Fitzroy, Melbourne’s first suburb, sits at the northern perimeter of its commercial heart — what locals call ‘The City’. The kilometre-and-a-half grid of streets situated on Wurundjeri land has a checkered history, transitioning through the decades from a genteel residential neighborhood of stately Victorian homes, when Fitzroy was conceived in 1839, to a working class area of boarding houses and small factories, a centre for immigrants — first from China, then Europe, later for arrivals from Vietnam and Africa, a mecca for students, artists and musicians, to its inevitable gentrification, becoming an expensive inner-city lifestyle hub; though public housing estates in the area ensure a diversity of residents, these days the area is defined by its many cafes, restaurants and bars, its art galleries and live music venues, and by the extensive vibrant street art, bold ornate tags and scrappy graffiti that adorn walls everywhere.

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