I had the most magnificent Melbourne day yesterday. I didn’t fully realise the expanse of its wonder until the evening dawned, but everything fit together like a piece of the perfect city grid. This morning, I breakfasted at Wallis & Ed, a great little place at the top of Bourke St (relatively new, but in reference to some older piece of Melbourne history at the Windsor Hotel). I then visited the Melbourne International Film Festival office, checked a book out from the Melbourne City Library, bought a take away coffee from Jungle Juice, and waited outside the State Library of Victoria until it opened at 10am.
Studying there until 12.30, I was pleased that the honourable space is fully a part of my educational and vocational lifestyle. I then rode home through the university, as I sometimes do. I spent the next few hours at home, researching, writing, drinking cups of Melbourne Breakfast tea. In the early evening I rode to Readings Carlton, bought Blessed on DVD, then rode to Brunswick Street where I browsed in the Brunswick Street Bookstore and had a glass of wine at the window of Mario’s, reading Monkey Grip. Now, of all the possible combination of things I can think of that epitomise the inner North of Melbourne, Readings Carlton, Mario’s and Monkey Grip just about takes the cake. This said, I haven’t been to Mario’s since I moved out of Fitzroy in late 2008 (and to those distant suburbs Brunswick and Parkville). And I feel like an idiot; Mario’s is wonderful. The staff were a tad stuffy, sure, but the simple, unassuming atmosphere of the space, affected by the kebab joint across the street and large diversity of people passing by, makes it one of the most fulfilling spaces to have an evening bevvie and catch up on people watching.
Then headed down to Vegie Bar (where I’m still bitter that the Vegie Roast is off the menu and the House Salad has frustratingly gone up from $7.50 to $10.50). Happy to see no familiar faces amongst their wait staff. Wandering back north along Brunswick St, we sauntered in to a bar called Alchemy, or The Alchemist, or something of a similar lexical resonance, a place with which I am now immeasurably in love. The bartenders were two: a Scotsman with a beard and a mysteriously accented young-Robert DeNiro lookalike.
Cycling home, I was happy. A happy, fluffy day. Glorious Melbourne; may you always be my lustrous home.