What makes Griffith unique?

WIDESPREAD popularity of regular list stories on social and entertainment site Buzzfeed prompted The Area News to put out a call to ask residents what makes Griffith unique. We've put together a top 15 but we'd love to hear from you with more. 

YOU know you're from Griffith when confusion is not the first response to:

1. Toppa/rocket pizza

Toppa that delicious starter at one of the city's authentic Italian restaurants. Basically a pizza base, either garlic or tomato, with a small smearing of sauce and sprinkling of herbs.

Rocket pizza No, it is not a chilli pizza. Rocket is a strong-flavoured type of lettuce that Griffithians love on their pizza.

But ask for either anywhere else and you'll be greeted by a blank stare.

2. Co-op Corner

A large number of Griffith residents had a vested interest in the Co-op and it was a sad day for the city when it shut down. Even though the business shut down, locals will always refer to it as Co-op Corner.

3. Round-a-bouts

Yes, there are round-a-bouts everywhere, but no community has more than Griffith. We are the round-a-bout capital of Australia. Love them or hate them, there are round-a-bouts on even the tiniest of streets in town.

4. Bertoldo's or Bert's

You can't get more Griffith than Bertoldo's. This local bakery is longest-running bakery in Griffith. You can get everything from freshly made pies and sausage rolls through to delicious salad wraps, pasta, rice and birthday cakes.

5. Prods Straight

The city's unofficial second-hand car lot. Vehicles parked along public streets advertising the fact they are for sale. It started out on Wakaden Street, moved to Jondaryan Avenue before finding a home on Prods Straight.

6. Plane on a stick

The Fairey Firefly AS.Mk 6 mounted on a pole on Banna Avenue. Griffith residents use it as a point for giving directions to blow-ins and other people who aren't sure of how to get where they need to be. The plane was originally erected at the Ex-Servicemen's Club.

7. Grass castles

Premises built with drug money, namely marijuana. The term was first coined by Donald Mackay in a confidential dossier he sent to the minister of police John Madderson in 1975.

8. Mafia/drugs

The city was often associated with the distribution of drugs, particularly marijuana and organised crime during the 1970s. If you want proof, just watch Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities.

9. Donald Mackay mystery

Griffith's most famous anti-drugs campaigner Donald Mackay was murdered on July 12, 1977. He was just 43 when he died. The mystery is that in almost 40 years, his body has never been found.

10. Big weddings

Keeping up with the Joneses has led to bigger is always better in Griffith, particularly when it comes to putting on a wedding. There are very few simple weddings here. It is widely accepted that this is one of those days on life's calendar that deserves to go out with a bang.

11. Hermit's Cave

Griffith is home to a unique series of caves that were once the home of Valerio Riccetti, a miner from Broken Hill. Climbing around the caves is another one of those Griffith rights of passage, particularly while growing up. Visitors to the city are encouraged to visit the cave.

12. Top, middle and bottom blocks

When in Banna Avenue, the city's main drag, Griffith residents talk of the top, middle and bottom blocks as locators. Visit Bertoldo's in the middle block for a birthday cake, grab your DVD in the top block and check out the art gallery in the bottom block.

13. Dust storms

You haven't seen a dust storm until you've seen a Griffith dust storm. They roll in, usually after you've finished hanging your wet laundry on line and turn the city red for what can feel like hours before returning from whence they came, leaving you to rewash your clothes.

14. Egg Park

AKA CWA Park. Some locals don't even know it is the CWA Park, so long has it been known as the Egg Park. Why, you ask? The egg, of course. There is a big egg which children can sit inside and spin around. Motion sickness has been known to cause vomiting.

15. Refusal to use the second Wagga

It's not exactly clear why locals don't use the second Wagga, but any newcomers or blow-ins will stand out like a sore thumb if they refer to the city as "Wagga Wagga".


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