Brunswick Street, Fitzroy on a Sunday morning is quite an experience. From an eclectic café and bar for brunch to the most exciting and highly unusual retail stores, the journey is really eye opening. Flower stalls flourish beside second-hand charity outlets and top end designs live beside quirky items useful for I'm not sure exactly what, but one can appreciate the innovation behind the ideas.
In window shopping mode, I stroll down Brunswick Street, past a set of wonderfully descriptive bench seats and a set of artistic static bicycles decorating an otherwise dull spot along the pavement just near the Victoria Street intersection.
I'm amused by the vast array of unusual shops and their signage and their even more amusing articles for sale. Firstly, next to Vasette the local flower stall alive with the most brightly coloured blooms, is a store called simply, Mr Simple, apparently well known for its great selection of menswear. In another section of Brunswick Street is Heading Out Hair & Beauty with a rather gruesome female head with long hair and large lips protruding above the overhead signage. However, my vote went to the local hardware store with two carpenters, each holding a saw and a square respectively, stepping out above the heads of the passers-by.
Occupying a rather large section of the block is an extensive red brick building with two towers on the roof. It's quite impressive early architecture but I wasn't able to discover its origins. It stands not far from the building marked Godfrey 1 which I'm assuming contains an Asian restaurant, as a large statue of the Golden Oscar cat stands waving from the upstairs window.
Opposite the flower stall, is the long grey Little Creatures Great and Small Dining Hall with its cute welcoming cherub hovering above the signage. On the side walk in front there are several fresh fruit and veggie stalls. There are symbols everywhere along the street. And there is yet another heavenly figure, this time an angel with out-spread wings that rests above the sign Sweet Temptation and just a few doors down, I notice a large martini glass. I wonder if there is any connection?
While a local estate agent is operating from an almost Tudor style building, a neighbouring inhabitant has chosen to build an ultra modern, wave-fronted edifice wedged between two brightly painted older style buildings.
Unexpectedly I happen upon this obviously popular and very unusual eatery, Naked for Satan, noticeable by the shiny copper stills throughout. This café/bar is known for its pintxos (Spanish), small slices of bread (or similar) with all sorts of interesting toppings held together by toothpicks. Patrons pay according to the number of toothpicks they hand to the cashier at the end of their stay.
Quite some time later, I manage to reach the completely satiated level and almost waddle back along the street in the direction of my car. I pass quirky jewellery stands, a stuffed spotted deer, a lotus-shaped lamp, a very distorted clock and a very funny, though not original, bathroom sign.
Having spent the morning in the city and having managed to over-consume at brunch in Fitzroy, I take a final look down the city end of Brunswick Street to the fabulous church with the very tall spire before scrambling through a few side streets, heading for home.
I decided to drive home via the beach and stop somewhere along the way and enjoy the sunset. I found my spot at North Brighton. With the beach in the foreground and Melbourne city as a backdrop, the scene was quite moving.
There were many families enjoying a late afternoon stroll and the beachside restaurant was quite busy. The bay with its many ships on the horizon, was calm and beautiful. The spectacular sunset was my signal that it was time to go and I headed off again past those majestic palm trees, marvelling again at what a treasure trove of unexpected delights, our city has to offer. So my friends, seek and you shall find.