Kimber Lane is a favourite location amongst tourists, Instagrammers, TikTokkers who want to capture something unique from Sydney’s Chinatown. It’s not hard to see why: it’s very narrow, the road is paved, the walls are very tastefully painted, and there are angels hanging in the air that glow neon blue in the night. The south end of the lane also catches a lot of light from the Market City shopping mall, which produces a lot of wonderful backlit effects.
What most people don’t know is that Kimber Lane is used by restaurants as a back alley for all of their garbage, so it perpetually smells of rotting food, bin juice, and cat pee. I’ve seen models grimace upon this realisation (before putting on their stapled smiles). It’s not pleasant.
It’s easy to use colours and editing to make it look glamorous. Personally, I prefer to revel in the grotesquerie of reality. This photo was taken in May 2022, when it seemed as though Chinatown would never recover from the Covid-19 lockdowns. I’m glad to see some signs of life have begun to return.