While perusing some ultra-hipster clothing on Oxford Street in Darlinghurst, Alicia and I made friends with the girl manning the counter at the tiny boutique, Zeitgeist. I was contemplating my ability to pull off a dress with skull and cross bones all over it, deciding, “definitely not,” and Alicia was busy doing more valuable things like actually listening to our Gwen Stefani-inspired shop girl with blonde hair and red lipstick. Gwen-twin (I should know her name) was planning a long trip to America, to San Francisco and New York. OH! We KNOW something about those cities. Alicia proceeded to explain Haight Street and in return Gwen recommended a café down the street based out of a used bookstore. You mean there are places with coffee, cookies, and books that smell deliciously like mothballs and have lovely, oddly personal, writing in them!? Ok, heaven exists.
Oxford Street is actually its own special kind of city street heaven. It’s famous this time of year for being host to a second Marti Gras parade that was originally organized to call attention to Gay rights. The parade is still a massive GBTLQ celebration and the street still generally glorifies in anything alternative. The pricy edgy fashion in store windows is all neon t-shirts, men’s vests made mini for women, gladiator sandals, and ribbed black mini-dresses—or lingerie, porn, and sex toys… There is no end to the wander-based entertainment and adventures to be had here! Hypothetically, you could stop in for a X-movie and casually window-shop for an expensive new cocktail dress. Ok, you’d have to walk to either end of the street to do that. But it’s possible!
I loved wandering Darlinghurst but possibly the most unique thing we found all day was the little used bookstore. It exists on three levels. The basement and attic are shelves of books centered by mismatched tables for eating. On the main floor you order. We sat upstairs in antique, reupholstered fuchsia pink, extra tall backed Victorian-ish chairs and read travel books to accompany a mocha, a cappuccino, an almond croissant, and a honeyed yogurt with fruit. Another thing about Australia: the yogurt is good. I’m kind of a connoisseur. It was bound to come out eventually, my strange obsession with yogurt. My favorite is Greek. This Aussie stuff is similar, more like cream than watery American variations. Here it always comes plain first, sweetened later, which is exactly right. Australia and I are really working out.