For the last 16 years or ritual has been, when I am not working or R on his own, is to drive to Prahran, park in the Cato Street car park and shop. Bordering the carpark is Coles and Woolworths supermarkets, with Aldi not too far away, and also the cheap liquour outlet Dan Murphys, or Dan's as we call it. There are some good and cheap places nearby to have brunch and we have become very good customers of Chemist Warehouse in Chapel Street and occasional customers of Priceline chemist and other businesses nearby. My doctor's surgery also borders the car park, as does R's optician, and my chiropractor is within walking distance. We arrive using Commercial Road and depart using Greville Street.
We have to feed the meter in the carpark, at last count about $1.80 per hour. We usually stick in $2.50 to $2.80, guessing how long we will be. It is ever so convenient and we are so used to it.
The car park was never a thing of beauty and the spaces too tight. Small concrete barriers were installed a few years ago to give space to parking officers space to walk along between the noses of cars. Much revenue for City of Stonnington comes from the car park. Now the car park has closed for the entire area to reinvented. There will be underground car parking and a plaza where the just closed car park was. This is a great thing but leaves us without a car park when we go shopping. Take a look at what is being built. $60 million plus, completion in 2019.
What do we do about our shopping? Alternative car parks have been suggested but they are not convenient to us. Prahran's loss is South Melbourne's gain.
Two Saturday shopping days have passed, with me assisting for the first Saturday. We parked for free in the elevated Aldi car park, shopped in Aldi, shopped in Dan Murphy's in the same building, bought the famous South Melbourne Market dim sims to eat for brunch, bought flowers at the market, had great coffee at Brazil Coffee and then shopped for a couple of things at Woolworths. R did it on his own the following Saturday.
Ok, we would prefer to be going to Prahran but the new South Melbourne shopping is not so bad. I will never love it though as it is hard to get there by tram. Just today we went by tram to Prahran, to visit Chemist Warehouse, Coles for one thing, brunch and then a visit to my chiropractor. But Prahran has lost our big supermarket spend, and other lesser spends. I wonder how many are there like us? The stat counters of our customer loyalty cards must be concerned.