the concrete jungle
The Concrete Jungle is back in the news, primarily because the builders contracted by the owners forgot to include emergency watering systems in all the floors during the upgrade, though they did install them in the garage.
This building loomed large in South Bondi folklore during the Cochran era as it was suspected that if a lad was brave enough to wander along any of the long, project style external corridors late on a Saturday night he might hear sounds coming from some units that signified there was something interesting happening inside. This was in the sixties, well before drugs were invented, except for the blonde lady who sold amphetamines in the beer garden of the Royal Oak Hotel in Double Bay on Saturday nights and the blokes who filled their sleeping bags with all that wild marijuana somebody found growing up Maitland way. Perhaps if someone was to mention this to Mr M Bowman of Brunswick Heads they might perceive a piratical glint in his ancient eyes.
Rumours were that some of the ladies who worked nights at Kings Cross had their digs in the jungle and the various mature members of the South Bondi Boardriders who had access to the rooms were known to speak admiringly of their exploits on those Sunday mornings when they gathered unwholesomely outside the polio pit, bleary-eyed and suffering from the distempers of alcohol abuse, lack of sleep and over-exertion.
They were indeed grim corridors in the late hours of a weekend where at times the only way to rid oneself of an unwisely ingested substance, like half a bottle of vodka or too many of the blonde’s pills was to hang over a rail and expel the problem into thin air, where it misted up agreeably during its descent to eventually settle over any vehicles parked too close to the ground floor, not to mention anyone standing around down there waiting for something to happen.
Bottles were likewise disposed of, and cigarette butts; trousers discarded in carnal haste and left on the floor for a bloke’s best mate to deal with. Envy played its part there. Not everybody got lucky in the jungle.
Now the units are worth millions and the carpark is full of Lamborghinis, the residents drink chardonnay and the view, as it always has been, is remarkable.