As I caught the train to Il Lido, I couldn’t help but notice the number of men wearing ties and women wearing fascinators. “Is this Melbourne Cup Day?”, I thought to myself, wondering if, wearing a nice new shirt and a reasonably expensive pair of jeans was somewhat under-dressed for New Year’s Eve in Perth. The answer became evident as I made my way back on the train later in the night.
@Cellobella invited me to join her and a group of friends for NYE at a terrific Italian restaurant. The original plan was to start the night off drinking mojitos on the beach, until we discovered it was a) pretty windy and b) an alcohol free zone which threatened a $500 fine. So, we moved to a friend’s nearby apartment, drank our mojitos and then made our way to Il Lido.
“It’s had a number of incarnations in this spot, but this one seems to have lasted”, I was told by a bloke over dinner. “You can come here first thing in the morning for breakfast, or for dinner at night”, he went on to say.
The company was great, the food was good, the wine was good, and the service was attentive without being over-the-top. And thankfully, no one was trying to rush us out for a second pre-midnight seating that you sometimes encounter in Sydney.
Although there were some drunkish people on the way home on the train, it wasn’t too bad, especially since it was still only close to one-o’clock in the morning, and especially since I chose to sit with “the old people” in the carriage (safety in numbers, I figured).
By the time I’d arrived back in the centre of Perth, I noticed most of the guys had ditched their ties (or they were now losely tied), and the fascinators had found their rightful place in the bins (I hate fascinators). Which brings me to my biggest bug-bear of NYE – women who wear impossibly high heels. My plea to the women of Perth: “stop buying your shoes from drag queens”. At 1.30 on the morning on NYD, of course your shoes are going to hurt, and of course you’re going to find it difficult to walk. I know I sound like an old man, but sensible shoes please from now on. Oh and please stop using your mobile phone. If you are in a group please talk to each other. A bunch of people using phones in a group suggests you are bored with your friends. Maybe you are?
The other thing I noticed, as with anywhere else on NYE was the huge amount of drunkeness. Normally, I’d include myself in this category of people (though not for the last couple of years as I’ve tended to keep myself nice). My favourite manifestation of this was when I overheard a bloke head down a lane-way for a wee and yell out to his girlfriend, “Gah-piss” which is the shortened version of the well-known phrase “I’m gonna have a piss”.
Back in Sydney, I’m sure the NYE celebrations continued well into NYD. I’m sure there were some tragic sights to be seen around Oxford Street well into last night.
In contrast, people in Perth went home and obviously spent NYD either resting up or in house parties. Last night it was tumble-weed territory on James Street in Northbridge. After having a bite to eat at the James Street Kitchen (quite good Chinese), I went for a beer at The Court. The night before, I’m sure sounds from The Court would have boomed throughout the city. Last night, there were more staff than customers. The place closed at 9.15pm.