With my backpack, walking shoes, memories and bottled water I head out from the Freewayside Hotel to West End. My boots embrace the footpath and my feet try to hug the ground.
I begin to walk the streets that were my home and once again I’m back in my old haunt. The old building above is where I lived.Time has jumped back 10 to 15 years to the late nineties and I begin to feel the freedom of the simpler lifestyle I had back then.
West End is one of the older suburbs of Brisbane and has always been a mixture of cultures and communities, but from what I can see today it has been well and truly redeveloped and gentrified.When I lived here I was among the genuine poor and not the ‘fashionable poor’ who visit on the weekends to get their weekly measure of the alternate lifestyle.
Boundary Street has a wide range of cuisines, restaurants, take-away and coffee shops and is a real gem when it comes to second-hand book stores, clothing stores weird boutiques, bars and pubs; it has got it all. If anyone ever says to you ‘it takes all kinds’ then West End is the place where ‘all kinds’ live. Harley Riders, adventure runners, rainbow people, 60-year-old hippies, young mothers with clinging children, old aged and middle-aged couples as well as the up and coming in their European cars.
It takes all kinds to create a community and that’s what West End is; it is a community and that’s why I loved living here.
In my day Expressohead was the café where I’d go to be ‘seen’. It was in the day of the Goths with their black attire and makeup and as I took up the seat where I sat 15 years ago it was like I had warped back to 1995.It was intoxicating to have my current life collide with my past and it meshed perfectly. I had a fantastic few hours revisiting memory street and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.