“There's a race of men that don't fit in, A race that can't sit still; So they break the hearts of kith and kin, And they roam the world at will. They range the field and rove the flood, And they climb the mountain's crest; Their's is the curse of the gypsy blood, And they don't know how to rest.”
- Robert Service

Monday, 24 February 2014

Ma'avelous Melbourne

We've now been in Melbourne two days and I'm neck deep in its funky artsy-fartsy culture already.

For a few years now, I'd easily call Vancouver my home. Even though I haven't lived there for a year, when I meet mew friends along the road I tell them I'm "from Vancouver." Why not? It's a beautiful city, and one that's consistently rated among the top 5 most liveable cities in the world. But now I'm in Melbourne. Melbourne has been ranked the #1 most liveable city in the world for the last 3 years (you can read the latest report here), and it most certainly deserves it. Melbourne may not have breathtaking mountain views from the city centre, but it does have a visually interesting skyline (imaging a quirky mix of old stone buildings, tall skyscrapers, and modernist architecture at intriguing angles), and a hip arts scene.

How hip?

Well, on the evening that we arrived we stumbled into a massive street arts festival, called "White Night." In it's second year, officials estimated that 500,000 people crowded a few city blocks during the overnight festival (it ran from 7pm-7am). Michael and I wandered about for a while early in the evening and spotted some fun light displays and projections, but soon decided to hightail it out after a couple of "adventures" trying to cross the street. You see, crossing the street took about 20 minutes and involved heavily reducing one's personal space bubble. It was like being a spawning Atlantic salmon - trying to swim upstream (though in reality the 'stream' flowed in every direction) when the water molecules were made out of other people. There was that, and also that attempting to see or do anything other than the street light projections involved a massive lineup.

But Michael's a trooper, and agreed to go back to the hostel to sleep, and then go for another walkabout at 6am! The streets were much more comfortable...

We had much better luck seeing installations in the wee hours of the morning...
At 9pm, there'd been an hour and a half lineup for this installation, called "Purple Rain." Prince's song of the same name played on circuit as purple lights illuminated a mist. Visitors were provided with umbrellas. We stayed about 3 minutes.
 And then there was today. After a nice long sleep-in (after staying out very late to catch the men's Olympic hockey gold medal game! Go Canada!), we joined a walking tour about the city. In general, it was a good tour. But then, but then, we were shown some of Melbourne's fantastic street art! It's of varying quality, but I was in love with the energy and the colour of it all - filling up alleyways from bottom to top! Yeah.
bird lady
This one was about 6 feet tall
...I couldn't help myself.

1 comment:

  1. Love the enthusiasm. Knew you would love Melbourne.

    Sue McB