Living in Melbourne’s inner-city suburb of Windsor is a whole sandwich of first-world problems. I now get frustrated when my local take-away coffee jaunt is shut and I have to walk ANOTHER 50 metres to the next closest caffeine cupboard. Making that a total of 150 metres walked. I get frustrated when I have a banh mi craving and Hanoi Hannah is closed. I get frustrated that making a food-related decision always involves weighing up 100 different options and often takes at least 20 minutes of deliberation time. I get frustrated that when I walk to get take-away in my couch clothes I’m totally out of place among the glamazons strutting Chapel Street in their leather leggings and Tony Biancos – I may as well be wearing a bunny onesie!
The heart of the problem is actually that Windsor is a ridiculously cool suburb to live in and there is so much to do, even though technically the suburb, bounded by the roads that go by the names of Punt, Dandenong, Williams and High, is the size of Polly Pocket.
Here are some of the best things to do in Windsor:
1. Pull out a bit of step touch on the dance floor at Hoo Haa and shamelessly eat the free pizza passed about among the dance floor dwellers, before staggering home at 3am.
2. Clog up my iPhone’s memory taking 1001 photos of the street art down Artist’s Lane, preferably at dusk when the light is all yellow and orange magnifico. I’m sure it’s equally as good at dawn, but seriously who’s awake at that time? If you’re allergic to outside air, this can all be done from the comfort of Mr Miyagi’s new next-door neighbour offspring Yuki’s Snack Bar, which has a handy glass feature-wall looking out onto the anime-inspired street art by commissioning artist HEESCO. Camera in one hand, cocktail in the other.
3. While Artist’s Lane deserves a special singular mention, there are plenty of other street art-adorned walkways in Windsor. If there was ever a place to roam some laneways, it’s here, uncovering brightly-coloured murals in some of the most random of places, of the most random of subjects.
4. Insist that Mr M wants me to eat a dozen Nori Tacos at Mr Miyagi, using those rice-dropping devices called chopsticks. You cannot call yourself a Windsorian (or Melburnian for that matter!) unless you’ve at least tried the grilled salmon belly, sushi rice, spicy napa cabbage combo of heavenliness that is a Nori Taco. #mrmsays
5. Line up for three days to stuff my face with a Hawker Hall feast of spice-laden, hawker-style street food that’s part Malaysian, part Singaporean.
6. Do a double take at all the new bars that seemingly spring up out of the pavement along Chapel Street, then madly make a mental note (or just get Siri to help). Lady Nelson’s Wine + Kitchen is one such newbie (taking residency in the old Kid Boston locale), who have delightfully friendly staff – I wanted to pack them all into my clutch and take them home with me.
7. Ride the number 6 tram. Just for the hell of it.
8. Have a Windsor-taxed $23 parma at the Prahran Hotel (that’s technically in Windsor), and insist on sitting in one of the wine barrel booths (that are technically beer barrel booths).
9. Rebelliously drink champagne at Borsch, Vodka and Tears, and snob the 10 pages of vodka options for the one page of wine options. However, whatever you do, don’t snob the polish dumplings.
10. Completely confuse my friends and enter Boston Sub’s freezer for a champagne cocktail at hidden bar Jungle Boy. Avoid at all costs eating a mega death sub, unless you want your arteries to crawl to a thud of a stop.
11. Rack up the frequent flyer points and head to Tokyo, as in Tokyo Tina, for gyoza and salmon tartare. With its peeling manga posters and futuristic neon-vibe you may as well be in Tokyo.
12. Line up for 45 minutes to get a table at Journeyman during peak brunch time, or feel very VIP-like by skipping the cue, ordering take-away and eating my ham and cheese croissant in the park with the junkies.
13. Give me a beer garden and a cider, and Sunday sesh me happy at The Windsor Castle Hotel.
14. If I was Nicole Kidman I would add to this list the BMX track that runs behind Windsor Station. I’m not Nicole Kidman, so I can’t technically count this one but I’m sure if I could ride a bike without training wheels, this would totally be at number two on this list.
15. See how fast I can eat a cured beef lemongrass mayo and mint banh mi from Hanoi Hannah’s take-away hole-in-the-wall, Express Lane. My record is 60 seconds.
Remind me what I’ve missed. Comment below.