Haberfield in Sydney is just one of a string of Italian suburbs that dot the inner west. When your family has married into first and second generation immigrants from that Latin realm, you get to know these areas quite well. There’s always one big family get-together on the horizon!
Ramsay Street in Sydney, as opposed to the more famous blander one in televisual Melbourne, is considered the more traditional, slightly quieter Italian version of nearby Norton Street that is infested with souped-up cars and the odd loud bar. Here it’s all about the patisserie, the butcher and the pizza.
Vittoria Coffee might not be as cool a roaster as Allpress but it certainly has staying power. Along with Andronicus (a Greek Australian roaster), they both informed coffee tastes in Australia from the 1930s. And, of course, Vittoria is the only coffee served round these parts.
There is so much food. That’s another Italian tradition. Then there are the stories of the Proxy Weddings. So many first-gen Italians met via mail, either in Italy or in Australia. These days, it’s very difficult to understand this but in the age of mail and boat (rather than email and supersonic jetliner) this was the way to become more intimate.
Young Italian Aussies probably laugh at the additions their parents made to the Federation and Californian bungalows in Haberfield. Concrete and pebbles are ubiquitous to older-style houses. And tiles – don’t forget the tiles. Now, Haberfield is going through such massive change, which is almost complete. Renovators have scoured the suburb and many of the houses have been upgraded, their federation facades skirted by trendy gardens. Goodbye concrete.