When I first arrived in Sydney, I found a room in a house on Cleveland Street as a temporary base of operations for the new Australian chapter of my life. The house was old, but it had been renovated and proved to be fairly comfortable. It was convenient – on major bus lines to everywhere and only a 15 minute walk from the gay scene and the main train station. The housemates were great – except for the obnoxious Vietnamese guy – and we went through several iterations so there was always something new.
First there was Mayra, Cade, and me.
Then Mayra, Oscar, Jim, and me.
Oscar left and we were down to Mayra, Jim, and me.
A short stint of Mayra, me, and Sam…
Was followed by Mayra, me, Vicky, and Nick.
We then became me, Vicky, Nick, and Vince.
And finally me, Vicky, Nick, and Marie.
It was a bit of movement over the course of 14 months, but it was an awesome learning and social experience. How often does a nice Jewish-American boy have the opportunity to live with a Japanese-Brazilian girl, a true-blue Aussie, two Catalans, a Russian-Australian guy, a Malaysian-New Zealander-Australian, a Canadian dude, an obnoxious Vietnamese, and a Frenchie?
I’d say not very often.
What was supposed to be a place to stay for a few months while I got my bearings (and a job) turned into a home for over a year. It was a good run, but like all good things, it was time for the house on Cleveland Street to come to an end. After very slowly looking for a few months, I stumbled upon a room in an apartment which was just too good to pass up. So, two weeks ago, I packed up my stuff and headed north… just a few blocks… to a new apartment in the heart of the Surry Hills neighborhood.
My new apartment has the potential to make many a Sydneysider green with envy. A spacious downstairs living room, dining room, and kitchen opens up to a lovely private courtyard with a big table and BBQ (a must in Australia). Upstairs, I have a good-sized bedroom with my own private bathroom. No more waiting for the shower, waiting for the toilet, or waiting to brush my teeth. I hate waiting. I have a massive walk-in-closet which I’ve already filled up and the unit comes complete with a clothes dryer and screens on the windows – two things that I’ve been missing dearly ever since I arrived in Australia.
I used to share my house with three other people. Now I’m down to one. It’s not as social and interactive, but it’s a welcome change. My commute to work has shortened from 35 minutes by foot to 18 minutes by foot, and I have many friends who conveniently live in the area. I’m a 7 minute walk from Central Station and a 7 minute walk to all of the bars. The apartment has two other features which I find absolutely great:
The first: my apartment sits right across the street from a brothel. Yes, a brothel. Hookers, and prostitutes, and whores, oh my! Brothels are legal in Australia (as they should be), but as an American, it’s a bit strange to think about a brothel outside of Nevada. Now, obviously, I won’t be needing the services of a brothel (sorry ladies, but lady parts are gross), but it’s fun to watch and see who comes out from the front doors. I just watch and judge, watch and judge.
I like judging people.
The second: a little café is located in the front of my new building. This isn’t just any café – oh no. This is a… bruschetteria. That’s right. And it’s called: Bruschetteria. As the name implies, the café serves bruschetta. And more bruschetta. All types of bruschetta actually. It’s not just tomato on toast – but eggs on toast and veggies on toast and salmon on toast and bacon on toast and any sort of savoury breakfast food or combination of foods that you can think of… in bruschetta form. It’s actually a pretty neat concept. A group of us went for brunch there last weekend and the consensus was that it was good. Really good.
Another thing to note: the bruschetteria features a Nutella coffee. A Nutella coffee is a latte with Nutella in it instead of sugar or other sweeteners. I tried it. And it was so good that I think it aroused me. Yep. It was orgasmic.
I was worried when I left Cleveland Street that I would have to walk 15 minutes back to my old neighbourhood to see my cute baristas. But I was delighted to find that the bruschetteria has a gorgeous Italian owner and an adorable waiter from some yet-to-be-determined central European country.
Bruschetta, Nutella coffee, and new cute baristas to look at.
I like my new home.