* jazzyhands *

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::20.7.05:: Where The Palm Trees Have It Hard

Tonight I had to go to St Kilda. I don't get over to that side of the city much any more. When I first moved to Melbourne, I spend the first six years or so in St Kilda, well the St Kilda area (including Balaclava, Elwood etc). I only left to go to work or occasionally into the city. I thought Carlton was like the outer suburbs and didn't know the difference between Smith St and Brunswick St (and couldn't get there without a Melways).

All my friends lived in the area. I went out in the area. I ate in the area. I had no reason to leave. The only black spot on my lovely St Kilda horizon was the influx of summer tourists from far flung 'burbs filling up my space. Blocking the roads, rubbernecking and not knowing how to go around the Acland Street roundabout.

But all good things come to an end. By the time I left St Kilda, the place had gone to ruin. The Prince had the sticky carpets removed and the fake wood panel torn off the walls. The smackie bar out the back had become a vodka bar. The staff had gotten progressively more trendy. The Espy has held off longer but is going the same way.

Last year I was working at a bank and one of the guys that I worked with epitomised the "new" St Kilda. He was proud of his new townhouse and wanted to go to "nice" wine bars where you didn't have to deal with "those people". "Those people" being the people who lived in the area when he wouldn't have dreamed of living there. Blerk.

Tonight I realised that everywhere in that place has some emotional resonance, every I looked has memories attached. Nothing exciting. No stories to entertain you. Just memories of people and times that are gone. Walking down to the breakwater on a sweltering summer's night with a few beers, a million dinners with cheap and nasty house wine at La Porchetta, a zillion $1 pot nights at the Prince belting out Supremes and arguing over who was Miss Ross, nights in the gutter and nights in limos.

Whenever I think of Home, I think of my flat in St Kilda. I bitched about it when I lived there but miss it a lot. I miss those friends, sneaking stubbies into the Prince, playing pool on a weekday afternoon; selling quilts and handbags in a run down shop; popping pills in Catani Gardens; walking home dressed in drag on a Sunday morning; down and out on Fitzroy Street; drunk and talking shit at the Greyhound; listening to Nirvana on the jukebox at the Grosvenor.

Good days but they aint coming back, good friend scattered. Time to make new memories I guess. It's weird to go back though, it makes me homesick.



I lived in Sydney for two years about ten years ago, have the same feeling about that place except the whole city has gone to shit. Melbourne's next you can be sure of it, take Fitroy for instance, a hub of fuckheads if ever there was, of different kinds of fuckheads, a veritable smartie jar of wankers nowdays. The Rochester was a lesbain joint, the Punters had tables with scratches from the 70's on them (before they got boothed up and then bimbos came along), The Club, oh the great devil's lair where every hive of drunken villainy would mingle, and I was a weedy pompous twat, never got hit once. Loved every bit of it but now, where does one go to get vibrant seediness? Frankston perhaps?



In 1990 I moved to Melbourne - to an old, run down terrace house in Drummond Street, North Carlton. I painted it and cleaned up the tiny courtyard garden as best I could. Casa Del Caffe was just around one corner, the library and La Porchetta round the other. The cemetery was my favourite place to go and laze on a sunny afternoon and read. Brunswick St was a ten minute walk away. The Gypsy Bar was a favourite with me. I worked in Carlton and life was really good. Autumn was my favourite time of year with all those huge old trees along the street turning red. Wow, your post really woke up some dormant memories for me. I didn't have a lot of money then but life was great. I managed without a car for three years. We had lots of friends who lived around St Kilda and Elwood. I really miss the cake shops on Acland St. I think it's time I headed over for a weekend soon.



Well, Bella, I live in Drummond St now, and since having spent 5 years living in Brunswick, the change is perfect. There is something quiet and peaceful about this area. I can get my son to school in ten minutes. Indeed, I took him to the cemetry just the other day where he spotted the mock gravestone of Elvis Presley.


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