Tuesday, February 08, 2005

St Kilda Festival

How many years ago was it? Maybe 10, maybe more. It was the St Kilda Festival and it was a wonderful day. There were street food stalls, buskers all based on or near Acland St and along the Esplanade were a couple of bands for the younger people.

People were wandering around in the pleasant sunshine. We spent quite a long time at the St Kilda Historical Society display in a building that I can’t well remember.

We went the next year, but the atmosphere was not as good with a lot of people publicly drinking and an awful lot of people.

We decided not to go the following year.

A couple of years later we went out the Festival Sunday and returned to find we could not get a parking place anywhere near our house in Balaclava.

This, along with the disappearing local shops in Balaclava, the quick change in the parking situation in our street as houses were renovated and the yuppies moved in, (ok, we started the rot) went a long way to convincing that it was a place we no longer wanted to live. We loved the local feel of Balaclava when we moved there. We liked the ‘unusual’ people. Our neighbours were great. It changed so quickly and along with it St Kilda changed. I could no longer buy a screw up the street, although I could in our back lane, and there was not one decent place to buy a cup of coffee when we moved there. Now it is sinking with great eating and coffee shops. We only wanted a couple of coffee shops, not tens of them.

Now our rates pay for this street party for people from all over Melbourne. I suppose businesses do well, although I know not all do. I suppose the council gets in extra income that offsets the money they spend. I suppose it makes St Kilda an attractive enticing place that drives property up, not necessarily a good thing.

But I am afraid I no longer like St Kilda, nor Balaclava and I am glad to be away from them.


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