#AdventureswithKaren: Episode Perth

Perth was one of the more memorable Australian cities during my visit in 2012. I loved the quaint alternative neighborhoods, the chill vibes, and the city's subtle yet overwhelming appreciation for street art.

I even made a new friend the last time I was in Perth. While browsing through Tu, a chic clothing boutique on William Street in Northbridge, I met the store's owner An Nie Chong. We quickly became friends, and I ended up going out on the town with her and her friends:
Hanging out with new friends in Perth in 2012
We stayed in touch over the last two years and were reunited a few weeks ago while I was in Perth. She and her boyfriend, Andrew, graciously took the time to show me some of their favorite spots around town. After dinner at Solomon's Cafe, a rustic restaurant with an extensive selection of vegetarian and vegan fare, we visited The Mechanics Institute (a hip bar) and Luxe Bar:
Luxe Bar with Ian and Victor
They even took me to Swan Valley, Perth's mini version of Napa Valley where we spent the afternoon tasting wines and eating chocolates: 

A little day trip to Swan Valley
While An Nie and Andrew were working, I visited other Perth neighborhoods including Freemantle (Freo) and Leederville. Freo has a low key energy about it, with much less hustle and bustle than a regular town. While there were a few worthwhile vintage stores and boutiques, some parts of town looked very run down and abandoned:
Cool Freo architecture

Vintage in Wonderland in Freo

Abandoned buildings in Freo
Leederville was as fun as I remembered it to be. I visited a few beloved clothing and knick knack shops, and even saw a familiar graffiti mural:
Great smoothie/juice bar in Leederville

Leederville in 2012
Same mural in Leederville in 2014
Still my favorite due to its geographical convenience and higher volume of foot traffic is Northbridge. Northbridge is just a few steps north of the Perth Train Station and more exciting when compared to Leederville and Freo. There are cool bars, including Ezra Pound and The Bird, and quite a few urban clothing boutiques: 

An Nie's store, Tu, doubles as a coffee and tea cafe and is the perfect place to catch up with a friend or grab an afternoon drink: 

Back entrance to Tea for Tu

My dirty chai

Had a pre show pick me up at Tea for Tu
As a last hurrah, Ann Nie, Andrew, and new friend Mary went to the gay club Connections where the ratio of gay to straight men was much smaller than I thought it would be.

Hanging with the Perth gang

Me and Ann Nie
I was sad to say goodbye to Perth, and even sadder to bid adieu to my friends. But such is the reality, that there is an end to all things no matter how much we want (or not want) to hold on to them. So for the time being I find solace in knowing that this won't be my last time to Perth. I will find myself exploring these neighborhoods again in the future.

Up next: Melbourne!