The Long Goodbye Prince Alfred Municipal Pool

Text: Johnny Barker

“Nothing ever looks emptier than an empty swimming pool,” Raymond Chandler famously wrote in The Long Goodbye. And it’s true. The Prince Alfred Municipal Pool sat empty for months during the autumn of 2012. I’d climb through a hole in the fence after work and the space felt strangely melancholy. There was nothing there except for empty bottles, naive graffiti and pieces of forgotten school uniform. Then after a heavy rain the birds came -– swallows, seagulls, ducks, kookaburras, magpies, currawongs and the ubiquitous ibis. The atmosphere lifted and between the old pool’s destruction and new one’s construction, there was – for a fleeting moment – an urban oasis.

For more, read Perry Keyes’ story Greeks’ Creek – Last summer at Prince Alfred Municipal Public Pool


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