Sunday, 28 August 2011

Marvelous Melbourne

What's not to like about Melbourne...from a design point of view the city is full of inspiration. The city not only has some of the best architecture in Australia but it simply oozes with creativity at every corner.

Some of my favourite views including looking up in the centre of Melbourne Central, looking across Carlton Gardens to the Exhibition Building and of course Parliament lit up at night.

When the decision was made to move to this great city my husband and I knew we wanted to move into a classic warehouse conversion. We now live in one of the amazing Foy and Gibson textiles warehouses in Collingwood with amazing original features like exposed brick walls, timber floors and large full height windows. Foy and Gibson was one of Australia's earliest department store chains modelled on Le Bon Marche in Paris.

Street art has come to be one of my most favourite attributes of this great city, graffiti is celebrated here as a true art form which seems to encourage less tagging and more beauty. Some of the best grafitti art is found in unexpected laneways or side streets, usually where you would least expect it. 

Whilst winter can be cold, well actually it can be really cold, you can't help but feel happy when you wake up to find the bright blue winter sky full of hot air balloons of all shapes and sizes. One of my favourite sights driving to work in the mornings is the balloons riding high over the famous Nylex sign toward the city.

Next on my list of favourites has to be the coffee and dining experience here. I suspect the high standard set has something to do with the strong european influence throughout the city, but they really do know how to discourage cooking at home.

There is always something to see and do in Melbourne whether it be a new art gallery, festival or event, you could never be bored here. One of my favourites recently was our local Gertrude Street Projection Festival where artists set up evening projection installations all along this iconic street. The projected imagery transformed buildings and windows into live art pieces for passers by to admire. 

Exploring the laneways is another great past time in Melbourne, if you want to experience some street art, great coffee and food and soak up the atmosphere this is a nice mix of all. I think for me the laneways are the place I feel most like a slice straight out of Europe somewhere.

Finally if Melbourne is one thing it is certainly the shopping mecca of Australia. Whilst there are plenty of great shopping malls if you are into that sort of thing, for me I prefer the more quirky high streets of Prahran, Fitzroy and of course my local Collingwood and Smith Street. I have a love of all things eclectic and industrial so for me these areas are a haven full of treasures to explore each weekend.

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