area, well, it’s time for an expedition.

1. Cornersmith

Cornersmith is a legend worthy of its reputation. Originally a thread shop, the space is beautifully pared back, with a stark, tiled wall, a mustard ceiling and nary a vintage poster or knickknack in site. It feels a little French and a little like you’re sitting in a large kitchen of an old Australian home. A blackboard displays the simple menu, including a list of what fresh produce they have in that week. The menu revolves around these ingredients, which the co-owners, James and Alex, gather locally as much as possible — Marrickville residents who grow vegetables trade their excess for a jar of home-made jam or relish. Everything is made from scratch (they even have their own beehive), the service is super-friendly, the coffee is great.

314 Illawarra Road, Marrickville; www.facebook.com/pages/Cornersmith/294576130569750

2. The Grounds of Alexandria

The team behind the Grounds have taken an industrial warehouse and transformed it into a homely, wholesome sanctuary. In fact, it’s almost a town. There’s the garden, which grows produce for the kitchen and doubles as an outside eating area for take-away meals. Listen carefully, you’ll find the chickens around here too. There’s also a kids’ playground, gardening classes, on-site bakery, and a coffee roasting facility incorporating testig and a boutique school. On a Saturday morning, the place is brimming with families, children joyously patting ducks, bunnies, and guinea pigs that don’t look too perturbed by the attention. It’s tempting to see this as some kind of cult — though one that truly justifies the following.The only downside of this experimental paradise that we can see is the time you’re likely to wait to get fed. Turn up early, plan a weekday visit, or pack your patience and wait for a table with a coffee in the garden.

Building 7A, 2 Huntley Street, Alexandria; www.groundsroasters.com

3. Double Roasters

Double Roasters has breathed life into a 1950s warehouse. Inside the cafe is a wave of activity: the espresso machine is purring away, with the barista furiously pumping out hot coffee; the coffee blender is sucking and spitting out aromatic beans; and staff are scurrying back and forth with plates of food. One of the selling points of Double Roasters is its passion for coffee. Single origin beans are roasted on site in 12kg batches, ensuring superior quality and consistency. The food menu is straightforward, but you’ll definitely get bang for your buck.

199 Victoria Rd, Marrickville; www.doubleroasters.com

4. Excelsior Jones

It’s hard not to fall in love with Excelsior Jones. The friendly cafe sits in what used to be an old corner store in Ashfield and is a welcome addition to a quiet neighbourhood that was, before Excelsior, devoid of a local haunt. Co-owners Anthony Svilicich and James Naylor are both ex Le Monde, and also on board to bring a touch of brilliance to the modest menu is Adrian Borg, who previously held stints at Assiette and District Dining. House-cured salmon hash with pearl shallots, fried buckwheat, poached egg, and fresh herbs ($16) is nourishing and tasty to say the least, while the bacon and egg sandwich with capsicum relish and aioli ($10) will please any fan of this staple. The team is incredibly enthusiastic about providing a place where locals and people from all walks of life are welcome and feel comfortable, and the atmosphere definitely reflects this.

139 Queen Street, Ashfield; www.excelsiorjones.com

5. The Counter

There’s been a gradual takeover in the inner west cafe scene of smaller, well-designed cafes that focus primarily on coffee. Which, of course, a good cafe should. But the Counter in Petersham has also managed to include all the right eggs in its basket. Breakfast options are simple but with added tasty flares such as sourdough bread or homemade mayonnaise. The Smith’s Sister ($14) is a classic of slow poached eggs and bacon on sourdough, while the Mr Smith Sambo ($9.50) mixes a soft egg, bacon, tomato relish, and mayonnaise between toasted sourdough. While there is limited space and you might find yourself having a bit of a wait for a table, the delightful staff, and fast service means you won’t be frustrated by this smaller cafe.

96 Audley St, Petersham; 02 9560 2949

6. The Rag Land

It’s no secret that Redfern is definitely on the up. A little more gentrified, a little more hip. And while the Redfern/Waterloo border isn’t exactly Sydney’s most happening hotspot just yet, the Rag Land — a play on its Raglan Street location and light, bright bric-a-brac interior — is certainly a place worth visiting. Great food, sweet digs, and some winning coffee from one of the nicest teams we’ve met for a long time ranks high in our books. It’s also more than reasonably priced, welcoming, unpretentious, community-minded, and has FBi radio peeps winging it down the road.

129 Raglan Street, Redfern

7. Black Star Pastry

Just off King Street in Newtown, this hole-in-the-wall patisserie is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. With rebels in the kitchen and hipsters on the floor, Black Star is one of a kind. What sets them apart from the rest? The creativity tablespooned into every single mixing bowl. And the end result? An eclectic combo of offerings, sure to wow all of one’s senses. For beginners, we recommend the strawberry watermelon cake with rose cream (four potions for $24). Then, try the lemon meringue tart with basil jelly, a genius concoction that will have you ordering a dozen at a time. For the kids, there’s Ginger Ninjas ($4), which have replaced the somewhat jaded gingerbread man at this happening hotspot.

277 Australia St, Newtown; www.blackstarpastry.com.au

8. Trainspotting

Choose life. Choose a job. Choose breakfast. Given it shares its name with the famous nineties drug film, it’s apt that Trainspotting is drawing addicts — albeit of a different kind. The brainchild of Cameron Macpherson, previously of Restaurant Pepper in Balmain and Pier in Rose Bay, this unassuming café is giving Lewisham locals a long-awaited caffeine kick, and coffee connoisseurs something new to buzz about. The breakfast menu features the usual suspects as well as a number of in-house specialties. The Trainspotting Envy ($13) — poached eggs on a bed of spinach leaves topped with a feta and basil sauce — goes down a treat.

Shop 1, 3 Victoria Street, Lewisham

9. Paper Cup

Paper Cup is a Middle Eastern treat in the inner west. As well as coffees (Coffee Alchemy beans, roasted in nearby Marrickville) the tiny galley service area puts out a focused breakfast menu and sandwiches, with Middle Eastern flavours providing a hit of spices and texture to the signature dishes. Arabian-style bircher muesli with poached fruit, yoghurt, pistachios and honey ($10), and the Dr Shakshuka eggs poached in cumin and chilli-infused tomato sauce with local ricotta and fetta ($13) are both excellent. There is a sweet local vibe here. The staff chat to the customers, and one of the parents from the school across the road supplies the gluten free chocolate brownies; another the chai tea. Everything else (besides the bread) is prepared right in front of you, with the assistance of an induction cooktop and slow cooker.

157/161 Cambridge St, Stanmore; papercupcoffee.com.au

10. Fleetwood Macchiato

There’s plenty to like about Fleetwood Macchiato aside from its punchline sagacity. The cosy cafe in the quiet neighbourhood of Erskineville is inviting from the moment you step in. Owners Tara, David, and Jai have previously already worked together so are no strangers to the industry and it’s obvious. The simple fit out of wood panelling and white walls is home to a combination of good food, relaxed atmosphere and friendly service. Bread is provided from Organic Bread Bar in Paddington and it’s worth noting that whatever they’re putting between the slices is homemade and incredibly mouth-watering. A bacon and egg roll comes smashed with avocado, mustard mayo, spicy sriracha sauce, pickles, and mushrooms ($12.50) and a wholemeal baguette is overflowing with fig, taleggio, fennel, and a well-dressed watercress and mesclun salad mix ($11).

43 Erskineville Road, Erskineville; www.fleetwoodmacchiato.com

By the Concrete Playground team.

57134 Theory and Creative Writing

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular semester, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

UTS: Communication: Creative Practice
Credit points: 8 cp
Result type: Grade, no marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.

Handbook description

This is a core subject for two of the graduate writing programs and one which provides valuable theoretical and historical contexts for students’ own writing. It introduces students to major developments in literary theory and examines in close detail a number of key texts from several genres that illuminate the use of theory for the practising writer. It also introduces students to some of the major developments in western literature, such as realism, modernism and postmodernism, as well as to the narrative theories that underlie these developments, particularly in relation to contemporary writing. Students critically explore ideas on writing directly arising from their theoretical and other reading, both in classroom discussion and in their written work. Students also workshop their creative writing, which is expected to reflect aspects of writing and literary theory that has been explored in the subject.

This subject:

  • contextualises writing by examining literary movements, ideas and developments
  • promotes essential critical and creative thought in relation to reading and writing
  • enables a practical understanding of aesthetics and cultural debates
  • enables exploration and experimentation of ideas in writing practice.

 

Subject objectives/outcomes

At the completion of this subject, students are expected to:

  1. understand the relationship between literary theories and writing practices
  2. have developed their own critical voice
  3. apply that critical voice to their own work and that of others
  4. have improved their skills in analysing the writing of others
  5. appreciate the diversity and possibilities of theoretical approaches to writing
  6. be able to apply theoretical approaches to their own creative writing.

 

Contribution to course aims and graduate attributes

This subject:

  • contextualises writing by examining literary movements, ideas and developments
  • promotes essential critical and creative thought in relation to reading and writing
  • enables a practical understanding of aesthetics and cultural debates
  • enables exploration and experimentation of ideas in writing practice.

 

Teaching and learning strategies

Reading and writing activities will be conducted via several modes, including formal and informal lectures, seminar presentations, workshopping activities, research, in-class discussion and analysis. Students will also participate in the UTS Online Blackboard learning system to exchange material for discussion and to circulate drafts of their work for feedback prior to classes. Material supplementary and complementary to the weekly lectures will also be posted on UTS Online.

 

Content

Critical Reading and Writing
While readers can read without being writers, the reverse is impossible. As Alberto Manguel reminds us in A History of Reading (1997), the first maker of messages and creator of signs was meaningless without his/her logical other: ‘Writing required a reader.’ Therefore students are required to read closely the work of other writers to understand the possibilities open to them. The readings include exemplary texts in several genres, critical essays, literary and cultural theory. We shall be doing a close study of the readings, paying particular attention to the relationship between critical theory and practice, as represented in the key set texts, and to the broader cultural and historical contexts of the authors studied. Students will present a seminar paper reflecting a close reading and analysis of the examples they choose to illustrate the exploration of their topic. These examples shall be from the reader or the list of set texts. However as students are encouraged to read widely, examples from other texts may be considered for study and discussion; if this is the case, it will be each student’s responsibility to provide copies of these readings to the class before their scheduled seminar presentation. Drafts of these presentations may be circulated beforehand via UTS Online.

Creative Reading and Writing
Every workshop is informed by the belief that continual and detailed examination of one’s writing within a group provides the best context for developing creative writing. This philosophy stretches back at least as far as Dorothea Brande’s writing workshops in the 1930s, where she promoted ‘corrective reading': the refinement of work by application of constant self-criticism. The workshop enables students to acquire and develop the process of corrective reading within an atmosphere of generous yet rigorous scrutiny. Each student will present their own writing for discussion in workshop either in small groups or to the whole class at least once during the semester, and will receive both oral and written feedback from the rest of the class. The workshop will be supportive of risk-taking and experimentation, and the feedback will aim to raise questions and identify problems through constructive criticism offered with goodwill and generosity. One piece of creative work is to be handed in for assessment; this work will be partly inspired and shaped by the theoretical components of the subject and will ideally be an example of theory in practice.

 

Assessment

Assessment item 1: An academic essay of 2,500-3,000 words, reflecting a close reading and analysis of the chosen topic and discussing the relationship between theory and writing. The essay will originate from a ten-minute class presentation during which the student will receive feedback from the lecturer and peers.

Objective(s): a, b, c, d
Weighting: 50%
Length: Word Limit is 2,500–3,000 words
Assessment criteria:
    • Insightful reading of the set text/s
    • Logical and thorough development of critical ideas
    • Application of theoretical approaches/arguments to the set text/s
    • Clarity and appropriateness of expression to the essay form
    • Effective presentation of the work including correct referencing and bibliography.
    • Evidence of supplementary research, including recent refereed articles from library databases

Assessment item 2: A piece of creative writing demonstrating theory in practice

Objective(s): a, c, e, f
Weighting: 50%
Length: 3,000 words or equivalent
Assessment criteria:
    • Originality and imaginative quality of work
    • Structural and stylistic accomplishment
    • Creative reflection of theoretical approaches
    • Professional presentation of the work.

 

Minimum requirements

Students are expected to read the subject outline to ensure they are familiar with the subject requirements. Since class discussion and participation in activities form an integral part of this subject, you are expected to attend, arrive punctually and actively participate in classes. If you experience difficulties meeting this requirement, please contact your lecturer. Students who have a reason for extended absence (e.g., illness) may be required to complete additional work to ensure they achieve the subject objectives.

 

Recommended texts

Online readings available through library website

  • Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary. (Novel) Any recent edition
  • V. de Sica. The Bicycle Thief. (Film) Available to view in library

 

References

The following is a select list of references which students will find useful for this subject. All books are available in the UTS library.

Reference works:
Abrams, M.H. A Glossary of Literary Terms (1988)
Fowler, Roger (ed). A Dictionary of Modern Critical Terms (1987)
Harris, Robert. ‘A Glossary of Literary Terms’ http://www.virtualsalt.com/litterms.html
Lentriccia, Frank & Thomas McLaughlin (eds). Critical Terms for Literary Study (1987)
Peck, John & Martin Coyle. Literary Terms and Criticism, a students’ guide (1984)
Saunders, Ian. Open Texts, Partial Maps: a literary theory handbook (1993)
Wolfreys, Julian (ed). Critical Keywords in Literary and Cultural Theory(2003)

Theory and criticism:
Bal, Mieke. Introduction to the Theory of Narrative (1985)
Barthes, Roland. A Roland Barthes Reader, ed. & introd. Susan Sontag (1982)
Derrida, Jacques. Acts of Literature, ed. Derek Attridge (1992)
Eagleton, Mary (ed). Feminist Literary Theory, a reader (1986)
Eagleton, Terry. Marxism and Literary Criticism (1976)
—————— Literary Theory: an introduction (1983; 1996)
Foucault, Michel. The Foucault Reader, ed. Paul Rabinow (1984)
Frow, John. What Was Postmodernism? (1991)
Jameson, Frederic. The Political Unconscious: narrative as a socially symbolic act (1981)
Kermode, Frank. The Art of Telling: essays in fiction (1983)
—————— An Appetite for Poetry: essays in literary interpretation (1989)
Hawkes, Terence. Structuralism and Semiotics (1977)
Holquist, Michael. Dialogism: Bahktin and his world
Homer, William Innes. The Usage of Contemporary Criticism Clarified (1999)
Hutcheon, Linda. A Poetics of Postmodernism: history, theory, fiction (1988)
—————— & Joseph Natoli (eds). A Postmodern Reader (1993)
The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism (ed Michael Groden, Martin Kreiswirth & Imre Szeman) (2004)
Kerschner, R.B. Joyce, Bakhtin and Popular Literature: chronicles of disorder (1989)
Lodge, David. Modern Criticism and Theory: a reader (1988)
The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism (Gen Ed Vincent B. Leitch) (2001)
Norris, Christopher. Deconstruction: theory and practice (1982)
Rimmon-Kenan, Shlomith. Narrative Fiction: contemporary poetics (1983)
Rivkin, Julie & Michael Ryan (eds). Literary Theory: an anthology (1998)
Tompkins, Jane P (ed). Reader-Response Criticism, from Formalism to Poststructuralism (1980)
Wolfreys, Julian. Literary Theory: a reader and a guide
—————— Introducing Literary Theories; a guide and a glossary (2001)

Cultural/historical commentary:
Davis, Mark. Gangland: cultural elites and the new generationalism (1997)
Docker, John. In a Critical Condition; struggles for control of Australian literature (1984)
Gelder, Ken & Paul Salzmann. The New Diversity: Australian fiction 1970-88 (1989)
Manguel, Alberto. A History of Reading (1997)

Writing guides/writers on writing:
Brande, Dorothea. Becoming a Writer (1981)
Dillard, Annie. The Writing Life (1989)
Disher, Gary. Writing Fiction (1983)
Lodge, David. The Practice of Writing (1996)
Plimpton, George (ed). Writers at Work, the Paris Review interviews (1981)

Green-minded residents bag a banner

Tags

live_green08
 
Author:
Posted:
Friday, 22 August 2008
BY LINDA DANIELE

Banners flown in Sydney’s streets have been given a new lease of life. The used banners are now being transformed into carry bags, the first of which were snapped up by visitors to the City’s recent Live Green festival.

Council’s senior project co-ordinator Kath McLaughlan said the banners to bag project, a partnership between Council and Marrickville’s Reverse Garbage, was a successful example of turning waste into a resource.

‘A stockpile of City of Sydney banners had been growing and growing,’ she said. ‘They are a fantastic resource but we just didn’t know how to turn them into a reusable item.’

Reverse Garbage is a non-profit cooperative that collects industrial discards for resale. Projects manager Mary-Jean Newton explained that while most people are keen recyclers, many still struggle to come to terms with how to reuse certain materials.

After brainstorming ideas ranging from outdoor pillow covers to horse pyjamas, Reverse Garbage eventually settled on cutting and sewing the 4.5 metre by 1.5 metre banners to produce practical and durable shoulder bags with straps.

Volunteers were originally sewing the bags by hand, before Willy Suwanto offered the services of his embroidery and design business, Bordir. ‘We wanted to keep it local and with the Live Green festival fast approaching, we are so lucky we found him,’ Ms Newton said.
Charged with the massive task of making the first batch of 3000 bags, Mr Suwanto said the project gave him butterflies in the stomach. ‘I thought it would take one and a half to two months but we were still going right up to the end,’ he said. Mr Suwanto had two people sewing the bags and said it was possible to make ten bags from each banner.

Giving back to the community is not new to Willy Suwanto. He has visited hospitals and taken children with disabilities on motorbike rides.

The first batch of bags were made from the city’s old 2030 banners, displayed around the CBD earlier this year, and distributed free at Live Green. Each bag featured a tag declaring: ‘I used to be a City of Sydney banner’ with a vintage date.

‘We still have lots of banners, we’ve had them for years and they are still for sale, but they don’t go out as fast they come in. It’s great that council has taken the intiative through its waste educators to get a project like this going,’ Ms Newton said.

More than 1600 street banner poles are positioned throughout the city, at locations on George Street, Martin Place, Macquarie Street, Oxford Street, Taylor Square, Williams Street and Kings Cross.

Mother’s tribute to her ray of sunshine

Arthur Haines was a 13-year-old boy on school holidays, looking forward to a day at the Easter Show, when he stayed at a friend’s house in Walker Street, Waterloo.

“It was Good Friday,” says Arthur’s mother Julianne Szabo, ten years on from the tennager’s tragic death. “The boys were going to the Easter Show the next day. They wanted to get an early start.”

Arthur was sleeping in a room in a three-storey terrace, when a molotov cocktail crashed through a kitchen back door. Within minutes the whole house was ablaze and Arthur was trapped in a top bedroom.

Arthur eventually got out of the home but died in hospital from his injuries 11 weeks later. “He would have woken in a daze and then made his way down. He came out with no protection, wearing only his favourite blue denim jeans”, says Ms Szabo.

Arthur’s young life was cut short senselessly, murdered in a feud between neighbours that spread until it divided the entire street.

The Coroner’s Court inquest in 2001 into Arthur’s death heard that the feud in Walker Street began between Janine Masuda, the owner of the house Arthur was staying at, and her neighbour Fay Dwyer. It allegedly spread to Mrs Dwyer’s sons and daughter Sharon and her de facto husband Greg Walker, who lived down the road and a raft of others who lived on or regularly visited the street.

But when residents and visitors to Walker Street were summonsed to explain the firebomb at the inquest, most chose not to name names.

A $100,000 reward has been offered since 2000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction for those responsible for deliberately starting the fire in Walker Street.

Police re-examined the Walker Street case four years ago in a bid to identify new witnesses, without any new outcomes.

Detective Acting Inspector Steven Trevitt said then that investigations had been unsuccessful, with “several members of the local community reluctant to provide information”. Homicide detectives and Redfern Police reinterviewed several residents of Walker Street and calls were renewed for anyone with information to come forward.

Ms Szabo renews those calls today. “We haven’t found the people responsible. I will never give up hope that we do,” she says. “So my son and I can have peace.”

A ten-year memorial was held for Arthur Haines, at the site of his memorial tree, an Illawarra Flame Tree, and plaque in Tobruk Reserve in Waterloo on June 29.

“Arthur was my ray of sunshine,” says Ms Szabo of her only child.  

Arthur’s murder remains unsolved. Anyone with information is urged to come forward. All information will be treated as confidential and can be given at any police station or by phoning Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

- First published in South Sydney Herald, July 2008

Linda Daniele

Relic inspires devotion, raises questions

Tags

, , ,

Visitors to Sydney for World Youth Day came from far and wide in many guises, but not many arrived in a closed zinc-lined coffin.

The remains of Pier Giorgio Frassati, one of 10 saintly patrons for World Youth Day, were flown in from Turin, Italy and hosted at St Benedict’s Church at Notre Dame University Broadway.

Pier Giorgio’s feast day was celebrated on July 4, the anniversary of his death over 80 years ago, at St Benedict’s by Cardinal George Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney, and Bishop Anthony Fisher, Co-ordinator of WYD, with a special mass.

A week later, the Italian blessed was moved to St Mary’s Cathedral, where he stayed for the remainder of World Youth Day celebrations. Organisers encouraged pilgrims and members of the public to visit Pier Giorgio and his body was a “focal piece” of the pilgrimage to the Cathedral until July 22, according to an official statement.

Pier Giorgio Frassati, described in the statement as “charismatic” and “revered for his social activism, sporty nature, sense of humour and generous spirit”, was 24 when he died from polio. Born in 1901 into a wealthy family that owned the still running La Stampa newspaper, he was known for his profound spiritual life from an early age, shown in many works of charity.

His entry on the WYD08 website as a patron of the event reads:  “A layman who lived only to 24 years of age, his love for sports, friends and the poor make him an ideal model to propose to Australians. His embrace of social justice as a university student makes him a hero to young pilgrims.”

Pope John Paul II called Pier Giorgio Frassati a “man of the beatitudes” at his beatification ceremony, a recognition accorded by the Catholic Church of a dead person’s accession to Heaven and capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in his or her name, in 1990.

Since then, Pier Giorgio had been safely ensconced in his zinc-lined coffin at the Cathedral of Turin in Italy. But the touring and display of the remains of long-deceased saints and blesseds as part of World Youth Day represents a revival of one of the Catholic Church’s older traditions.

While Catholic spokespersons have revelled in the presence of these relics, others raised concerns the emphasis on older and seemingly odd traditions ran the risk of repelling younger Catholics from the Church.

Father Mark Podesta, a 31 year-old Catholic priest and WYD spokesperson, said Pier Giorgio Frassati was a “role model for young people because he was an ordinary fellow who achieved extraordinary things. He proves that saints aren’t necessarily people from ancient times. They can be people from living memory.”

Father Podesta said while it was fine to describe the practice of visiting and praying to the relics of saints and blesseds as “mystical”, to call it “old-fashioned” was not. “Young people are happy to use externals and I include myself in that, to help lift our minds and hearts,” he said. “Even outside Christianity, for instance in New Age beliefs, the use of externals such as incense and chants are very acceptable,” he explained.

Bernie Quinn, 26, a spokesperson for the Opus Dei organisation, agreed that saints can be relevant and inspiring to young people. She told ABC radio it was “very exciting” to have had the relics of Pier Giorgio in town. “I think they’re relevant because he is a young person who died when he was 24 and I think saints are an inspiration for us to help love Jesus more,” she said. “So I think no matter when in the Church’s history, they’ll always be relevant for people.”

But the worshipping of relics has surprised some. Rod Blackhurst, a lecturer in philosophy and religious studies at La Trobe University said: “The cult of relics and so forth is very specifically Catholic, and many people thought that the Second Vatican Council had effectively marginalised or done away with a lot of that, but there seems to be a revival of those things.”

Mr Blackhurst said he was unsure why such practices would be making a come back, but it was certainly the case that “contemporary religion seems to be very polarised between liberal elements and a return to more conservative and traditional elements.

“And so we are seeing a return to those more traditional forms of worship, what you would effectively call medieval forms of worship, side by side with more liberal and modernising elements.”

The Second Vatican Council was an attempt to modernise the Catholic Church, moving away from some of the biblical literalism of the past and placing more of an emphasis on ideas of social justice. Dr Paul Collins, a former Catholic priest and author of Believers: Does Australian Catholicism have a Future?, says this can help explain why today’s young Catholics may not be aware of some of the older traditions that existed before the 1960s.

As for the saintly relics themselves, Dr Collins said: “Well, [young Catholics] certainly haven’t seen them I’d say, especially if they went to Catholic schools where the emphases would be quite different.” Dr Collins thinks that to some extent the travelling relics reflect “more the kind of religiosity of the organisers of World Youth Day, rather than the mainstream Catholic Church.”

“I think for Australian Catholics, and I think for Australians generally, these are kind of odd things that are different, that people find a little hard to fit into any context and don’t make much sense to them,” he said.

But Mr Blackhurst counters with the suggestion that the resurgence of the worship of relics and an interest in more spiritual ceremonies generally may be what some Christians feel they need. “The liberal agenda of the Second Vatican Council was very successful at taking apart and exposing the limitations of that old 1950s Catholicism that people from that generation would know. But they weren’t particularly good at replacing it with things,” he said. He points to a “yearning amongst young people to go back and experience those things which they felt had been lost and that perhaps were valuable.”

Father Podesta agrees that praying to saints restores some of the more mystical, devotional aspects of Catholicism alongside its post-Vatican II social justice focus. “We need to attach ourselves to something. Like in work, we’re attached to a business, part of something because we’re not comfortable otherwise. It’s the same thing with prayer, where it’s easy to be distracted. It’s not worshipping the body of saints or worshipping saints as Gods, with praying to saints accused wrongly of idolatry. Instead it’s saying ‘Here I have a human being I can relate and feel close to’ and I can pray to him or her in Heaven as a source of inspiration, an extra voice and an advocate,” he said.

- Linda Daniele

*First published in South Sydney Herald, August 2008

57021 Journalism Internship

UTS: Communication: Creative Practice Credit points: 8 cp Result type: Grade, no marks Requisite(s): 57011 Research and Reporting for Journalism These requisites may not apply to students in certain courses. See access conditions.

Handbook description

This subject gives students opportunities for structured professional work placement in which journalism is produced. Those participating in this subject produce a portfolio of journalism, a written report and a diary of the time and work details during the attachment. Students build on and develop skills they have acquired during their studies and apply those skills in a practical environment. The subject is aimed at self-directed learning and regular academic supervision. Students are also asked to present a seminar paper that reflects their knowledge and learning experience with other students.

 

Subject objectives/outcomes

On completion of this subject students should be able to demonstrate:

  1. a professional portfolio of work which will include a report on the attachment and a detailed critical review
  2. an ability to undertake group and/or individual work under supervision
  3. an ability to recognise and apply basic industry standards in relation to the work
  4. an ability to develop professional skills gained during the subject by producing high quality journalism
  5. an ability to evaluate their own learning and professional practice
  6. an ability to evaluate and analyse teaching and learning activities in relation to professional practice.

 

Contribution to course aims and graduate attributes

At the completion of the subject, students will:

  • have strong research and reporting skills and be able to effectively retrieve and analyse information from a range of sources
  • have a knowledge and critical understanding of the media
  • be equipped with the necessary skills to either enter professional practice in the media or continue with additional skills and intellectual depth
  • have an understanding of the relationship between media theory and practice
  • have a critical understanding of the relationships between technology, professionalism and social change and be able to adapt their professional skills to future change and to new production challenges
  • develop the ability to be self-reliant and pro-active, flexible and innovative
  • have an understanding and commitment to ethical journalism practice.

 

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject will provide students with an understanding and appreciation of current professional practices, procedures, issues and skills in the field of journalism. Students enrolled in this subject should aim to build-on and develop the skills they have acquired during their studies and apply those skills in a practical environment. Students undertake a structured professional work attachment, in which the student’s learning needs and the journal to which he or she is attached can be brought together in a specified project or a set of tasks. This is not considered work experience but a subject built on self-directed learning with regular and rigorous academic supervision. The attachment will require approximately 100 hours work by the student during the semester. This may be undertaken at times agreed to by the student and the journal where the attachment will take place. Students may decide to split their attachment and spend time with two different organisations, publishers or programs.

 

Content

Following consultation with the supervisor, the student will arrange the attachment. In some cases the supervisor may also assist in securing a placement through industry contacts. The student will negotiate the attachment, which is a three-way agreement between the student, the sponsor and the supervisor. This will define goals for the student and the sponsor to assist the student in gaining the maximum professional practice in their field. Regular contact with the supervisor must be maintained during the semester. Requirements

  • Students may choose to secure an attachment in any medium or journalism genre for which they have the skills and experience.
  • They must meet with their supervisor at least three times during the semester and have regular phone and/email contact as well as attending three subject seminars when students will review their attachments and provide a critical analysis for peer reflection and review.
  • Students will submit a CV to the supervisor along with subjects already completed and those currently being undertaken as well as a full brief on the attachment.
  • Students will complete a 2,000-word written report that offers an appraisal/critique of their attachment.

Class seminars There will be occasional workshops scheduled by the supervisor for round table discussions during the semester. These may also include other postgraduate students undertaking project work and their supervisors. Insurance For any work or activity in a workplace outside the University, students must complete an insurance indemnity application. Their supervisor will provide this information It is their responsibility to acquire the necessary forms, complete them, keep a copy themselves and give a copy to their supervisor to file and another to their industry sponsor.

 

Assessment

Assessment Item 1: Preparation of brief

Objective(s): c (an ability to recognise and apply basic industry standards in relation to the work)
Weighting: 10
Criteria:
  • Clear, complete and accurate outline of learning objectives
  • evidence of thorough research.

Assessment Item 2: Evidence of work produced

Objective(s): a, b, c, d (a professional portfolio of work which will include a report on the attachment and a detailed critical review; an ability to undertake group and/or individual work under supervision, recognise and apply professional standards, and develop enhanced professional skills)
Weighting: 70
Criteria:
  • Professional content and presentation of work
  • demonstration of capacity to produce quality journalism
  • demonstrated capacity to reflect on the experience of learning.

Assessment Item 3: Final report/reflective critique

Objective(s): e (an ability to evaluate their own learning and professional practice)
Weighting: 20
Criteria: Capacity to reflect critically on the experience of the attachment and to make links between professional work and relevant literature studied during the subject. As well, assignments will be assessed on the following:

  • Evidence of understanding of the professional practices carried out in the place of attachment
  • Depth of research
  • Accuracy and clarity in writing
  • Organisational ability
  • Understanding of relevant media and ethical issues
  • Ability to express themselves clearly in seminar presentation and initiate discussion and evaluate own learning activities
  • Evidence of ability within the written report of understanding and involving themselves in the professional practice and subsequent development of professional skills.

 

Minimum requirements

Students are expected to read the subject outline to ensure they are familiar with the subject requirements. You are expected to initiate, attend, arrive punctually and actively participate in all scheduled meetings or classes. If you experience difficulties meeting this requirement, please contact your lecturer. Students who have a reason for extended absence (e.g. illness) may be required to complete additional work to ensure they achieve the subject objectives. To complete the requirements of this subject, students must prepare a brief, provide a portfolio of work and submit a report. They should also attend the class workshops.

 

Required texts

There are no set texts

 

Recommended texts

There are no set texts

 

References

There are no set readings for this subject however the supervisor may suggest some texts or library and online resources.

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 614 other followers