February 27, 2010No 4: Bilgola Beach – 27 February 2010
Bondi, baby, Bondi — THE Sydney beach. The one everyone has heard of.
When you look at it from the esplanade you think — jeez it’s crowded that doesn’t look like much fun but down on the sand the people-watching and people-listening makes the day. Its a mini UN of sunbathers; we must have heard half a dozen languages.
Bondi is 16 kilometres (10 miles) from home.
Not surprisingly Wikipedia has a lot to say about Bondi but here’s a few key things — ‘bondi’ is an aboriginal word meaning either “water breaking over rocks” or “the noise of water breaking over rocks” or maybe “place where flight of nullas took place”.
Bondi was a working class suburb for most of the 20th century and the landing place for immigrants, especially Jews, from eastern Europe. Jewish in-migration has continued in the 21st century with newer arrivals coming from Russia, South Africa and Israel. When I need a good bagel, I go to Bondi; but it’s not like American Jewish food with delicatessens and whatnot — different people, who came from different places, at different times. A good reminder of what an ethnically diverse group Jews can be.
Bondi Beach is in the Waverley Council LGA, the state district of Vaucluse (Gabrielle Upton, Liberal) and the federal division of Wentworth (Malcolm Turnbull, marginally (until he gets kicked out, takes the leadership again, or starts his own party) Liberal).