Friday, October 1, 2010

Feel the Mel-burn

St Kilda Cemetery

So. I’ve spent the last few days in Melbourne; Australia’s second largest city and generally considered to be the country’s cultural hub. It was pretty damn awesome.

Melbourne’s architecture is a fantastic mix of Victorian era to adventurous contemporary, its public transport and layout well organised, its vintage shopping and art spaces numerous and central, its weather satisfyingly chill and its food... oh lord its food. My digestive system both pines for it and prays for death because of it.

After the cut (is that what you’re meant to say?) is what basically amounts to insufficiently thorough holiday snaps with an attempt at pared-back narration. I think I might put the small amount of art I did there in another post to stop this all getting ridiculously long.

I travelled with the oft-mentioned Thom and our adopted charge Sedwick, a "mentally deficient cetacean".

The adventure began with a five hour delay at Sydney airport, thanks to Virgin Airline’s computers crashing. Luckily our flight wasn’t cancelled like many others and we touched down in Melbourne in the late afternoon with just enough daylight left to get to our rented apartment and realise how AFL-mad the whole city was.

Over the ensuing days we spent a lot of time walking and riding on trams, finding laneways full of street art and tiny cafes, ogling architecture, running into full-on revivalist punks, eating and realising how much cooler the shopping was there compared to Sydney. Baw.

Have some photos.

This is part of a kickarse, very 30s ex-office building. The walls and roof of the vestibule-y bit were all leadlight and it had internal letter chutes and a dumbwaiter.

Some purchases from the world’s biggest antique shop on Chapel Street and The Sticky Institute, a zine store in a 30s-style subway area, just outside the ticket gates.

Got a new face-hole.

And removed the jewellery from another, as it was destroying my gums. Goodbye, lovely labret :(

I cannot lie, much of the trip was characterised by food, especially the abject deliciousness of Lord of the Fries

And the greatest breakfast ever from Pancake Parlour, a pancake place designed with a 60s 19th century themed restaurant restaurant theme, if you get my meaning.

It was located here, in the Jam Factory – a shopping centre that smacked of Planet Hollywood. The interior consisted of really faux 1950s design, with part of a 70s beach mansion facade built into the wall, huge life-sized plastic figures on the front of the building surrounded by neon stars and incredibly disconcerting ambient music. The photos I’ve taken can’t possibly convey the aura of this place, which I imagine to be similar to that of Disneyland. You know, like the whole crazy hyperreal superfake simulated something something. Something.

Also one night we had chestnuts (under a grill that turned them black because the oven didn’t work) with hilarious consequences.

Here are some squirrels.

Overall the trip was tastyawesome, so tastyawesome that it has filled me with a sense of inferiority on behalf of Sydney. We’re being bested weather, transport, art, architecture, theatre, shopping, city planning and food-wise, I feel. There are independent art collective premises in the city centre and ads encouraging volunteer work on trams. They’ve got more beautiful old buildings because they haven’t been stupid enough to demolish a whole bunch of them in the past few decades to make room for glass and concrete. Their state gallery is bigger and cooler. Their airport has pinball machines. Their butt doesn’t look big in these jeans.

Still, it’s always nice to come home, even if your city isn't as good as someone else's and never, EVER will be.

I feel like pancakes.

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