Nik and Romeo

starting a coffee bulk-buying club and making new friends
— at
Nightingale Studios
Nightingale Anstey — Laneway
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Who lives in this apartment?

I moved to Melbourne from Sydney four years ago. I’m a high school English teacher and DJ, and I also work in the music industry running a record label and doing events. I’m very busy. I’d like to be less busy.

Romeo was found in a box in a warehouse in Melbourne, and was brought up to Sydney to the sharehouse where I was living. The housemates moved out one by one, and then it was just me and him. Then we moved back down here, to his - and my - place of birth. We drove down in a van and he was crying the whole time and I was trying to sing him songs and calm him down. 

How did you come to live in a Nightingale home?

My friends who are now just down the road in their own Nightingale apartment told me about it. I’d never really had any ambition to be a homeowner. I entered the ballot, and I got priority because I’m a teacher. On ballot day, [Nightingale CEO] Dan McKenna called me and told me I had my first preference. I was able to pay a 5% deposit, and spent the next three years saving as much as I could. 

I like the design style and that things are a bit more exposed. I like that there’s no parking because I’m a cyclist and I’ve never owned a car, and I don't intend to own one anytime soon. I like that those unnecessary expenses weren’t part of the building I was buying into. 

What do you like about your apartment design?

The size is really manageable without feeling cramped. It feels easy to clean. I like that I can have a record playing and hear it anywhere in the house. 

I also really loved how, when I came home in winter, the place was always lovely and warm, without that artificial air-conditioning warmth. 

How do you find the induction cooktop?

I really like it. It’s so fast heating up water for tea that I gave away my kettle.

How have visitors reacted to your new place?

They love the view, which is probably my favourite thing as well. I try to have guests over at sunset so I can show it off. 

Have you got to know your neighbours?

I have, really quickly. All my neighbours on this floor have become good friends and we share wine and food on occasion. 

It was important for me to gauge how loud I was being. I messaged my neighbours, and the person below was also concerned about being loud, so we did a sound test. We were pretty happy with the result of the sound test, and after that we became friends. 

What did the sound test involve?

Play your music as loud as you can, and the neighbour tells you if they can hear it or not. 

Have you joined any resident groups or committees?

I’ve started a coffee bulk-buying club. I also want to start a record buying club, to share shipping costs. 

Do you have top local spots?

Ovens Street Bakery and Kines are my favourite spots for food. 

I really love Misoya ramen. 

Enzo’s and Theodore’s are great places for a drink and some food, and I like Bahama Gold on Lygon St for fancy wine. 

Russel’s Fruit and Vegies needs a big shout-out too. I go there every day. 

First published in
November 2022