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Sunday, September 20, 2020


After two years, our time living in Palko, Lonsdale Street, Braddon, has sadly come to an end. Throughout this time I have often wondered about the origin of the apartment block name – given not only its uniqueness and suitability to the building, but its colloquial application to be identifiable and referenceable to a physical location. A rare thing with new developments in Canberra, with only a handful of buildings coming to mind: Midnight, The Capitol, Nishi and Founders Lane. It seems that instead of creating or selecting a locally appropriate and reflective name, developers continually regurgitate New York-isms: Manhattan (Bunda St., City), SOHO (Northbourn Ave., Dickson), Park Avenue (Allara St., City), just to name a few. I’ve always wondered why developers don’t be bold and create names either more appropriate to Canberra or the building more often. Who knows, we could even end up utilising them to refer to a precinct, as was the case (after heavy marketing, don’t get me wrong) with New Acton. I don’t even mind if we used the same principles of NY terminology: naming places after previous purpose or using boundaries to define a place, two examples that spring to mind for Northbourne Ave. (Dickson) could be The Pits (19 Challis St.) or NoMac (North of Macarthur). A quick Google search details Palko as: an American surname with its origins as a Hungarian/Slovakian/Ukranian pet name for ‘Paul’, with reference to an American Supreme Court case – Palko v. Connecticut 302 U.S. 319 (1937) – concerning the incorporation of the Fifth Amendment protection against double jeopardy; followed by Urban Dictionary’s definition “to rush, hurry or half ass your way through something with blatant disregard for those around you or picking up on social ques whatsoever”; though most interestingly, it pinpoints the location of 27 Lonsdale St., Braddon A.C.T.