Follow Kent Street a few metres to reach the T intersection with Druitt Street. Cross over to the corner of Town Hall House (both loved and hated as an exceptional example of Brutalist architecture).
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What’s in the sky this July? Constellations Constellations represent groupings of stars that have been given a name. For millennia they have been used as a tool to share significant cultural stories.
At the top of Druitt Lane, directly in front is an abandoned building, on the doors behind the one way street sign is Station 23. Despite the misuse of surveillance by probably all governments worldwide and plenty of private corporations, in addition to the pollution of our ancient view of the sky, Global Navigational Satellite Systems have at least provided a holistic view of our planet and data on its changing nature over time, as well as impacts of the present human-caused climate crisis.
Today marks the 112th anniversary of the Tunguska explosion, the worst meteor event in recent history. On 30 June 1908, witnesses saw an asteroid enter the atmosphere and explode, creating an airburst that flattened trees and killed hundreds of reindeer in Siberia.
Take a left at The Shelbourne down Sussex Street. Trek along about 200 metres until you reach Druitt Place. Walk just inside the laneway – on your right is Station 22. Over time, as surveying became a more established and governed practice, ‘trig’ stations and baseline markers were installed.
Now, turn right into Market Street, staying to the left of the footbridge. Approach the corner of Sussex Street, then turn around 180 degrees to find Station 21 on the footbridge pillar. The contradiction of the empirical premise that all of nature can be claimed and controlled is evident today in the very current problem of making maps coordinate with the global positioning system (GPS).
At the corner, take a hard left and right there on the wall in front of City Mart is Station 20. Despite all of these instruments and the presumption of accuracy, from the first years that European methods were introduced to survey colonial Australia errors plagued the process, and corruption was rife.
Further along on Kent Street pass by some rough sandstone walls, another archway then Vicolo Café, just beyond that, in the second arch is Station 19. The science of spatial measurement (called metrology) has required increasingly precise correlation between instruments, units and standards.
Keep going and just after Nando’s is a nice archway where you’ll find Station 18. According to Andrew Long, author of an often cited text on First Nations’ practices of scarring trees in the New South Wales region, ‘Early European settlers adopted the techniques of bark stripping they observed from Aboriginal people’ (Long 2005: 7).
Cross over King then onto Kent Street but stay on your left, just a couple of metres further are two doors and Station 17. Now for some technical details on the marking of boundary trees. By 1830, apparently, about ‘3.5 million acres of land had been alienated in New South Wales’ (Marshall 2006: 3).
Sydney’s streets, as you probably noticed, are not aligned with the Meridian and perhaps this is an oversight… although, as far as I know, Paris is only city ever built on the basis of its meridian.
Keep going down Clarence Street, look out for the nice Deco buildings over the road, and continue until you see two spindly trees, and in front of Air China on the shiny electrical box is Station 15.
Turn right onto Barrack Street. At the intersection, cross over the road to the Mach2 bar and continue a few metres along Clarence Street. Before the pharmacy at number 100 is Air Ninguini – this is Station 14.
Just before you reach the end of the lane, there is an archway on the left that must have been a carriageway but was bricked up. Here’s Station 13. Upon the conferral, in 1884, of Greenwich Mean Time, also often simply called GMT, Britain was given a power that was not abstract.
Turn into York Lane, and along the way check yourself out in the mirror windows. About halfway down, on the dirty red wall, is Station 12. Today the longitude of Paris is 2° 20′ 14.03″ East. But east of where?