The Lifestyle Guide 2018

LIFESTYLE GUIDE 24 It was late February 2014 when the begrimed, beating heart of Sydney’s scandalous Kings Cross district had its life support turned off. The introduction of the lockout laws signified the official end of an era for a once grimy, historically-rich mecca of misbehavior and organised crime. Today, the red lights of the night have been dimmed, making way for civilised designer café culture by day and an elegant restaurant scene by night. The Art Deco residential marvels, boarding houses and government estates now share space with modern high-rises and upmarket Airbnbs. As Sydney’s former red- light district enters this new chapter of unprecedented development, we dust off the history books to recall the Cross that was, and lament as we predict what it could become. Kings Cross is not a suburb but a state of mind. That is according to Kenneth Slessor, who wrote in 1963 that Kings Cross’s boundaries were flexible and could extend anywhere from Potts Point to Taylor Square and beyond. Most people know the Cross as anywhere in wolf-whistle distance to the infamous strip. Today, it is a shadow of its former wild self. The Cross has seen consistent changes in its almost 200-year history, but none so drastic as now. The 1800s In the 1830s, Darlinghurst was established to be Sydney’s first exclusive suburb. Named after Governor Darling, the government