Hi, I'm Rosewal, I'm a stickybeak and a St Kilda local.
I work in the media, love watching telly and Fitzroy Street, St Kilda has been a thread through my whole life, when I heard The Block was moving into the 'hood I saw it as a massive positive.
Like most of my friends there's mixed emotions about The Gatwick - a fixture of Fitzroy Street forever - it provided a refuge for countless people for decades but unfortunately escalating needs and issues saw the dear old Gatty issued with a forced use-by date as conditions deteriorated and a level of unease along the strip permeated.
The sisters who had been running it with their family since the 1970s decided to sell it to television station Channel 9 for the juggernaut The Block, dividing a community: commercial interests versus social housing and mental health needs. But that was the deal and that's what we have so I've decided to celebrate the change and see what they've done with the place and what it could potentially bring to Fitzroy Street which has been going through what you might call a lean period. We all have them and it's shared by most strip shopping centres across Melbourne.
I've been sneaking around watching the progress and have visited the apartments as they've been worked on and in this blog I'll recap episodes of The Block, bring you a bit of the area's history and I'll chat with long term locals and give you an insight into what it's like to live in the neighbourhood - where to go, what to do what to see.
And with the Fitzroy Street Traders Association we invite you to come check it all out.