Yesterday, we celebrated 29 years of wedded bliss. Well, wedded something...lol! Still, not a bad effort in this age of disposable relationships. I actually found a new German word that reflects a different attitude to the whole wedded bliss thing - you don't have a husband, wife, spouse, you have a "Lebensabschnittspartner" (ha! - pronounce that!). Roughly translated, you marry a "life stage partner", implying that once that particular stage is over, so is the relationship. The concept must have been invented by divorce lawyers as a revenue raiser.
Never mind, we decided to mark the happy occasion with a night in town, starting with dinner at the Left Bank restaurant, situated between Southgate and the casino. Lovely food, awesome cocktail list - yes, I did indulge in a mojito - and beautiful surroundings. The night was surprisingly balmy, spring has certainly sprung. We hadn't been in town after dark for a very long time, and I enjoyed the different appeal of the city at night. Walking along the river with the crowds, we watched art being made by the chalk painter, listened to an ageing busker play the saxophone - expertly, 'oooh-ed' and 'aahhh-ed' at the casino flues bursting into fire, and heard the thump-thump of the music in the bars. This is a time of change and renovation at Southgate, one of Melbourne's entertainment precincts. There are a number of new restaurants at Crown casino, and many of the shops have closed. It struck me that the new restaurants, Nobu, Spice Temple, Guillaume, and others, are virtually closed off from view. Now, for my part, I like to see what I'm getting into, and would much prefer to see an inviting dining space instead of a menu and closed doors. Is that their idea of exclusivity? Not for me, I'm afraid.
We're not into gambling, but took a shortcut through the casino, which was packed. So many people sitting alone in front of machines, looking bored or sad! The casino itself is looking more like a tired old dame these days, only sustained by clever lighting and delusions of self-importance. We agreed that the whole complex is actually quite boring! On the way back, we passed some more drinking holes, with groups of young folk hanging out. We stopped for a while, just watching people go by, and admiring the cityscape by night. Flinders Station glowed in the dark, the golden bee on the Eureka Tower cast a baleful eye at us, a small child allowed up past her bedtime was blowing bubbles, the river sparkled, and an evidently vision-impaired 30-something wavedat me, shouting "Hello gorgeous!", much to DH's amusement.
Yes, I felt at home in my city at night.