every now and then i get a bit of an oh joy melbourne feeling. it often involves hearing about a new enterprise around that final corner in a cobblestoned alley buried in the depths of the city with late-night chefs sitting on milk crates smoking and the refuse of the dumpling houses piled all around, or a new cafe find that has sprung up in what was an old milkbar down some random residential back street in the inner northern suburbs, or, as was the case here, the climbing of a staircase in a well-worn deco building that has had new life breathed in to it by local designers, architects and boutique sellers. it is all a bit of a melbourne cliche for sure, but i love it.
kangakanga is up on the 5th floor of an old building near the slightly notorious russell/bourke st intersection. and my oh my, it is an absolute treasure trove. the proprietor is a friendly japanese man and he imports all manner of nice books and magazines for the kinokuniya-deprived japan-o-philes of melbourne. i really like that kangakanga is a tiny little one-person shop in the face of the amazons of the online bookworld, somewhere you can go in and speak to someone about finding your favourite hard-to-get magazine. and for anyone who has spent time wandering the streets and going in and out of liftwells in tokyo looking for the okonimiyaki joint 'on the 6th floor of this place near the corner just near where donquixote is, a bit down from lawson' that someone told you about - the small and secret style of kangakanga will feel just right.