By Rhonda Dredge
There’s a chance to catch up on culture again in the CBD by trying to act normal in the streets, arcades and underground passages.
In the two years since the virus hit, digital has enhanced its hold over our daily lives.
But in the Campbell Arcade, vinyl is still selling well, even on a Sunday.
You can peruse the boxes of second-hand records in this heritage-listed passage to Flinders Street Station and buy half a dozen for $20.
Retro is big here, with new releases by producer and rapper Swizz Beats and vintage label Tommy Boy Records.
An exhibition of alternative realities is on display nearby in the Dirty Dozen glass vitrines in the arcade, all with a cosmic theme.
The Metro Tunnel project has hacked into this excellent part of the city, home to a creative bunch of artists, writers and music hounds.
Rumour has it that the danger has been averted and the CBD’s best-loved record shop Wax Museum was open, having convinced the City of Melbourne to hand over the key.
The plan to evict them all for tunnel construction has been postponed over and over, the record guy explained, and what with structural issues in terms of construction, they feel safe for the moment.
“All I know,” he said, “is that you’ll be able to access Flinders Street Station from here and a new tunnel down below.”
Not everyone is as devoted to their product as Wax Museum. Most places are still closed on a Sunday in the CBD.
There were only a few tables out in Degraves St to support the return of café culture and at the top of Bourke St there was just one café for two bookshops, putting pressure on wait staff to keep up literary chat.
In Flinders Lane, newcomer Brunetti’s was open for those visiting the library but other stalwarts such as Journal and Duke’s Coffee Roasters were closed.
CBD resident Lura Wilson was celebrating her 30th birthday with a small cake from Brunetti’s topped with gold leaf.
She was hardly being extravagant with her festivities, having attended a performance of Absolute Riot on Friday night at The Toff and spent the rest of the weekend hanging around at home with her rescue cats.
She was waiting until next weekend to go out on a dance party with her friends, she said.
During the pandemic she started a company called Dustbunny Eco Cleaning Company in which she employed her girlfriends.
“I’m pretty outgoing,” she said. “I’m from the mid-west, Minneapolis. I’ve got an insane work ethic. It was hard not to work on my birthday.” •
Caption: Lura Wilson steps out for a cake at Brunetti’s.