Friday, July 23, 2010


Over the last two days I haven't so much been hitting the shops as beating them senseless. I think I may have broken my wallet.

Melbourne has good shops, providing that you are a frivolous, retro-obsessed, pretentious flake. As such I am right in my element. I've spent most of my days shuttling back and forth in my favourite sections of Collingwood and Fitzroy.

Collingwood has gentrified considerably since I was last here in 2007. The banged up Vietnamese restaurants and grubby news agencies are interspersed with ever more designer shops; very clean and very sparse, with the sort of signage that probably required eleven dedicated meetings of the graphic design team. The antique stores look like satires of themselves, with their expensive wares built into stacks of carefully designed disorder, curated to give the illusion of serendipity.

Meanwhile the belligerent remnants of the indigenous working class glower at cashed-up tourists like me, who dart from second hand CD shop to thrift store to factory outlet, getting weighed down by more bags with every step. Sometimes I feel like a complete douchebag.

But I'm a complete douchebag with a CD of rare Nina Simone recordings, a vintage velvet smoking jacket and half price Italian leather shoes. Totally worth it.


Anonymous Troy G said...

It isn't pretension if you actually are better than other people.

12:31 PM  

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