Around the Block

Literally.

I’ve moved. Finally settled at last and now have a 3051 postcode — North Melbourne. Not only have a I moved but have also secured full time employment — I’m finally feeling like I’ve arrived home and I wish for the past ten weeks of limbo to become a faint memory ASAP.

Loughmore Lane North Melbourne

Anyhow, North Melbourne. I’m from bush practically, and the bush in the opposite direction from where I am now.

Like in most cities, there’s always a psychological divide that many people will have — “Eastside,” “Westside,” etc. In Melbourne, generally speaking, if you’re from the South or East, you’ll probably know little about the West or North and vice versa — and that applies to the inner city as well (with the main exception being if you live in the inner city — I’ve been West, North, South and East all in the first week of living here!). North Melbourne fits that category in that before moving here, I can count on one hand the amount of times I’d ever been here — and two out of the three times were in the weeks prior to moving just to check out flats! I’d already taken that leap of faith once this year with choosing Easter Road over shinty (student) Marchmont, or pucker Morningside in Edinburgh, so I thought what the hell.

Goldmine.

The flat I’m living in is part of a development not one year old. This specific block I’m on used to be big in the dairy industry — the heritage building which fronts Arden St still has ‘Bulla Cream’ in its mansard (which I’m assuming is part of a heritage overlay). There are twelve buildings most with multiple units in them over three levels — I’ve got two neighbours sharing the same stair. It’s top floor, north facing — which could be a blessing and a surse at the same time. I get the sun all throughout the day, although in summer that’s not something you really want as the western sun in summer can be stifling, especially on a 40 degree day. On the flipside I have a balcony which spans the length of my living room (8-9 metres by about 3 wide, perfect for that summer barbie — just got to buy a BBQ first) and in winter, the morning — north eastern sun – will probably do wonders for the heating bill too.

North Melbourne can be characterised by a diverse mix of incomes residential interwoven with a fair chunk of light industrial. Diverse range of incomes because you have The Royal Melbourne, The Royal Women’s and The Royal Childrens hospitals (great place to have a heart attack or a baby eh) within a stone’s throwing distance and thus you get a lot of cashed up medicos living in the area, yet at the opposite end of the scale just down the street from me is a very large council estate and from what I’ve observed in the past week there’s a great mix of students (owing to the University of Melbourne being in the next adjacent suburb of Carlton) as well all congregating on Errol St.

I set some fairly restrictive criteria for myself in relation to finding a flat — I wanted to live like I did in Edinburgh – that being a twenty minute walk to everywhere. It’s going to take twenty-five minutes to walk to the CBD to work (imagine my excitement when I found that out after having to commute by train one hour ten minutes each way for four years), fifteen minutes to my gym in Docklands and a measley 10 to get to the Queen Victoria Market and I won’t even start on some of my other favourite spots around town. And the pubs, I’ve never had this much choice before — quite literally I’ve found my own little bit of Edinburgh.

But enough blethering.

Errol St North Melbourne
Errol St, North Melbourne

Back of terrace North Melbourne
Rear of terrace, Leveson Street, North Melbourne

Errol St North Melbourne
Errol St, North Melbourne

Avebury Street North Melbourne
Avebury Street, North Melbourne

Errol St North Melbourne
Errol St, North Melbourne

This entry was written by Alastair Taylor , posted on Saturday October 28 2006at 06:10 pm , filed under Asia Pacific and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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