Edit Blog Post
Published: February 17th 2009
So I touched on the city of Melbourne briefly, but I thought I'd take some time to talk about how cool this place actually is, and all the things there are to do!
I live in Fitzroy, which is a great area. There is live music just about every night, and a ton of cool shops and outdoor cafes just to sit and people-watch. Little Italy is just a few blocks away on Lygon street, and it is quite authentic. You hear more Italian being spoken than English.
I've been to St. Kilda a lot, the beach area. The beach is really nice and there is an artisan market every Sunday. It's a pretty young area, and you can find a party pretty much wherever and whenever you want. I guess it used to be the IV drug mecca of the world, and there are syringe deposit boxes in all of the public bathrooms (sorry for sharing, Mom). But I haven't seen anything like that around.
Federation Square is in the city center on the river. It is amazing. There is a big screen TV which plays movies on summer nights and big events, like the Australian Open.
It is also home to the tourism center, which is an attraction all its own. There is so much to do here, that they have to be organized! In the city center, there are "greeters" wearing red jackets whose sole job is to help tourists get around.
Melbourne prides itself on its hidden treasures. Even though the city is in a grid pattern, there are a ton of side streets and alleyways, each with an ecclectic bar or restaurant. Many of the bars are hidden away with unmarked entryways, I guess to add to the mystique of it all. I went to a bar on Sunday called "The Warehouse" which was on the second floor of a, well, warehouse, and had greenhouse-like windows, a ton of plants and an open roof, so in actuality it was outside. There are also outdoor bars in renovated parking lots, and bars with bowling lanes. I think everyone is always trying to one-up the bar across the street.
Off of the main street, Swanston, there is Little China, and the Bourke Street Mall, which is just a shopping paradise. On the West Side, there are the Docklands, which has sailing docks and
a harbor, as well as outlet shopping and another city center with family events.
On Wednesday nights in the summer, the Queen Victoria market is transformed into a wonderful night out, with live music and local restaurants coming out and serving small plates of their favorite dishes. It's so crowded it can take an hour just to figure out where you want to eat.
The city is pretty metropolitan, but you are never more than a few blocks away from a garden or a park, and the botanical gardens are absolutely gorgeous, on par with Central Park. They also have the river and the beach, which adds to the nature of everything. There are always people running, rowing in the river, or biking on trails.
The craziest thing about this city is ordering coffee. They have no drip coffee, so you either need to order a short black (espresso), long black (sort of like an americano), a flat white (not even sure what this is), a latte, or a cappuccino. I typically order a long black, and usually get a weird look for it... lattes are the status quo. And don't try to find sugar substitute, they
just don't have it.
So hopefully that gives you a brief insight to this wonderfully amazing city. There is always something new to discover...
Tot: 1.139s; Tpl: 0.043s; cc: 12; qc: 67; dbt: 0.033s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb