I can't help but feel nostalgic when I walk through Fitzroy sometimes. If I return to Melbourne after a few years, I'm sure I'll be overwhelmed with memories of my early 20s the moment I step foot on Brunswick St. Other than Vermont South (the suburb where I spent my childhood) no other place in Melbourne generates such strong feelings in me. I have never even lived in Fitzroy. I live in Brunswick, which I love but don't really socalize in.
Fitzroy seems like a community that has a concentration of young and creative people (although the really creative may disagree and label Fitzroy 'bohemian hip'). I would probably never get anything done or save any money if I lived in a fun sharehouse there, because I'd be eating out and drinking at the random bars every night.
I'd like to print out a map of Brunswick St and circle in red the parts that holds memories. When I pass the Night Cat I think of the debauchery and times I've mostly spent making fun of people dancing rather than dancing myself. Cross the road to Bar One Twenty and think of all the wrongness that happened there. The first night we went because it was the only venue still open at 3am. We silly danced to the cheesy 80s music playing and ignored the desperate older people around us. The second night we went to re-experience the fun 80s but instead was given the sad late 70s. The third night scared us off the place forever. It was a market packed with used by meat. We walked in, was approached for drugs, and rushed out two minutes later. My friend said that "he's never seen such a concentration of ugly people in his entire life". The fourth night we went to show a friend how bad it was. The bouncer wouldn't let us in because of my friend's torn jeans. I pointed out that the jeans cost $300 and that it was not fair that he let daggy people in who wore waist high stonewash jeans from 1991. I accused him of not letting us in because I was Asian and then walked away. I didn't really care that he refused to let us in. I just wanted to pick on him.
Next to Bar One Twenty is the home decoration store where I sat at the doorway and hassled people walking by and nearly passed out. The public debut of a glasses free me was at the Cape Lounge at my ex-housemate's funk gig. Walk past Marios and the cafe opposite The Evelyn and cringe at thinking of the two internet dates I had there. Bar Open! My favourite. From stalking Dylan Lewis, to watching obsucre arthouse movies in winter, and many times just hanging out there till closing time drinking. Walk up further to The Evelyn and think of all the bad gigs I've been to there. The Evelyn was the place where a clueless me used to go to check out whatever band was playing that night. The bands always turned out to be bad, with bad = emo or wannabe skater punk.
Across the road to Bimbos and remember all the cheap but yummy pizza's I ate there. The stongest memory was meeting my friend there after her return from the States after a year and a half. The bottle or two of red wine we drank made me violently throw up my lamb pizza later in the night. The walk from Johnston St to Bimbos reminds me of the time we saw the 1 meter tall lady with a 6ft tall boyfriend. Lucky for the man she was the size of the child, but legal.
Babka - massive corn beef sandwich anyone?
The pizza shop nearest to Johnston St - driving there at 5am after a night out in the city just to eat a souvaliki. I always get the lamb pizza. What about the alien van that was parked in front the shop one night.
Laundry - fat ho spotting, extreme karaoke, and staying up late on a weeknight being silly and making fun of my ex-housemate named Fanny who was wearing a nude coloured dress (a nude Fanny). Eating paella and churros dipped in chocolate sauce at the Spanish restaurant next door with twenty other people on the table. "Spanish guys are hot," stated my friend, who then turned around to see a Spanish waiter behind her.
The Spanish Club - seeing the Midnight Juggernauts and bumping into my friend and his girlfriend sitting outside having a smoke. I got caught up speaking to them for about half an hour.
I probably don't have as many memories of Fitzroy as more sociable people would, or people who live in the area. But nevertheless, it was my early 20s.