Fitzroy is my favourite Melbourne suburb – an old working class, inner city neighbourhood home to an interesting mix of immigrants, bohemians and more and more wealthy up-and-comers. There are gay bars and book shops, an African internet cafe (well there was, it looked closed), tatty Chinese homewares stores selling gaudy ornaments, super-expensive clothing boutiques, endless vintage shops, trees and bike racks covered in “knitted grafitti” and miles of interesting street art down residential streets and alleyways. One street has a few real Keith Haring pieces left over from his visit to the city in the early 80s, just behind a block of public housing flats. There is a former Aboriginal health centre-turned cockail bar which trains Aboriginal youth in hospitality work, and a stretch of footpath outside a Safeway supermarket where other Aboriginal people often meet on the street. There are Turkish, Korean, Ethiopian and Afghan restaurants, a forlorn former “Spanish strip” now consisting of a single Iberian supermarket, flamenco bar and a restaurant and cultish indie record stores and bookshops.
My Melbourne: Fitzroy19 07 2012