I doubt the ladder is part of the display of this WORKING HOLIDAYS business in Fremantle Market Street, but it emphasises what the place is all about. ; >) Great name WORKABOUT.
And by the way, the GRUMPY SAILOR CAFE at the New Edition bookshop in High Street is looking for full-time experienced cafe staff. They are great people, so if you are looking for a job pop in.
I love going to cafes to read the newspapers, watch people and enjoy good coffee. We are lucky in Fremantle to have so many funky, cosy and good cafes that offer good food and very good coffee. I have mentioned some of my favourites in the past so won’t repeat myself.
The Grumpy Sailor cafe in the New Edition bookshop is one of them. I just adore the ambiance of sitting among books and watching people browse for that special gift. Being in a book environment is something I experience as peaceful and serene and I love it.
The Grumpy is renowned for its excellent bagels that come all the way from a Jewish bakery in Mount Lawley. Go and try one!
I noticed this reader outside the Grumpy Sailor with his Sailor Jerry cap to match the cafe’s name, so couldn’t resist taking a photo.
Fashion boutique VELVET SUSHI has moved into the Fremantle NEW EDITION bookshop in High Street. It’s a welcome and colourful addition to the books and Grumpy Sailor cafe, so go and check it out.
Fremantle fashion designer Deborah Mckendry is moving her VELVET SUSHI boutique to the opposite side of High Street on Tuesday and will move into the old bank vault at the back of the NEW EDITION bookshop.
I believe the mix of fashion, books and the Grumpy Sailor cafe is great. I have long advocated for Fremantle retailers to think outside the square and creatively embrace other wares as well as their own, so it is nice to see someone is doing it.
I love books. Books connected me with the world long before I ever travelled. Books made me aware of different cultures and foreign countries and they taught me there is unimaginable cruelty in the world, but also incredible compassion. Books encouraged me to explore and question and to dare to be different. Books showed me how exquisite language can be and what good it can do when used for the right reasons.
Books inspired me to travel and to not be afraid of the unknown. Books gave me the confidence that most people on earth are good and that with trust, tolerance and an open mind we can relate to most people. Books gave me the courage to leave home and live in foreign countries and learn foreign languages. Books gave me a real love for life and people, because books showed how different we all are, but also how similar.
I love books, so I love bookshops and my favourite one in Fremantle has always been New Edition, even when they were still on the Cappuccino Strip. New Edition in High Street is so homely and feels so embracing. The addition of the very good Grumpy Old Sailor café has been fantastic. There is no better way for me to drink coffee and read the papers than being surrounded by books.
P.S. Tim Winton, I am keen to read your next novel. When will it be published?
Often small changes make a significant difference in life and for me one of those changes is the addition of this parklet, or alfresco area, reclaimed from parking bays in front of the Moore&Moore cafe in Fremantle‘s Henry Street. The streetscape totally changed because of the timber deck, the seats and tables, planter boxes and bike racks. It could be anywhere in Europe and looks very appealing and inviting.
Fremantle could do with more of these parklets. The Grumpy Old Sailor cafe at the New Edition bookshop in Henry street seems very suited to try an on street alfresco area there.
I love street photography for many reasons. It is fun to go and ‘hunt’ for them and it is great when one turns up out of the blue. One can’t plan street photography, it is just about being in the right location at the right time. Street photography is also about recording history, about showing future generations how we lived and dressed, what our cars and buildings looked like, so street photography has an important role to play in telling our (hi)story.
Street photography was made famous by French photographer Henry Cartier-Bresson. It is well worth doing a Google search for his photos or browse for a book at the Fremantle New Edition bookshop in High Street.
I took this little street shot at Kings Square yesterday afternoon. A simple shot of a man waiting for a taxi in front of a newsagency.
Last evening the City of Fremantle held the regular precincts get together at the Navy Club with a presentation by Andrew Eastick, manager Economic Development and Marketing at the City. I thought a remark by Moore&Moore Cafe owner Simon Naber, who is also the Fremantle small business owner of the year, was spot on. Simon questioned why the City should reward Myer for past failure and offer it more incentives to stay in Fremantle once the building at Kings Square has had a serious make-over.
I have had talks about this, and how to attract the right new businesses to Fremantle, with friends for some time now. How do we achieve the right balance and not get more of the same?
In recent months we have seen many new Indian restaurants opening in Freo. Can they all survive? Is there a market there for all of them? Have they done their home work and done market research? I doubt it.
But that seems to be the way retail is going in Fremantle. More cafes open, selling more or less the same food and after some time and a lot of investment they realise there is no demand for what they offer. Can five hairdressers survive in High Street?
Something I notice with most retailers, including large ones like Myer, is that they continue to do things the same way, they are not flexible, creative and innovative. Many retailers are simply lazy and blame the City, lack of parking (there is plenty!), not enough or the wrong marketing, etc. while sitting on their bum doing not much else but waiting. Retailers need to change their window displays more often, they need to make their shops more appealing and they need to diversify. There is no reason a small fashion shop could not also sell superbly designed Italian espresso machines, or magazines, or flowers. Adam Monk‘s photography gallery shop sold flowers for a while and it looked lovely but also showed his willingness to think outside the box.
There is a well established shop in that same street where the owner constantly complaints about people not finding their way to High Street. His shop front has looked the same for many years with no attempt to make it look different and more inviting, but the City is to blame for his lack of trade of course.
Myer is another example. Look at the huge windows where four out of six are often not displaying anything. Why not open the back of them so people can look inside the department store, or why not open up one part of that area and make it into a small cafe that opens up onto Kings Square with alfresco seating. It would attract more people to the shop front and they might just wander in to see what is on sale.
The someone should be doing something about this attitude many traders have shows they are unwilling to take ownership of the problem and do something about it themselves. James at New Edition bookshop did react to declining sales figures and opened the Grumpy Old Sailor cafe. Now the shop is buzzing every day with people having meetings, enjoying the quiet and relaxed ambience of being surrounded by books. Many browse while waiting for their coffees and I wonder if his book sales figures have improved.
Doing nothing and hoping for someone else to do it for you, is simply bad and lazy attitude. On October 28 the Blessing of the Fleet will come through High Street. Will the West End Traders come up with something to support the start of the Fremantle Festival, open up their shops onto the street, or will they just let the parade pass by and complain that festivals don’t bring more business? Is the glass half full or half empty?
Fremantle retailers do have a choice. Do nothing and nothing will improve, or do things differently, be pro-active and creative and show that your shop is very different from any others. There are some that are already doing that very well and more should follow. Blaming the lack of parking is a pretty lame excuse for not making changes to the way one trades.
Another thing Fremantle needs is more variety. We are no longer a shopping destination because we don’t have a good variety of shops in the inner city. Where can one buy meat, bread, vegetables, fish, flowers, etc. in the CBD apart from at the supermarkets. Why is the Cappuccino Strip a boring bland facade of food outlets and why for example did not something like Kakulas Sisters take over the Tea Merchant location near the Dome cafe to give Freo more variety. My fear is MacDonalds will open up there and make the area even less attractive.
Andrew Eastick told us that only 20% of shoppers in our city come from Fremantle, 80% come from outside the city. That needs to change and will only change if the inner city offers a better variety of good quality shopping. A fresh produce market would be great, as Simon Naber advocated.