This photo (left) was taken Friday night in the 'beer garden' section of the Intrepid office, which inhabits the entire 7th floor of a Collins Street highrise. At 4 pm on Fridays the company provides a fridge-full of beer, cider and wine in its vast kitchen area, to which the beer garden is adjacent. The gentleman beside me is Mark Hewitt, of the Ringwood Hewitts (sorry for that, mate). When I joined Intrepid's brochure team I'd been freelance writing for years and was still doing overnight shifts as an Uber driver but had not held a full-time office gig since a comically bad stint with Optus in North Sydney in 2007. Fair to say I was trepiditious about fitting in as a rusty 51 year old. To use one of Mark's favourite expressions, 'this fuckin' guy' was as helpful and patient as anyone I've ever worked with, regardless of the field. I thanked him in front of the team on Friday, my final day at Intrepid, and I'm thanking him again on my goddamned blog because everyone should be as lucky to have a guy like this beside him/her when you feel like a bridge troll in an office full of young, smart and disturbingly attractive men and women.
Parramatta Yankee was once a means to show people back home what life was like in Australia but I stopped doing that when my life became something I disliked. So consider this a throwback post. Here's a chronological look at my first experience as a Melbourne CBD Working Boy, starting with a South Melbourne sunrise snapped in April (below) and ending with photos from my final day on Friday.
|As I was still Ubering in April I'd park in South Melbourne, have a coffee and chin wag with Dave at Jimmy the Saint, and walk to the Intrepid office on Collins Street. One morning the sky over Southbank, which sits across the Yarra River from Melbourne's CBD, glowed cotton-candy pink.|
|Morning view of the pedestrian bridge to Southbank.|
|Steps of the Immigration Museum on Flinders Street painted in support of the Yes vote in Australia's ridiculous (non-binding) referendum on marriage equality. Here's hoping Aussies do what their gutless representatives cannot: acknowledge the rights of fellow citizens to marry the partner of his/her choice. Pretty fucking simple.|
|A new chi-chi restaurant seems to pop up on Chapel Street every week, but every now and then I'd get off the train at Windsor and determine a beer and (chicken) burger were necessary and head to the nearby hipster-free Parlour Diner for a healing dose.|
|Walking back to my St Kilda East apartment through a moody Alma Park.|
|Exceptionally ordinary apartment buildings on Flinders Street.|
|As I've lived in proximity to Australia's finest bagels for ten years in Balaclava, I was hesitant to visit a bagel shop near the office favoured by my colleagues. After overcoming my bias I quickly became a fan of NJ-native Zev's shop, called 5 and Dime Bagel, especially when I went in one day and he was wearing a t-shirt reading 'Boonton Coffee Co'.|
|To celebrate the conclusion of a successful 'brochure season', Intrepid organised an afternoon of lawn bowls at the Melbourne Bowls Club in Flagstaff Gardens. Thanks again, Belinda.|
|On Friday the rising sun glowed bright down Fulton Street as I began a final morning commute.|
|My last morning as first (or second) into the office.|
|Amen. (Thanks, Cluny.)|
|Dusk view in the beer garden. Outstanding Humans of Intrepid Pippa, Emily and Justin are barely visible in foreground shadow.|
|On Saturday morning I pulled this, a departing gift from Home Is Toronto Liz, from my backpack and placed it in a place of prominence. I'll do the same with memories of my six months at Intrepid.|