cultural diversity and celebrating Lunar New Year together
— at
Nightingale Studios
Nightingale Skye House
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Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m Yin. I moved into Skye House last July. We were the last batch to move in to The Village. I work in St Kilda, so the big change for me is the commute to work. The ride changed from 3km to 13km. I am used to it now and take it as good exercise. I established the best route, and I recently broke my own record – it’s now down to 40 minutes.

Do you have any pets?

I'm going to babysit my god-dog later on. I like animals, but I'm happy just to babysit. There are a fair few pets upstairs, so there will be chances!

How did you come to live in The Village?

I heard about Nightingale before The Village, but I did not consider buying until my old rental was for sale in 2018. Having to move out was annoying enough, but spending the next three months on finding the next rental was even worse. I was frustrated and felt the urge to secure a roof over my head. And right at the time, the Village came up for ballot! The stars aligned.

Can you tell us about your experience of creating a new community?

I'm keen to get to know people. I joined the OC and some subcommittees. I was very happy to organise a Hui Chun (挥春) calligraphy gathering to celebrate Lunar New Year. Hui Chun are sets of red papers with good meaning words and it is a tradition to write and stick them on the front door to invite good vibes for the New Year. So we wrote a lot of good words at that gathering and the good vibes must be all around our community now.

Did you have any reservations about moving into a Nightingale apartment?

Getting off the gas. Induction cooking means I could not use a wok for cooking. It was a big deal. Fortunately, that did not keep me away from Nightingale, so I have had the chance to find out how quick induction cooking is. It's also very easy to clean, and when I'm not using all the cooktops, I can use part of the cooktop to prepare things as well. I am happily converted now.

Did you own a car before moving into Nightingale Skye House?

I did, and I gave it to a friend after I moved in. I commute by bike mostly and only drove maybe three times a month. It does not make much money sense to keep a car anyways, so giving it up was not difficult.  But I do have friends on the other side of town. Without a car, well… I’m learning about weekend bus timetables. And I use GoGet to get away for holidays.

What has surprised you about living in The Village?

Some sort of freedom.

Quite often my conversation with someone I've just met starts with ‘Where do you come from?’ I say, ‘Melbourne.’ Then their next question will be: ‘No, where do you really come from?’ Recently I realised that at Skye House, we don’t seem to start knowing each other with these questions.

It’s a diverse group with people from different cultures here. But it never occurs to me to ask, and no one asks mine. As we know each other as neighbours, this background information will just come up naturally in conversations. This is a really nice feeling - that we don't need to get to know someone by their culture background. We are just a bunch of human beings. We don't always need to have a label.

What are your favourite local places in Brunswick?

Ima Pantry opened recently! I like to go to La Manna and IGA for groceries, Kines, Very Good Falafel, Tochi and Small Axe (please try their meatballs, so good) for food, and I go to Oven Street Bakery way too often for pastry.

I've always picked up coffee beans from Market Lane, so it's very convenient that they opened on Sydney Road earlier this year.

First published in
April 2023