Can you believe that it is nearly Christmas? It seems like only yesterday I was recovering from last Christmas and shaking my head clear from my wedding madness. What happened? It seems like the entire year was sucked into a massive vortex – and I can’t seem to find the head or tail of it! Truly utter madness!
Fortunately, I have this little blog, a tiny vortex that allows me to look back on my crazy year – I get to observe how often (or not) I managed to share my tiny life experiences and thoughts with you all in the internets – and in a narcissistic way, I absolutely love that. Let’s face it, websites are for people to show off – and a little bit of me really loves doing that. Okay, a lot of me. I really like showing to people the amazingness that this world lends to us. Often we’re shattered by things in our lives that shadow all the positive things – and I hope this tiny little incredibly narcissistic spiel helps share a tiny slice of sunlight that blanks out that grey. Anyhow, let me stop my maddening rambling and instead share a little bit of my experiences of Melbourne’s alleyways.
We landed in Melbourne on a surprisingly warm day and our Melbournite buddies (and one Brisbanite who also happened to be in town) were eager to get us eating almost immediately at Hardware Societe – down Hardware Lane – yet another lane packed with amazing cafes and stores. Let’s just say I was excited. So excited, in fact, that I did not realise that I had not packed an SD card. I am probably the worst traveller known to mankind. My husband agrees with this with much nodding and sighing. In any case, no photos of the amazing food that Hardware Societe bore – instead, once I managed to get an SD card in my camera, it was already lane way/alleyway seeking time.
For those who don’t know, Melbourne is somewhat famous for several things – one of those things is astonishingly good coffee-culture (we’ll get to that later), the other is the amazing sprays of street art that bedeck many approved outdoor locations – anything from stencils, paste-ups and murals. This, of course, does not include graffiti or tagging which is illegal (and also a bit of waste of space, time and paint).
Centre Place – running between Flinders Lane and Collins Street, this maddening little laneway is home to a stack of vibrant bars, cafes, restaurants, boutiques, sushi bars and shops – oh yes, and street art.
There’s something about street art that I absolutely adore. The grunginess? The authentic feel to it? Perhaps, it’s the subliminally political chants that underlie much of the paint-clad walls. I love the raw-ness of it all, the fact that the streets that are clad in emotion and effort and pain and complexity remind me of every The XX song ever created. Perhaps that’s it.
Hosier and Rutledge Lane, opposite Federation Square – this bluestone cobbled lane is the location of some of the finest street art money can’t pay for – and has to be one of the most intensely wonderful places to check out the street-art scene. It’s often filled to the top with tourists and people having wedding photos taken and it is a woman of many outfit changes – take shots of your favourite paintings/installations because you can pretty much be guaranteed that they won’t be there next time you visit!
We managed to visit Hosier Lane after the mantle of the moon fell, thus giving the whole area a distinctively creepy feel. Also, it smelt strongly of urine. But yeah, creepy. But creepy-good, if you know what I mean.
There are so many other places around Melbourne that offer some amazing works of art – I pinched these off the City of Melbourne website:
- Hosier and Rutledge Lane, opposite Federation Square
- Caledonian Lane, off Little Bourke Street
- Union Lane, off Bourke Street Mall
- Rear of 280 Queen Street in Finlay Avenue
- 21 Degraves Street
- Cnr Flinders Lane and Cocker Alley
- 122 Palmerston Street, Carlton
- Centre Place, between Collins Street and Flinders Lane