An outer suburbanite has endured a mildly terrifying walk down Collingwood’s Smith Street in broad daylight, later telling friends he wouldn’t be doing that again any time soon. Watsonia resident James Hambleton visited the inner north yesterday for work, and thought he’d treat himself to a lunchtime stroll along the notorious strip to grab himself a bite to eat. But he soon realised he was out of his depth, as the gentle waft of stale urine met his nostrils at the exact same time he stepped off the footpath to avoid an oncoming man who was enthusiastically nattering to himself and wildly gesticulating with his arms.

Later reflecting on the ordeal after he’d returned to the outer rim of Melbourne, Hambleton said, “Far out, I thought Main Street Greensy was a bit hairy during the day, but that’s got nothing on Smith Street. It was intense.” 

Hambleton inisted that he had been along Smith Street before, but was usually under the influence of alcohol, and that state had obviously given him a false sense of security. He said, “Mate, I used to head out to A Bar Called Barry back in the day, but I must’ve had me beer jumper on then, because I didn’t feel anywhere near as frightened as I did walking down Smith in the middle of the day while stone-cold sober.”