Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Edinburgh Gardens

Forget about dating sites and dating apps, forget pubs and clubs and swimming upriver to mate. Just be like normal white Melburnians and have a picnic at Edinburgh gardens on a sunny Sunday afternoon. White Melburnians love Edinburgh Gardens because there's rarely a wrong type in sight. The last time a wrong type of white Melburnian was spotted in Edinburgh Gardens was in 1996, walking around on his hind legs as he farewelled his beloved Fitzroy Lions before they were subsumed by the Brisbane Bears.

Edinburgh Gardens isn't your average Melbourne park. Footy and cricket are just as common as hula hooping, bat tennis and even slacklining. Anyone new to Edinburgh Gardens will be struck by the variety of sports being played - each one more frivolous and mildly entertaining than the last. The worst part is having to take your rubbish with you because all the bins are overloaded with discarded bottles of Coopers Pale. There are also people strumming guitars and old timers breathing subtle sighs of relief when there are no renditions of Mr Jones.

Meanwhile, your average white Melburnian man at Edinburgh gardens will be quietly cursing himself for not chatting up that hot girl in the rainbow leggings or the tartan miniskirt or the loose white tshirt knotted at the waist while he was checking her out in the checkout at Piedimonte's because he told himself he'd do it when he saw her across the road at Edinburgh gardens. And that whole thing where he'll deliberately misjudge his catch attempt so the frisbee or some other projectile not readily associated with any well known ball sport lands just a little too close to a picnicking group with more females than males (which is pretty much every group in Edinburgh Gardens) because that's when he can make that all-important eye contact and mention how unfit he is:

I haven't thrown one of these
Since high school

Are they Portuguese tarts
I wish I could bake

Do you
Come here often

Raising an eyebrow, trying to act casual, maintaining eye contact longer than normal, worrying about the garlic content in the homus, saying 'let's just go to Moroccan soup bar and eat it in the park', forgetting to bring take away containers, not being able to find a pole to lock your bike too, noticing new apartments half finished, worrying about sweating, knowing the meanings of words you can't pronounce, making jokes about recently obsolete technology or how you never go out late anymore . . .

I like Edinburgh Gardens for the way it prevents Northcote from spreading into surrounding suburbs. It provides a buttress in the way the Great Dividing Range did against those early European explorers with fantasies of inland seas and Terra nullius. Just make sure to touch the grass before sitting down - sometimes it's wet.