Tag Archives: Melbourne

Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life

29 Mar

Somewhere between Nicholson Street in Fitzroy, and Lygon Street in Carlton there is a street that is just a little bit different.

On this wide and leafy street, there is a series of houses that are making a quiet statement. If you drove down the street, or even cycled, you would probably miss it.

But one day when I was ambling my way home, and thankfully had my camera with me, these houses caught my eye.

It’s one of the things I love about Melbourne, there is a surprise around every corner.

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.

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.

They paved paradise, and put up a parking lot

18 Aug

Ah development.

These days it seems like every second day a new lot of apartments is being proposed for Melbourne. As the saying goes, you can’t stop progress.

However, when the development causes the demise of community character, which is featured strongly in the marketing material, then perhaps a harder look should be taken at the proposal and what all the outcomes will be.

It’s one thing to lose a relatively small venue, such as the East Brunswick Club, but when you’re talking of an iconic Melbourne venue that bridges the gap between pub and arena, then I think a fuss should definitely be made.

Yes, I am talking about the Palace Theatre on Bourke St (formerly known as the Metro). The current proposal is to replace the building (circa 1912), with a mega  3o storey hotel / apartment complex.

But let’s not stop there. There is also a proposal to redevelop the Greater Union on Russell St (or the Greater Onion as I like to call it) into a 12 storey hotel / apartment complex.

Permission has been granted for demolition of the cinema. As far as I can tell, a decision is yet to be made on the Palace proposal.

When you look at the two proposals together, what do you get? Plenty of places to stay in Melbourne, but very little to do? And if you do find somewhere to go, the new neighbours might be trying to shut it down. (I hope like hell that it doesn’t come to this for the Cherry Bar).

Melbourne prides itself on the title of Most Liveable City. According to the 2012 summary report, the top ranking cities tend to have a “relatively low population density” and a “range of recreational activities”. When a city becomes too big for its buzz and has “higher levels of crime”, “congestion” and “public transport problems” it drops out of the top ranks.

So shall we open the bets for whether Melbourne retains its crown in the next survey, when you reduce the entertainment options, dramatically increase the number of residents, refuse to make any improvements to public transport, and increase the cost of energy and water? And what is the go with access to healthcare?

Back to the bit about making a fuss.  What better way to voice your opinion by commenting on planning applications? There was a rally to save The Palace being advertised for 31 August although at this stage it doesn’t appear to be going ahead as planned.

(Update 28/8/13: Although the rally doesn’t appear to be happening, there has been an interesting development in the Palace proposal. As reported by Tone Deaf (which is in turn sourcing from the Herald Sun) the Lord Mayor of Melbourne has declared an indirect conflict of interest in the proposal.

Also, Melbourne is apparently the most liveable city again in 2013.)

 

March to save live music, Melbourne, February 2010

Weekly Photo Challenge: Colour

11 Apr

I was conflicted with this challenge; should I go with one image (a striking contrast of colours in a landscape) or go multi?

I‘ve gone with the latter option, which is a collection of bright street art from, amongst other places, Melbourne, Lisbon, Dublin, Cape Town and San Francisco.

Enjoy…

 

Phoneography Challenge: My Neighbourhood

14 Mar

Welcome to Brunswick, where it’s consistently 85 degrees.

The Abruzzo Club, Brunswick

The Abruzzo Club sign is a great landmark for Brunswick. Unfortunately it’s not the most accurate thermometer. For the last few months, we’ve either been 85 or 69 degrees. A fair effort considering Melbourne’s top temperature this year has been about 37.

A couple of years back we had six months stuck on 11 degrees. Word around the traps was that it had frozen up. But I think I may have made that up!

Nevertheless, I still check it every morning, hoping that I’ve dressed appropriately!

photo taken on my camera phone and digitally altered the old school way, using Paint!

(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.