With our St Kilda cover story we hark back to an era when blood flowed in the streets, not frozen yoghurt, and music rang out of every delapidated mansion. But lest you think we’re condemning what was once called “Berlin-by-the-Sea” to being a ’burb of lost bohemia, we’ve found plenty to celebrate, with all sorts of movers and shakers fighting to keep St Kilda a creative refuge.
We thought you might need heating up, so we bring you ornate tea sets issuing curling steam; warming whisky in twinkling bars; and the fire-stoking smile of Kat Stewart. Autumn’s advance also means Melbourne gets extra cultural – and I do believe there is a correlation. It’s the more frostbitten cities that make the most of their cosy libraries, museums and literary centres.
What do you demand of a café? 1950s sundaes, croquet on the lawn and a view of people doing the downward dog? Probably not, but you can – because that’s the sort of madness Melbourne comes up with, as immortalised in our cover story. On the subject of lunacy, Moomba, the grand dame of the City of Melbourne, turns 60 in March, so go and goggle at King Bert Newton in the parade. One day, I shall be Queen.
We send out the sturdiest souls we know to investigate Melbourne’s guilty pleasures for this month’s cover story. If you’re planning on following suit, be warned: you’re going to need to dress up. Whether you choose the path of gold lamé catsuit, stained jogging pants, leather chainmail or incognito trenchcoat is up to you, but choose widely – the new friends you make will expect you to stay in character.
Every October we can flash our ‘Culture Prefect’ badge at the rest of the country with even more impunity. The Melbourne Festival has long proved itself at recruiting global acts that push boundaries and bend minds, and this year’s programme has us lining up to be profoundly changed forever. Add to that the return of Semi-Permanent and the biennial Festival of Ideas, and there’s plenty with which to feed your head this month.