Leaving tomorrow on a Great One-Day Expedition of the Great Ocean Road before visiting the Jameses at Barwon Heads, I'm taking a moment to reflect on the last 5 days in Melbourne. Melbourne has been the first stop of my quote unquote Australian Adventure (i.e. the places I want to see and small dreams I want to realize on the budget that I've set out). Tasmania and the Red Centre will have to wait for another time. Ever since the beginning, Melbourne has really stolen my heart.
Finally setting on my Australian Adventure after the first two-and-a-half months of adventuring through the job market and art scene of Sydney (a worthy adventure), I was filled with hope and resolve for fun and discovery. I had not even left the shuttle from the airport, I had already loved up Melbourne more than Sydney. From the window I could see that the architecture was more fun, more daring, more wild, something on par with Toronto's OCAD and AGO. My first evening in St. Kilda (a district of Melbourne) had me referencing the cafe culture of Montreal, the high class dinign of LA, the chillness of San Francisco and a wealth of personality and quality that Melbourne calls its own. This city had a little more class and elegance, a lot more personality and a lot less attitude.
Some highlights (because I could ramble on forever):
- the Kooglehoupf at Monarch Cake Shop, I was teary with nostalgia it tasted like a Bubby creation
- cafes and restaurants with spot-on decor, exuding personality, little havens of exclusivity and uniqueness
- finding the ACCA (Australian Centre for Contemporary Art) with a great bitesize exhibit of the best of current artists, interesting and engaging; also discovering the magic behind Mary & Max at the ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image)
- hanging with little Nick James (Nick and Tal's nephew via Libby and Michael) and discovering his funny little world, oh what a child.
- wandering Fitzroy & discovering the coolness of the laneways of Melbourne and its little supercool cafes and bars
- coffee at DesGreaves and a little cupcake (mini cupcakes are the way to the future) at Little Cupcakes
- learning at Healsville Sanctuary: emus snort like pigs, feeding a little kangaroo, and discovering fun facts about the platypus (a truly fascinating mammal)
A few moments from the Australian adventures of Stefan... more when I can.