Thursday, September 16, 2010

bourke street

Icons of the top of Burke Street include Pellegrini’s, the Paperback and the Spaghetti Tree. I remember all three of these from long, long ago when I was born.

Everyone talks about Pellegrini’s, still. The coffee at 10ish on a Saturday night is, actually, not that great. Certainly I wasn’t hanging out for it, as they say, so maybe I noticed more than usual that coffee often doesn’t taste that good really – it’s a drug you take to stop you wanting it. But still. The guys behind the counter (my age) were talking about a worst album cover competition. One of them was uncertain what such a thing might even be. The explanation was ‘you might have a ten best films, right. Well this isn’t ten best, it’s ten worst. And it’s album covers.’ Anyway I couldn’t glean what the actual worst album cover was, so that was stupid of me. I was amazed that some women came in and asked to see a menu. EVERYONE KNOWS the menu is stuck on a board half way up the joint. Nothing goes on, nothing comes off. What’s the special today? You are.

Over the lane is another institution: The Paperback. This is the kind of shop that, if it wasn’t still there for you to go into any time you wanted, you’d go into it in your sentimental mind, because it has this perfectly simple layout and way cool stock and always really friendly staff who like books. (So, someone will probably tell me it’s run by a nazi or capitalist or a jailed pedophile or something – thanks in advance for that). When I went there the door was locked with a back in 5 note on the front. But someone – a customer, I later gleaned, who had been intentionally or unintentionally locked in – let me in, during which time I noted they had about five locks on the door. I browsed and got some great stuff.

Spaghetti Tree I have to admit I have never been into. But it’s always been there (or at least since the early 70s). I think it started out as a kind of theatre restaurant, but if that’s so it’s not one now, it’s just a spaghetti restaurant (actually, I’m assuming even that, I haven’t looked at the menu). I wonder if it has new regular clientele coming all the time, or if its customers are just depleting year by year as granny from Doncaster stops coming into town cuz she dies. I wonder.


Anonymous said...

One night earlier and you would have seen me walking down Burke Street after dinner at European grill post getting married on the roof of the Nicholas building. Originally I had planned to get married in pelegrines, but was too embarrassed. Any way you are partially to blame, after seeing your simple but chic wedding snaps. I was spurred on. took snaps in the great lift there if you know that? you would. Only guest were my two sons, kob(bride) and another couple and jon van go who married us at his cheap mid-week rate. which was $50 cheaper than govt office. incredible view from that roof astonishing, totally changes how the city is geographically outlined in one's brain

Marshall-Stacks said...

Stephano? there is also a great view of the city from the end of the gantry of North Melbourne station and I would have snaps of it if there had been more than a minute between my trains.

'Back In 5 mins' is the bane of the Sole Operator toilet break.

I noticed The Job Warehouse has a sign in the window saying they take Viewings By Appointment now. Filling the void left when LeLouvre closed a block away.
The Job guy used to scream "Go to Georges then!" if one dared make any qualification of his goods.
I bought the skin of a golden cocker spaniel there once, about 1966, and made a bag out of it.
Snappy breed the Cocker.

The Pangrazio family own Pellegrini's - their brother was my 3rd-grade teacher.

Rochelle said...

Gorgeous post. And I've always wondered who eats at the Spaghetti Tree too!

bonitoclub said...

I did once eat at Spaghetti Tree, in about 1982. It wasn't very good. I preferred the Spaghetti Theatre in Collins St.

fxh said...

One of the best areas in Melbourne. I always take visitors there - mostly at night. Late.

Up around the corner is Supper Club still good - even if trendy- over the road Laneway Cafe or Edge or whatever is good - upstairs across the street is a good bar - the Bistro at thingo er ah .... is great if you get a window table.....American Tailors has the best clothes in Melbourne - Red Pepper - great Indian food- further down Hill of Content - Windsor on corner -

I always tell visitors -"Pelligrinis is the best place in Melb (and hence the world) to HAVE coffee - they do not have the best coffee " - different thing.