Friday, July 10, 2009

Bright Lights, Big City

I have been trying to move house since January of this year. Currently I live in the outer suburbs, a good hour from where I work in the CBD, and spend a good deal of my time in transit – be it on a freeway or on a train. My thought was to rent out my place in the ‘burbs, and rent something cute and quirky closer to the CBD, effectively cancelling out my mortgage and being footloose and fancy free in the city.

But then, the rental market is a horrible place right now. People are offering over and above the advertised prices and happy couples are beating out the single white female. And just like that, 6 months on, and I am still a resident in the dreary outer east.

A good friend of mine lives very close to the city. A stone’s throw in fact, to all manner of amenity. Albert Park Lake, Cafes and Restaurants, Docklands, CBD, Richmond – everything is not much more than a short tram ride or walk away.

While she has decided to go trekking to the other side of the world, I have taken up residence in her inner city abode for three weeks, putting me in the middle of my universe – a shopping and dining haven. Last night was my first staying at her place, and my eyes are newly opened to the differences between the sleepy suburbs, and the chaotic city.

First, the traffic! And lot’s of it! Actual ear plug inducing traffic noise. I woke up in the middle of the night, thought, ‘wow, few cars going by, must be close to the 6am peak hour rush’, and looked at my phone only to discover it was 2am.

The views, convenience and constant activity are amazing. I could have stared out the window for hours at the city by night, looking at a view I have only experienced in hotel rooms before. Imagine living like that all the time. Feel like an ice cream? 7 Eleven at the end of the street. A run? Pop down the road to Albert Park Lake and join the throng that beat a path daily. Coffee? Which café will I go to? It’s all about choice here and I feel like I am living in the New York of Sex and the City or Friends – being the middle of it all and experiencing Melbourne city the way it is meant to be lived!

All of this after just one night! I haven’t really had time to get to know half of what the lifestyle will be like for the next few weeks, but I have a feeling it will be amazing. I am looking for your tips and tricks for inner city living – what can I cook in a kitchen that would fit into my house’s bathroom? What are the greatest café spots and restaurants along St Kilda road and through to Albert Park, Chapel and High streets Prahran? Where can I find tucked away fashion stores with vintage pieces and the most promising up and coming designers? And tell me about the markets!

I have three weeks here, and a change is as good as a holiday! Tell me all your secrets and I’ll tell you most of mine – come along for the ride!

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