There’s a new shop that’s recently opened in my local neighbourhood shopping strip. I live in the Melbourne suburbs and my local shopping street is hardly groovy, but it’s changed over the years to reflect the shifting demographic. Once there were old ladies’ frock shops and blue-rinse hairdressers, small independent hardware stores, barbershops and bakeries that stood between the green grocers, banks and butchers. But they’re mostly gone.
When we first moved into the neighbourhood over ten years ago – a young family with the youngest child not yet conceived – the locals were predominantly white lower-middle class retirees living in weary 1930s-era bungalows of weatherboard and brick. It had been a market-gardening area in the late 1800s and early 1900s on the periphery of bayside Melbourne until it was neatly subdivided by planners at the grand Caulfield town hall.