My Kind of Town

10Oct09

I heart Melbourne. There I said it. Seriously, it’s certainly one of the very best places I’ve ever been to in my 35 years of breathing in and out. And I’ve spent time in Chelmsford which should give you an idea of the kind of standard I’m setting here.

It has an incredible vibrancy, a sociability, friendliness, creativity, interestedinesosity, culture, randomness and is jam-flippin-packed with fun stuff to do. Melbs and I are now officially an item.

Part of our plan of staying here is to try and live like a local. A local with a massive rucksack and an A-Z admittedly. We have taken a step closer to achieving this as we’ve found an apartment! Not just any old apartment though. It’s an apartment that appears to totally match our dream criteria. It’s located in Fittzroy, it’s a huge converted warehouse, it’s sharing with four creative types (graphic designer, writer, actor and fashion designer) and has a massive neon sign by one of the huge windows (this was not one of our criteria but is an unexpected bonus). We move in on the 19th so have extended our stay at the Youth Hostel until then. 

So what have we seen and done since I last wrote? Thanks for asking. Here is an official bullet point rundown of a couple of highlights:-

• Visited ACMI which is the Australian moving image type place. Excellent exhibits, real variety from computer games to films to animation to TV. Plus I had a lovely sit down at one point.

• Took a stroll around the National Victoria Gallery. All galleries should be like this. Just missed a massive Dali exhibition which is a bit of a shame but there were lots of interesting rooms to explore. They have late night events and all manner of loveliness so will be going back and getting all arty and intellectulist on its ass.

Me outisde Nationa Victoria Gallery

Outside the NVG. Water cascades down the glass fronted building. Oooooh innnit arty though?

• Saw a really strange art exhibit outside the gallery. Quite hard to describe in words so I won’t bother.

Ok, I will then.

 The outside was like a small, derelict castle. A very loud, industrial clanking noise was coming from inside mixed with what sounded like a massive angry giant with respiratory problems mucking about with his inhaler. We cautiously opened the door, not quite knowing what to expect. Inside it looked a bit like a toilet in a posh hotel. All marble and gleaming surfaces. You could still hear the asthmatic giant sound but this was mixed with bland muzak tinkling. A woman in a white coat was sitting in the corner looking a bit like a waxwork. She had a mop and would occasionally stand up and give the floors a bit of a going over. There were three lifts (or elevators if you’re of the American persuasion) that were about three-quarter size. The little red buttons on the lift would come on every now and then, the strange sounds would grow louder and the lights flickered on and off. It was strange and oddly intriguing.

• Visited Bernard’s Magic Shop, the oldest magic shop in Melbourne (I dabble in a bit of the ol’ magic). It was rather disappointing as focused more on the fake vomit than on the art of close up. No sign of Bernard.

• Had a delicious Chinese meal which was uber tasty, good value and with very friendly service. Another positive point to add to my growing ‘Melbourne is Special in a Good Way’ list.

Chopsticks can also be used as fence posts for tiny little houses

Chopsticks can also be used as fence posts for tiny little houses

• We watched an emerging rap artists event in Federation Square one evening. It was strangely endearing to see these young rappers getting up on stage attempting to be all thug like and frightening with scary lyrics about guns and street life. The fact is they all seemed terribly nice. They weren’t helped in the ‘gangsta’ stakes by the fact that they were each introduced by someone who appeared to be an enthusiastic, well meaning social worker.

• We stumbled across a group of breakdancers (b-boys / concrete mashers / biscuit arrangers etc.) and they were exceptionally good. The photos don’t quite do them justice. One of them did the best ‘Twirly 180 Grind Thrust’ I’ve seen for ages.

Somebody's going to have a sore back in the morning! Me. I always have a sore back in the morning.

Somebody's going to have a sore back in the morning! Me. I always have a sore back in the morning.

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