The street where I live comes to life very early each morning. There are the bakers who have already been up for many hours baking bread, pastries and cakes. The butcher lays out his window display ready for the day and the greengrocers wheel their crates of fruit and vegetables from the back of the shop and stack them on to the shelves. Local residents, many out walking their dog or taking in some early morning exercise call in to the newsagent to buy a paper or stop at the bakery for some bread. Some of the cafes also open early and serve coffee to the other traders or people on their way to work.
Soon all the shops are open and ready for business. I’ve never really understood why, but my street has more than it’s fair share of hairdressers and beauticians. There is also a florist, a Post Office and a bank, a library and too many other shops to mention.
Over the course of the day many people come and go from the street – to shop, to meet friends for coffee or lunch, to have a manicure, to borrow a book from the library, or even to have their dog groomed. Many people visiting many shops. Later in the afternoon there are many mothers and children dropping into the shops after school to buy milk or bread or something for dinner. The children run and play, enjoying the colour and movement of the street.
By the time I come home from work most of the shops have closed and the restaurants are coming to life. On my street you can enjoy Thai, Spanish, Lebanese, Italian, Ethiopian, Yemeni, Chinese or very good Aussie pub food. Most Saturday nights, the Vietnamese reception centre is packed with families celebrating a wedding, a 21st birthday, or some other special event. They spill out on to the street to smoke or chat with each other.
I love the street where I live. I love seeing the same group of old men sitting on their favourite bench seat each Saturday morning chatting to each other and watching the world go by. I love the friendly shopkeepers that I’ve got to know over the years. I love that the many people that walk along my street represent so many different cultures and backgrounds.
I’m moving soon and this street will no longer be my street but it will always hold a special place in my memory.