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melbourne and its public bits

phew! that was a pretty heavy wasn't it! well, after that one, and then this one, where i whinged a lot, i thought i would follow charlie g's suggestion and actually post some of the things i'm loving about melbourne at the moment.

and seeing as today was the first day of my post grad study into art in the public space, i thought i would focus that list of cool things on stuff i dig about the city of melbourne. the out and about, the public life type things. for melbournians, and for cynics alike, they're probably the things that are in all the tourist brochures, but seeing as i'm rediscovering the joys of melbourne, i'm a bit like a tourist in my own town too, so you'll have to deal with it. [and feel free to suggest things that aren't so gauche.]

shit i'm digging about melbourne's public bits:

• my favourite building: the consulate of monaco.

the queen vic markets. after torino's porto palazzo, it's hard to find an impressive market, but this is a nice combo of italian mercato and the burrough markets in london.

process at loop - informal discussion and presentations about a range of topics relating to architecture at a pretty kuel little bar in meyers place.

• council house 2. ok, so it's not perfect, but it's pretty cool to have the main local government building in the CBD to be leading by example and living in the first 6-star energy efficient and sustainable building. that photo makes it look like horrendous 70s pebble-crete, but it's really a fantastic spectacle as you walk underneath the cooling chutes.
(i just thought of a new demo poster: cooling chutes not cooling towers - ok, so it needs work)

• buildings like the gin palace in little collins, in the same breath as buildings like st pauls cathedral.

the public purse

trams. oh my god, even when they're behaving badly by being chockers, i'm still loving them. functionally they are fantastic transport links. aesthetically, they make wonderful design grids around the cityscape. (that's a tram stop. and some lines. and the GPO)

carlton baths. not technically in the city of melbourne, but i'm just so into them at the moment.

rouge galette and pellegrinis. so far the only two cafes that i've been able to find for the perfect coffee, within the CBD. journal is good but too short. verve is nice vibe, but shit coffee.
[happy to take suggestions for that one - keeping in mind i'm now strictly a short black kinda girl, so there's no covering up crap sludge with good milk here]

• penthouse mouse. again, not strictly within the city centre, but such a rockin joint - temporary, conceptual fashion installation warehouse type thing that's open for another week or so. such a fantastic use of space, collaboration, exciting stuff. that pic is one of the current installations. i'm not sure who did it, but it's brilliant.

the eureka tower. i'm not an architect, so maybe i've got it wrong, but this building just keeps winning for me. it changes colour so subtly that i just marvel at it. from every angle i've seen it from, it looks completely changed, but so the same - it's got 'flexible consistency' written all over it (for my advertising buddies, that translates to 'on brand').

birrurung marr (below) and the bar riverland strip. when i was growing up, you only walked on one side of the yarra and only past the boatsheds. now it's accessible and the industrial architecture reclaimed in every sense of the word and it's really amazing.

the rooftop cinema. sydney was the instigator of the 'sit-outside-in-the-freezing-cold-and-pretend-we're-enjoying-the-film' genre, but the kids at rooftop really know how to do it. fake grass, deckchairs, blanket hire (all proceeds go to charity) and a kuel bar to hang out in beforehand (unless you're a loser who goes to the movies on her own, like me).

• the streets remind me of hamburg, paris, parts of london and sections of vienna, as well as parts of turin.

the 888 monument. melbourne has a solid and proud history of labour movement and working class reforms. the 8 hour monument is one of the worst aesthetic examples of public monument in history, but the fact that there is a monument to a movement which saw the 8 hour working day (8 hours play, 8 hours sleep), the establishment of holiday pay and weekends for workers is great thing indeed.

the block arcade. i just discovered block projects. plus of course there's the george jensen/costa boda shop, the fabulous skylight/stained glass thing and in terms of wayfaring, it's got just the right amount of direction with a pinch of 'oh shit, where do i go now' discovery about it.

all this, and i'm still discovering way more cool things too.

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At 03 March, 2008 20:06, Anonymous Angus said...

HUGE hugs to you lovely x

At 04 March, 2008 00:29, Blogger john dodds said...

Have been thinking about that beautifully written post all day. Hugs from me too.

At 04 March, 2008 11:03, Blogger Cynical Rob said...

What, no footie references for your favourite places back home?

And you call yourself a Melburnian.


At 04 March, 2008 12:13, Blogger lauren said...

thanks guys.

and rob -hold your horses, it's not fucking footy season yet :) besides, i've got all winter to talk about football! and i haven't mentioned the grand prix either - that's weekend after next - eep!

(and stan, before you object, the NAB cup is not 'football season')

At 05 March, 2008 12:18, Blogger Stan Lee said...

Funny thing about melbourne is you never stop stumbling across things you've never seen before.

As for NAB Cup, you're right Lauren, it's not football season, but who cares when the mighty Saints are running hot, the Swans are in trouble with the AFL and Collingbloodywood are as crap as we've come to expect.

At 05 March, 2008 12:22, Blogger Stan Lee said...

Oops! Forget to mention:

Have you been to Basement Discs in, or fractionally outside of, The Block Arcade?

At 06 March, 2008 05:18, Blogger Age said...

I still think Degraves Street, Melbourne CBD on a Saturday morning when the cafe's are jammed is one of the coolest places I've been in the world.

At 06 March, 2008 09:10, Blogger lauren said...

poor collingbollywood..

and i haven't been into basement discs yet, but did stand at the mouth of it looking into the tempting chasm of it the other day and made a conscious decision to exercise self control and walk on by. (which reminds me i put that disc you gave me somewhere safe.... hmmm)..

and age - thanks for the reminder about degraves st. i agree entirely, and have a bit of a soft spot for the place after having a show at platform a few years ago.

At 09 March, 2008 10:54, Blogger paintergirl said...

oh oh, i'm so bad at keeping up with blog world - but - yes - the history of block arcade is grand. i think being part of block would be ace.

At 09 March, 2008 11:15, Blogger lauren said...

hey gem!! lovely to have you gorgeous self around here :) bring on the bloc[k] party, for sure.. heh.


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