When I was at WAAPA, I had a drama teacher who would pull her hair out in class while she spoke to us about method acting (I’m fairly sure she was about to play alopecic acting teacher). She would ask us to talk about our memories so as to have something to draw from in our miming of applying makeup and acting out scenes from obscure plays . Many of my recollections had Melbourne as a background. How could they not? Tramming with my MacRob friends, smoking in the alleyways of Prahran in my purple school blazer, Collins Street, Saba, school formals at the Rialto, poster shopping in Bourke Street, magic stores on Elizabeth Street, The Kino, Melbourne Uni, hugging my best friend in Lygon St for a minute longer than usual, not knowing that would be the last time I saw ever her.
Back to WAAPA, the near balding teacher then called me prickly (said she with the stubble of hair on top of her head) for rhapsodising about my fair city. “Kate, you always are saying Melbourne this and Melbourne that. Let it go, you’re in Perth now.”
Let it go? How can I let this city go? Melbourne is my anchor. All my significant memories of childhood, teenage years and beyond are set in Melbourne. I know the city intimately. Dammit, I was educated in the 3000 postcode. I had a boyfriend who lived in a warehouse before it was deemed cool by the hipsters. Hours were spent unearthing Melbourne’s mysteries with an old Nikon around my neck and a matt red lipstick as my signature look. I worked in the city in a shop where, next door, a dear friend worked. She showed me Japanese food before it was all Tom Wolfe and cool and knew the best karaoke bars. I bought a Filofax and a silk shirt with my first paycheck. I wanted to be truly Melbourne and fabulous and for a moment I nearly was.
So it is with great joy I was introduced to Broadsheet by two of my most urban Melbourne friends. The style, the writing, the faint sheen of pretension that Melbourne excels at (as do I, although some would say it is a thick film of pretension but whatevs.) Trying to capture Melbourne is difficult; it’s a city where rich and poor and warring religons from foreign lands live side by side in peace. I have come to believe that food is the butter of Melbourne, sticking us all together in a giant baklava. The food markets bring everyone together. Restaurants offer every ethnicity of food and Melbournians are willing to try them. Broadsheet captures Melbourne’s style so well I could surf this baby all day.
In light of this, I would love to share with you what I think is perfectly Melbourne in no particular order, just free form listing:
- T.L .Wood
- Julia and Joanne Ritson scarves
- The Hill of Content bookshop
- Degraves Street
- NGV and in particular, the painting Cleopatra’s Pearl
- Jam donuts at the Victoria Market
- Peter Pan fountain at Domain Junction
- Block Arcade
- Yarra River boat sheds
- Black clothing
- Good knits
- Autumn leaves
- Marios in Brunswick St
- Number 8 and 72 tram
- Sunday yum cha in Chinatown
I could go on but for those not from Melbourne I am afraid I may bore you. Meanwhile, check out Broadsheet. It is seriously Melbourne. Like me. 🙂
Happy Sunday lovers.