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There is a light that never goes out

28 Feb

Take me out tonight

Where there’s music and there’s people

And they’re young and alive

The Smiths: There is a light that never goes out

Last Saturday night, Melbourne experienced it’s second installment of White Night. Just like the first time, the city was lit up like a proverbial Christmas tree and people packed into the CBD in the hundreds of thousands, to be a part of it.

What earth hour does for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, White Night took us a major step backwards. 12 hours of projections on buildings and bridges. Floodlights reaching for the sky. Not to mention every office building and shop that had lights a blazing.

But my gosh, those projections were amazing. Flinders Street Station as a jumping castle. The Forum as a circus big top. Faces in the trees. Viruses taking over the State Library.

I hope you enjoy these snapshots…

Here’s looking forward to the 2015 version.

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Night in White (satin)

6 Feb

It’s time to get excited Melbourne. The one night of the year that you can find people older than 30 in the CBD after the last tram has gone is almost upon us.

Mark the date in your diary and cancel any previous engagements you have for the whole weekend, because White Night is almost upon us.

From 7pm on Saturday 22 February through to 7am on Sunday 23rd, the wider CBD will be completely closed to traffic and be instead overrun with families, performance artists, hipsters, and enthusiasts of synchronised swimming.

Coming back to Melbourne for its second incarnation, White Night (aka la Noche en Blanco aka Nuit Blanche) this year will spread from Victoria Street, Carlton to the NGV on St Kilda Road. And from Elizabeth Street up to Russell Street.

White Night 2013, Princes Bridge White Night 2013, Princes BridgeIf I learned anything from last year,  it would be to chuck out any plans you make to catch up with people or see more than one particular event.

Pick the one thing that you are really really keen to see. And make sure you go and see it. Meeting a bunch of mates under the clocks is a little bit hard when 299,999 other people also have the same idea.

Last year I diligently went through the program, wrote down the times of bands, prioritised my favourites and told everyone that i would see them there.

And then I got there. Late. Getting from the Forum Theatre down to Flinders Street station  took more than half an hour. That said, I actually did run into friends, see my priority event (The Rebelles) and as a bit of a bonus, the projections along Flinders Street (though not on my planned list of things to see) were magical.

The Rebelles at Flinders Street Station as part of White Night Melbourne 2013.

The Rebelles at Flinders Street Station as part of White Night Melbourne 2013.

So this year, I’m going to review the full program – available now at whitenightmelbourne.com.au –  write down everything I want to see, and then leave the piece of paper at home.  And hopefully make it past 1am before complaining of being tired and having sore feet.

I may even wear satin.

Coney Island Baby

29 Oct

Remember that the city is a funny place

Something like a circus or a sewer

And just remember different people have peculiar tastes

Lou Reed, Coney Island Baby

Coney Island has always been high on my places to go list; the derelict buildings, the amusements and a mermaid parade. And it didn’t disappoint. I even managed to catch a wedding!

In honour of Lou Reed, I’m jumping the order of my great States adventure to bring you some shots from the Boardwalk.

Just think of it like a movie that starts at the end, and then goes backwards in time. After this, I’ll be back in the desert with photos of Bryce Canyon, Kodachrome State Park and other natural wonders.

On the road again

25 Aug

With the snow capped mountains, mirror lakes and lush meadows of Yosemite in the rear-view mirror, we  headed into the desert landscape of the Sierra Nevada.

As far as I can tell, desert is pretty much all you get in Nevada. With the small exception of  a casino (or two), and an extraterrestrial highway.

I did get a little bit nerdy when we stopped in the tiny town of Rachel, Nevada. Town might actually be stretching it a bit. There is a diner there, and that’s about it. But it’s not just any diner. It’s the diner that featured in the movie Paul. And I don’t think the film crew had to do any set dressing at this particular location.

It was just one night in Nevada, camping in the Cathedral Gorge State Park, while on route to the Zion National Park in Utah.

One word to sum up Nevada and Utah. Hot. Actually, let’s go for two words: Damn Hot.

Do you know the way to San Jose?

5 Aug

After a week in San Francisco, it was time to hit the road. The wide open road.

First stop, Yosemite National Park and the Tioga Pass in California.  Yes, I went camping. For two weeks. I can’t say I enjoyed that aspect of my coast to coast adventure (nor the absence of fresh coffee), but hey it was great to see the ‘real America’.

If you’re after a full sensory experience, I would recommend a soundtrack of The Beach Boys, Calexico’s Carried to Dust and of course, Dionne Warwick while checking out these photos.

 

I left my heart in San Francisco

19 Jul

I like to think that if I make a promise to someone, I am true to my word.

It may not be an immediate event, but I will eventually come good. I will go to the doctor. I will ring the mortgage broker. I will develop a career plan. I will share photos of my trip to the States.

One of these things I am about to action. No prizes for guessing which.

For your viewing pleasure, I present the first in a series of photos from my grand (albeit limited) adventure from coast to coast. First stop San Francisco.

If you click on any of the photos, you should find some details about where they were taken. If you want to know anything more though, let me know.

 

(I wanna) rock and roll all night

5 Mar

So far this year, I’ve been quite spoilt for choice in the nocturnal activities department. Admittedly, I’m not the one doing the actual rocking and rolling, but I’ve happily stayed out till the early hours of the morning in support of said musicians.

Japan's finest funk band, played the Espy in January.

Highlights include Osaka Monaurail, the Daptone Super Soul Review and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

But I have to say, after these nights of frivolity, the furthest thing from my mind is to party every day.

Now, I am a little bit older than Gene and Paul were at the time that they wrote the “16th greatest hard rock song of all time”, but I don’t think even in my heyday I would have been able to sustain such a lifestyle for more than a week.

Certainly not without some stimulants. I’m currently reading Keith Richards memoir, and in it he recounts going for days without sleep.  Spoiler alert: Keith consumes a number of stimulants!

These days, after a big night out, all I want to do the next day is have a sleep in. Sometimes I don’t even need the night out to be wanting some good kip action.

Two weThe Rebelles at Flinders Street Station as part of White Night Melbourne.ekends ago, Melbourne had its big White Night extravaganza. By two in the morning I was  quite happy to go home. I’d seen the one band that I was dead keen on (The Rebelles), ooohhed and ahhed at the amazing projections along Flinders Street, and eaten onion rings (guilty pleasure).

There were plenty more bands that I was keen on seeing, I would have loved to have explored all the alley ways, and it would have been great to have that smug sense of satisfaction to be able to say, yeah I was there for the whole night. But honestly, my feet hurt. I had a social engagement the next morning. And Mikelangelo and the Tin Star will play again.

It may not have been all night, and it may not have been rock and roll, but I certainly gave it my best shot.