Gone with the Wind
The city was way too edgy and cultured for me to be able appreciate back then. Why would I visit a cafe when I could have an instant coffee mocha in a cereal bowl at home? Plays? Art galleries? Nah, I’mma watch reruns of Shortland Street on VHS in my unmade bed.
I’m shocked to learn that the same bars and eateries which were around two decades ago are still here today. They look exactly the same both outside and in.
In Sydney, new stores will often be closed less than six months after opening, refitted to suit the latest lifestyle fad – the late night absinthe bar closes to make way for the Farm to Fork communal table, which folds to allow for the intensive cross fit club. That suits me just fine, but I can imagine if you were rocking up to Courtenay Place wanting your usual takeaway kebab and visit to the underwater strip club, you‘d be pretty pissed to find some plant-based protein balls and hot yoga in its place.
And Cuba Street Mall is EXACTLY the same: the same anaemic mung bean fritter health food stores, musty recycled clothing hang outs and herbal happy high shops. The same breed of overtly-opinionated Uni students in unwashed hemp clothing, loudly lamenting the zeitgeist (every group I walk past appears debating the “patriarchal society”).
It almost feels like the only thing that has changed in all this time is me.
As a grown up human (technically) I can finally appreciate the charm of this little city. Of course, it’s probably a lot easier to look past the bad weather when you aren’t living in a damp shared flat with mildew on the walls and fraying curtains (even if there was a pet rabbit living in your carpeted lounge to cheer you up).
Peeps, the view from up here (Mt Victoria/also adulthood) is majestic. Bring a jacket.