I have to admit, I have never really been a fan of Brisbane. I’ve been here loads to visit friends but I’ve never really bonded with the city itself. I don’t know why, but I’ve just never really thought of it as a nice city – I’ve always thought it was very concrete and a little on the boring side. There is loads of appeal here though, like its easy access to places like the Sunny Coast, Byron Bay and of course my lovely home town not to mention that a large percentage of my friends live up this way. The access I would have to my family and friends is a clear benefit in my mind.
But the last couple of days I’ve seen a different side to Brisbane that I didn’t know existed and has made me think that there might be benefits to the actual city itself, rather than merely it’s location and residents. I’m currently staying with some friends in West End, not to be confused with ‘The’ West End in London (which is how I’ve been referring to it a lot out of habit). West End has a little bit of that bohemian vibe to it that I so dearly love about my precious Byron Bay, my beloved Newtown in Sydney and my now home Islington in London. That sense of a smaller community within a bigger city context, some independent shops, cafes and bars, the ease of conversation you have with the local shopkeepers. A place that has a little hint of the hippy vibe to it. It even smells different here, which probably has a lot to do with the fact that a few houses around here have inhabitants that were burning incense and smoking weed but you can definitely tell that there is a much more relaxed, chilled, small town vibe in this little corner of the concrete city.
The girls took me out to an amazing Turkish restaurant last night that had the most delicious food, catered for gluten free and had a really laid back vibe and atmosphere to it. It was cheap especially considering how amazing the food was and I just loved the atmosphere. Of course the company helps a lot too but even if I was dining there on my own I think I would have loved it. I had mussels with an amazing creamy garlic sauce, quinoa tabouli, and a GF chickpea bread. I wish I had the presence of mind to take photos of the delicious food but I was too distracted by catching up with everyone and clean forgot about it.
This morning, while everyone was at work, I took a stroll down Boundary Street, the ‘high’ street in West End, looked in a few gift shops and book shops and stopped for a leisurely coffee where I caught up with one of my favourite magazines and did some people watching. I also, very naughtily, treated myself to a little orange and cranberry cake (GF of course) and ice cream before taking another wander and checking out some of the vintage shops around.
Given the fact that we are planning a move home in the not too distant future I am now viewing things in a slightly different light, trying to ascertain what the rental and job markets are like, what type of lifestyle we could have, how easy it would be to get to the beach and most importantly how easy it would be to see our families. I’m not saying that Brisbane is now my chosen city, more that it is now a contender with a high chance whereas before I probably wouldn’t have considered it. It will of course depend what jobs are available and also what hubby wants to do as well… because at the end of the day, as much as I want it to be, it’s not all about me.