Alex Quirk : Bar manager

Alex Quirk: Bar manager

Surry Hills was the second area in Sydney that I lived in as an adult after moving out from Bondi Junction at my parents place. I lived in Waterloo, first, in this really dingy place and decided that I might venture further in to Surry Hills, to an even dingier place. But at least it was around cafes and greenery and stuff like that.

I actually don’t live here anymore, but I’ve been working here full-time for a year.

At the moment I love the people and the friendly atmosphere. I used to like the “coolness factor” of it when I was younger, but now its a little bit more “wholesome” in my eyes. I think it’s a place that you can you can be eighteen to nineteen years old and be rubbing shoulders with artists and musicians, but you can also be an adult, feel really comfortable and just go to the dog park to walk the dog.

This has definitely been my favourite bar job ever at The Carrington. It’s always going to be pretty good when you work in a bar, because of the people. But it’s also, the people I’ve gotten to know, like the storeowner across the road, and people over at other cafes and restaurants that come in. I might be standing outside, and I will see a friendly face, and I will give them a nod. It’s nice that way. There’s a good friendly, neighbourly vibe. It took a while but I feel like I kinda fit in as a member of the community.

In my adulthood, which isn’t long, I’ve always struggled with mental health problems and stuff like that as a lot of people do, and I think at the very least that’s given me a resilience that I value. Even if everything seems okay, you might be struggling in your mind. That’s been pretty important to me, as far as overcoming things, and that’s definitely shaped my identity. I’m a lot stronger, even if it’s not visible and tangible.

Travel helped me get through this, initially, in an escapist way. But eventually there was something more than that. Eventually you have to confront things with travel like social anxiety and loneliness. Living in different places around Australia and around the world has definitely helped me.

What’s important to me in life? My mum and sister and definitely my oldest friends, who I’ll hold onto forever. They are people that maybe I haven’t seen in years, but when you see them, things haven’t changed. And definitely music.