Yesterday was my last day in Melbourne.
It’s a city I like very much, though its weather is almost as unpredictable as Wellington’s. I was looking for a replacement rubber eyecup for one of my cameras and ended up having to take the tram out to Northcote again. Since I was meeting Catherine in the city for lunch, I came back to the CBD and wandered around a block bounded by Bourke, Elizabeth, Lonsdale and Russel Streets. People watching is fun, though I lack the aptitude, or indeed the cheek, to be a real street photographer. Not surprisingly in a city of 4.25 million the variety of people on the streets is enormous, ranging from extreme punk and goth, through homeless people and people who are dressed for the beach, to suited executives.
There is little that you can’t buy somewhere in Melbourne, though sometimes it is necessary to go to the outer suburbs for some specialist items (like rubber eyecups for Canon Cameras). Food options seem quite extravagant to me, and though Wellington is well served for restaurants, Melbourne must be one of the great food cities of the world. I am not for a moment holding this image up as an example of great food, but it was eye-catching anyway.
Another recurring theme in this city is the omnipresence of high-rise building cranes. I can not remember visiting Melbourne without a skyline full of new construction. It is always growing.
There are areas of the city where various ethnic groups gather, and where regional foods can be had. Italian, Greek, Vietnamese, you name it, and there is an area where you can choose. And what big city doesn’t have a Chinatown?
Down on Bourke Street, a busker was playing his pan pipes. This man is something of a fixture in Melbourne, and is the butt of some criticism. One commentator wrote “unless you have goat legs and chase nymphs, no one needs to play pan pipes” . For my part, I thought his music was quite pleasant, but then I don’t have to hear it all day every day.
My last image from Melbourne CBD is the of the three statues on the Swanston Street Bourke Street corner. I have liked them each time I visit, but in camera club circles, “found art” is rarely held in high regard unless you can add some artistic value in the way it has been photographed. I gave it my best shot.
I left Melbourne very early today, with a check-in at 4:30 am, so my next post will be from Wellington.