Bondi Beach: How hipster d***heads ruined our icon

OPINION

IF Instagram existed 20 years ago, what would the hashtag #Bondi have produced?

Pictures of a cold schooner perched atop the bar at the Bondi Road Hotel. A shot of a surfboard sailing in on a sunset break, or maybe a girl in a low-slung bikini biting into a sausage roll … or a British backpacker sipping on a chocolate milk.

Type in #bondi now and the results can be summed up in two words - boobs and avocados.

Hard as rocks - the breasts, that is - and ripe and lurid green (the avos).
 

Legendary crescent-shaped belt of sand. It’s Bondi.
Legendary crescent-shaped belt of sand. It’s Bondi. John Appleyard

The suburb that has ­absorbed World War II Jewish migrants, the hard-partying white working classes, trans-Tasman dole-bludgers and lobster-red English yobbos roasting themselves around a sixpack is no more.

Bondi has morphed into the dickhead capital of the world. Home to the last ­remaining demographic that can afford Bondi's rent and housing prices - trust-fund twentysomethings and investment bankers - Bondi has become a living and breathing satire.

A caricature first hatched by comic duo The Bondi Hipsters back in 2012 sprung to life.

Forget pubs and pie shops. Bondi is now all about cold-pressed juice bars and organic cafes selling "buffins" - a muffin free of gluten, dairy and sugar - turmeric lattes and kale smoothies.

Now the second-most expensive suburb in Sydney to rent, Bondi is being tipped to surpass Woollahra as the city's priciest suburb by 2020 with property prices to surge and rental occupancy, which now makes up 50 per cent of all residential inhabitants - expected to plummet.

What happened to the pies and schooners? This from a Bondi Instagram account
What happened to the pies and schooners? This from a Bondi Instagram account

And Bondi's last great connection to its bohemian roots - its backpacker population - is also disappearing with the longstanding Bondi Backpackers on Campbell Pde selling recently for more than $18 million.

Subsequently we're now left with a population (10,748 ­according to the latest Census) of people who work out in $200 leggings and worship the social media movements of their spiritual mothers - Pip Edwards and Roxy Jacenko.

According to a recent ­article published by Fairfax which chronicled a day in the life of Edwards, these "bubble dwellers" spend their days getting $300 ­facials, sipping organic wine and sending food back to kitchens until it's completely devoid of gluten, wheat, dairy, meat, eggs, sugar and taste.

Australia’s biggest yoga morning was held at ... guess where?
Australia’s biggest yoga morning was held at ... guess where? Alan Place

Skinny Dip cafe owner Reuven Savitte, who has overseen the Bondi transformation from his business at the intersection of Hall and O'Brien streets, remembers a time when soy milk was an anomaly.

"Now it's as common as skim," he sighs, before gesturing towards several aerial landscapes hanging on the wall, all of Bondi Beach.

"Bondi is the only place in the world where they hang pictures of Bondi on the walls. You don't go to New York and see restaurants with pictures of the NY skyline everywhere."

This is an emergency, we're going to need more hashtags.
This is an emergency, we're going to need more hashtags.

But I have hope. You know why? Look at the man once regarded as Bondi's ­unofficial mayor, ex-Ksubi/Ksubi designer Dan Single, who decided to start a public GoFundMe account after a fall from a Paris balcony and ended up with a hospital bill in the tens of thousands.

Now, say, 10 years ago, there may have been a few acolytes prepared to shave a few dollars off their green juice budget to lend the ­recently returned "Bondi Dan" a hand.

But instead, Single, who displays his lavish lifestyle on his social media feeds, was ridiculed into submission by dozens of posters calling him out.

He deleted the account several hours later.

So that's one down. Only 10,747 accounts to go.

News Corp Australia


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