Monday, August 26, 2013

Maylands I love you but you're freaking me out

Maylands Boat Yard
By Amber Cunningham
Afternoons Producer
Comment on our facebook page today: "720. Stuck in the 1970's [sic], just like it's [sic] audience. These days it's a yuppie central [sic], it's got a good ethnic mix, different wealth brackets, it's got some nice urban grit and it's not gentrified."  Correct on all nongrammatical fronts.

Maylands was today named as Perth's "next big thing". The buzz word used was "buzz". Great news for Maylands and all who sail in her, but. But.
Maylands was thus described by an international travel publication of such massive popularity that it has the knack of turning the world's hidden gems into heaving tourist meccas. That which was familiar and lovely to the local few becomes sexed up and kind of cheap. It's like coming home and finding your Mum has had a boob job, botox, died her hair yellow-blonde and started listening to Nickelback. 
I might not have grown up in Maylands but my bestie did and our memories have osmosed. She grew up a river-rat on the muddy foreshore of Maylands. Took off from home, aged seven, to leap off the Bath Street jetty, was dragged home by the ear by her Mum. Snuck off at night with her sister, armed with rope, a bandaid and a torch, to explore the semi-derelict brick works with its clay-pits and sleeping machinery, ladders leading to nowhere but a precipitous drop. Went hooning around in the mud flats with her Dad in his car, hoping to get bogged and be late for school. Maylands had bush, orchards, horses. What remains unchanged at Maylands is the boat yard, there are flaky-painted hulls that have sat in the same spot for forty years. So, shhhhh, international travel guide, don't tell anyone. You'll ruin it.
The claypits are now a new development, a crop of Fediterranean ticky-tacky houses with 'ornamental' lakes. The couple of chi-chi eateries which are now operating in Maylands are no doubt amazing and fabulous and filled with pretty ballerinas from around the corner. But. But. 
With regard to this; "it's got some nice urban grit and it's not gentrified". The shiny fame-glow bestowed on a place by a hugely popular travel guide has a way of changing things. 
Maylands? I loved you just the way you were. 

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