30 September 2013

Melbourne: Alleyways and Fitzroy

After nearly four months in Darwin, I ventured from the safety of a tiny city where I knew the streets like the back of my hand(mostly because there are only three main-ish streets). There are few things scarier than leaving safety for adventure, and going from Darwin to Melbourne, has been a bit of a culture shock.
Street performer(s) on Bourke Street

The first time I was in Melbourne was four years ago I stayed in St.Kilda, a beach suburb 30 minutes away from the city. That is why I spent a limited time in the city center, and therefore didn't realize how big it is until about a week ago when I came her yet again. Every time I venture out in this huge city, I get lost. With a few exceptions the streets look the same, and even when I'm prepared with a map and all, well it simply doesn't work out.
The Royal Arcade

The positive thing about getting lost in Melbourne is that you always stumble upon something interesting. I've ended up in amazing alleys with romantic restaurants and cafes, giving Melbourne the famous European feel. Like most of the wonderful things you experience in life; it happens when you least expect it. The laneways off Flinders Street, the Royal Arcade(one of the shops is devoted to Babushkas only) and Queen Victoria Markets(super cheap fruit and veggies), not to mention the Street art in every new street or alley I discover in Fitzroy.
Because the three hostels I've tried out have been either in Fitzroy or very close to Fitzroy, and it is the only part of Melbourne I have yet to get lost in, I've spent the majority of my two weeks here. It is a gorgeous and interesting neighbourhood with the greatest street art you'll ever see. In the main street, Brunswick Street, between bars and coffee shops so diverse it's nearly surreal, galleries in every genre and thrilling vintage shops, lay scattered.

The weather also plays a mayor part; it's not even Spring in Melbourne and it is cold, so cold. And Windy. And it rains, at least twice a day. Melbourne is notorious for the following expression: 'Four seasons in a day'. Which for someone who just had 30 degrees and sun every single day, is hard to handle. But enough about weather.
China Town

Melbournians are a complex type of people; they are probably one of the most pretentious people you'll meet, and like in most big cities, people seem cold, distant and caught up in their own world. However they are perfectly pleasant and sincere. To compare; Darwinians are vulgar, simple minded people, but friendly and chillaxed. Melbourne is a melting pot of nationalities and cultures, especially Chinese, Italian, French and Greek. Only a handful of people are actually born and bred in Melbourne(I totally made that up).
Outside a random coffee shop underneath an art school. Best coffee I've had in Melbourne, but too cool to have a name.

It sounds like I think Melbourne is awful. It totes isn't. It's great being in a city that is stuffed with art and culture wherever you go, where your next favourite coffee shop is a few meters away or on every street corner, a green beautiful park is never far away and people are somewhat sophisticated, i.e., they don't say f*** every second word like Darwinians.


  1. Hi Ingeborg. Obviously, a very interesting part of the city you live! Tell us more!:-)

  2. I like your pictures, Ingeborg. For me it seems you capture the spirit of the city very well, the street art is amazing and it surprises me that it seems so ubiquitous. Large cities have their charm after all with the endless diversity, especially when mixing cultures. You say Melbournians are cultured and I'm sure they like to hear that. Looking forward to more stuff from Melbourne. And by the way, the bit about coldness and rain twice a day sounds a bit like the place I grew up in.