Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Coming home

An amazing dish from 'The Pint of Milk': sauteed exotic mushrooms, walnut sourdough, taleggio and truffled chestnuts $14

As we head over the Queensboro Bridge bound for JFK in a yellow cab, I soak up every last glimpse of the Manhattan skyline. For the first time in weeks, I am truly still. No plans, no must-sees, nothing new to take in. Flashes of the past weeks fill my thoughts in a pleasant blur, yet I’m not sure I’m ready to leave the frenetic energy of this awe-inspiring city behind.

“I’m really sad to be leaving,” I say aloud as my eyes glaze momentarily.

“Me too,” says the Mister beside me. “But it was a really great holiday.” He squeezes my hand.

A day later, another cab drops us at home in Footscray. It’s Sunday morning and the street is deadly quiet. Nothing moves, just our breath as it hits the cold air. Our car is still here! Inside, everything is as we left it. Not perfect, but clean, and it feels like home. The deep chill in the air has permeated inside, yet somehow I feel cocooned and warm. I love seeing all my things again and, for the first time, feel as though we have plenty of space. I remind myself, not for the first time in the last few weeks, that we are lucky. So easy to forget.

While nothing changed on the home front while we were gone, the rest of the west seems to have progressed at a rapid pace. In the weeks since returning, I’ve been like a kid in a "candy" shop checking out all the fabulous new places - Common Galaxia in Seddon is hitting all the right notes for me and just down Victoria Street, A. Bongiovanni & Son is winning my heart by making it easy to source speciality groceries (too many wonderful baking supplies for my own good). The Mexican taqueria chain, Guzman Y Gomez has made a quick bite before a movie much more attractive at Highpoint. The Reading Room at Victoria University in Footscray is now providing a coffee fix and eats to the wider community, not just students, so of course I had to sample their tasty wares. I made the effort to (finally) try The Pint of Milk in Newport and was not disappointed. I can't stop thinking about the nutty, earthy dish I ate there (pictured above). I’ve revived my sense of community by getting re-acquainted with my not-so-old favourites: Besito in West Footscray, Elceed in North Melbourne, and neighborhood favourites West 48 and Ebi Fine Foods.  Is the west really going off or am I just trying to tell myself that I don’t need New York, there is plenty happening here?!

I've discovered that it's possible to wish you were still on holiday and be happy to be home at the same time!

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