You’re sixteen. You want to go on a date. That’s a lie, no one wanted to date you when you were sixteen, and you feel cheated! You wanna have a suburban summer romance—you wanna live out your teen dream. It’s not too late. You’ve already made the perfect playlist—dream pop, bedroom pop, The Suburbs by Arcade Fire—and you’ve basically been waiting your whole life to listen to it in context. You have your mum’s car or a second-hand bike. And, thank fuck, you finally have a date.
But where should you go?
Sydney’s suburbs are full of potential date spots, just waiting to be discovered by wannabe teens on a hot summer’s day or a late night drive. USyd English lecturer Vanessa Berry has written about a bunch of these places on her blog, Mirror Sydney. Here are some of the best date spots in suburbia, based on Berry’s blog.
1. Parramatta Road, Inner West
You’re on your first date, and you’ve kept it simple: Parramatta Road. It’s classic—the jewel of the Inner West. Start in Stanmore or Annandale and walk west. Look at the billboards and newsagencies and the place where Olympia Milk Bar used to be. Do they like it? Do they like you? Why are there so many wedding dress stores?
2. Goulburn Street Car Park, the city
Your second date isn’t going as planned. You’ve shown them graffiti and grassy train tracks but, somehow, you’ve ended up in a nice, dull, age-appropriate restaurant. Gently guide them towards the nearest rooftop. The nearest rooftop happens to be a car park and, yeah, it’s not technically in the suburbs, but how else are you gonna look at the pretty city lights?
3. Empty lot on Canterbury Road, Roselands
It was good for a minute there, but your third date is a disaster. You’ve taken them to an empty lot on Canterbury Road. There’s nothing here except an old petrol station, with weeds growing through the concrete. They don’t get it. They don’t appreciate the beauty of a stark suburban landscape. They don’t get you. How will you realise your teen dream now? If they won’t run away with you, you’ve gotta run away from them. Escape to the Maccas next door.
4. Greystanes Aqueduct, Greystanes
You’re over the drama of your last date and date four is absolutely dreamy. You’re sitting on top of the brick archways of the Greystanes Aqueduct. Look out over an expanse of backyards. Have a moody cigarette and muse about ennui. Take some film photos and plan a road trip. Play White Ferrari and weep with aimless emotion. Kiss as the sun sets, in hazy lo-fi colours.
5. Magic Kingdom, Lansvale
You’ve been together for awhile now, and you’ve drifted apart. Of course, how else was this going to end? It’s the most bittersweet way to break up and you love bittersweet things. Take them to Magic Kingdom, the abandoned amusement park, and break up with them. Look at the giant slide and other reminders of happiness. Remember when you were just two kids against the world? Now you’re just distant. Fuck, this is so bittersweet, you might even enjoy it. After all, you’ve already made the perfect playlist of breakup songs, and you’ve basically been waiting your whole life to listen to it in context.