I was out for a drink recently with my sister and her husband and another couple, nice people. They had just moved from the inner inner (e.g. Swanston st) to North Melbourne.
‘So, where is it you guys live?’ the female half of the other couple asked me.
She actually shuddered. Like, there was actually a bodily reaction. ‘Ugh, Where is that?’ she asked.
I laughed, not at all offended. ‘Exactly,’ I giggled.
The thing is, until a few years ago I may have answered the same way (perhaps without the shudder). I lived in the inner city for nine years. In my mind, there was simply no point in moving to Melbourne and living anywhere but the middle bit of town – by this I mean Richmond, Fitzroy, Northcote. Rents were stupid but I gorged in cafes and restaurants and pubs, hung out with my mates, and thought about tomorrow later. If someone had told me I would be living in the outer east 4 years ago I would have laughed quite a lot and then headed out for my $20 breakfast of avo scrapings and a single origin.
But as soon as you say never, it generally happens. Nearly two years ago I bade a tearful farewell to my cramped flat and my indifferent housemates and I moved way out to the leafy suburbs.
I am quietly confident that in 10 years our area will be a hub of activity and trendiness. And then you will say ‘Bridge, you were right’. So, dear reader, to put you on the front foot, here are just a few of the many highlights of the OE (Outer East) of Melbourne:
– Yarra Valley & Dandenongs on your doorstep
– Cafes are on the improve, (see Mish Mash, Forage, et al)
– Public Brewery
– Lysterfield Lake
– Asian restaurants very very good and some exceptional (e.g. Thai tables et al)
– You will generally be able to get a seat on the train in rush hour. Plug in, play, read.
– The quiet! You can actually hear birds out here rather than two train lines, trams and traffic. It’s peaceful, and you know what? It’s quite nice.
* But it’s much better than Orange County any day, and many less annoying Misha Bartons.
Running update: Vermont and back today, along the creek, shuffling along like Forrest, wry smiles from other people like myself struggling with their fitness regime. But my app tells me I did over 9 k, which is a record (of a lifetime). My calves are as tight
as a nuns you know what as.