The Urbaniste | Zurich
Do you live in a city or a village ?
In Zurich I lived 10 mins from the city centre by car (or 12km on foot – of which I know every centimetre intimately, as it was my training track for the Paris Marathon), but my apartment was not regarded as being in Zurich, but in the village of Thalwil.
The Urbaniste | Singapore
Singapore, is only 42km wide but it has approximately 12,400 villages. These are more commonly known as apartment blocks, but with their communal areas, recreational facilities, innate dress codes and in some cases shops and restaurants (hawker markets ), I think they definitely constitute vertical villages.
The Urbaniste | Melbourne
Melbourne, in comparison, sprawls across 9900 km2, has four very distinct regions and 538 suburbs or villages. Many of these suburbs even have tribes of warriors – aka Australian Rules footballers – who defend the pride of the village in a national competition.
The Urbaniste | Another former village of residence Ixelles Brussels
At The Urbaniste, I am all about cities. But if I am completely honest, I really am a village girl. As an aspiring urban anthropologist, I find discovering new villages to be one of the greatest thrills of travelling or moving to a new city. I love the tribalism. I especially enjoy dissecting the dress codes, food and shopping habits and belief systems that make particular pockets not only unique, but completely different to the next village only a few kilometres away.
Westgarth | Melbourne
The Urbaniste | High Street Westgarth
Last Christmas, my lovely friends, C & J (current location Melbourne | soon to be Auckland ) generously offered me the opportunity not only to stay in their home while they were overseas, but to immerse myself in a new Melbourne village – Westgarth.
Here are my findings :
The Urbaniste | Barry Westgarth
EAT | If you want to see what Melbourne food is all about at the moment, then please go to Barry
The Urbaniste | Wilted spinach, goats feta and dukkah omelette
The Urbaniste | Barry coffee
Big, honest, organic breakfasts with lashings of avocado and the best of local organic produce are served all day, alongside some of the world’s finest coffee (yes the world’s – this is Melbourne people and Barry’s has damn fine coffee).
The Urbaniste | A happy patron
The Urbaniste | Barry’s Insides
The carefully curated industrial chic decor and communal tables provide a perfect stage for the cast of attractive locals and day tourists. It has the new Melbourne hours of 7am-4pm. You can’t book and there are always big queues – even on weekdays – so if you don’t like to wait, go very early or in the morning or mid afternoon.
The Urbaniste | Gypsy Hideout
Special mention must also be made of Gypsy Hideout. It may suffer from being the less glamorous sister on the Westgarth strip, but it was the scene of one of my greatest culinary moments of 2015. On Boxing Day I had a smoked turkey, brie and quince jam toasted sourdough sandwich. It may have been the novelty of eating bread, cheese and a sugary condiment, but this treat was so good it almost eclipsed the Christmas fare of the day before.
The Urbaniste | Fruit Peddlers
SHOP | There is a very curated look in Westgarth (see WEAR), but the residents do not queue to purchase the latest handbags ; they queue for a wicker basket in which to put their organic produce at Terra Madre | Fruit Peddlers
The Urbaniste | Designer baskets in Westgarth
The Urbaniste | Store merchandising at Fruit Peddlers
The warren of rooms housing grains, organic meats and coconut everything, may be designed to make you believe that it has remained frozen in time from its origins as a hippie food store, but the artisanal food gives it aways as being at the cutting edge of the clean eating food movement.
The Urbaniste | Westgarth Uniform
WEAR | To dress Westgarth, requires skills I do not possess. I think the word Hipster should be rested (but see how I used it to to plant an image in your head) so, the local look could be best described as arty bohemian. Beards, strategic tattoos and singlets are the uniform of the Westgarth menfolk. While the womenfolk look like they have Amy Winehouses’s former stylist on speed dial. Do not wear head to toe black in Westgarth and if you cannot extract yourself from your Lululemon activewear, please turn your car around and head back to the eastern suburbs.
The Urbaniste | Westgarth Cinema
DO| If you want to experience the thrill of going to the movies when the grandeur of the cinema alone made it an event, then head to Westgarth Cinema.
The Urbaniste | Double Fronted Bungalow
The Urbaniste | Triple Fronted Brick Veneer
DO | Alternatively, take a wander along the streets of Westgarth adjacent to the High Street Shopping centre, where you can enjoy a masterclass in Australian residential design.
The Urbaniste | Singel Fronted Cottage
The Urbaniste | Single Fronted Cottage
The Urbaniste | Victorian Terrace
The Urbaniste | Edwardian Mansion
Use this weekend to check out a new village in your city. Or to explore your village further.
Please share all amusing findings here at The Urbaniste.