“It’s my last day”, the bloke behind the counter said to me. “What?”, I asked half in disbelief, and half because he has quite a thick accent. The owner of the Surry Hills Charcoal Chicken Shop (or Charcoal Chic as it is at the moment, which is so incredibly “Surry Hills”), went on to explain that due to the difficult economic times he had been forced to close. When I asked if he was moving somewhere else, he was a little less forthcoming. I suspect he has nothing lined up.
For me, It’s personally sad because he has been in the shop for as long as I have been in Surry, probably longer. And he always has a smile, and he always remembers your name and your face and what you like to order. I’m a fan, in particular, of his roast potatoes which are always excellent.
The convenience store on the corner has also closed in the last few days. And we have a bunch of new “health” shops on the strip these days. So it looks like my end of Crown Street in Surry Hills is undergoing further change. Maybe it’s the first sign of the recession, or maybe it’s part of the evolution of the suburb that is ongoing?
Or maybe it’s the fact that I only called in for a soft-drink this time, and not one of their BBQ meal dinners?
I was on my way to a house-warming party for a colleague who has recently bought an apartment in Ashfield. Michael’s apartment is very funky. And as it’s a classic 60s/70s apartment block, he’s decorated accordingly with some terrific furniture he’s found on ebay. Much sought after furniture, it seems, as quite a few people were eyeing off the lounge chairs in his bedroom, and actively – jokingly – plotting their removal. “You don’t really need these chairs, do you Michael?” was one of the phrases I heard a few times.
The only other bits of excitement for the day included a morning pick-up by Damien of some software, and endless hours spent watching “Will & Grace”. There’s a Foxtel marathon on this weekend which I’m enjoying very much.