Random shots of beautiful Melbourne Part 1

in art, travel  0 comments
May 21 2009
The quaint setting for these stores, an old shopping arcade in Melbourne

Yesterday I brought my sister and her friend from Philadelphia for a tour of Melbourne from a semi-insider. I must admit, while travelling with my little girl was trying at times, I fell in love again with Melbourne CBD.

The Yarra River in Melbourne at night

The Yarra River in Melbourne at night

Studying here almost 10 years ago, I would walk the streets of Melbourne almost daily, dealing with loneliness and other things. For those of you who don’t know, the Melbourne CBD is contained within a small, walkable grid. So I would walk the grid. Ten years on, and so much has changed… and yet so little.

An historic city of such diverse lifestyles, almost contained in streets. Collins St, the business, high fashion street. Bourke Street, the shopping strip. King Street, the gentleman club strip. Russell Street, Asian grocery and eateries. Little Bourke, Chinatown…

But for today I want to focus on the little arcades Melbourne is famous for… mainly concentrated between Bourke and Collins Sts. If you allow yourself to be dazzled by popular brands along the streetfronts, you might actually miss these almost hidden pathways filled with quaint shoplets and their exquisite seductions.

Block Arcade, Melbourne

Block Arcade, Melbourne

The quaint setting for these stores, an old shopping arcade in Melbourne

The quaint setting for these stores, an old shopping arcade in Melbourne

There’s a store only selling thousands upon thousands of Babushkas, aptly named Babushka, in the Royal Arcade. One of its neighbours is Koko Black, a tiny chocolate cafe offering decadent chocolate drinks, sweets and truffles. Block Arcade boasts some gorgeously decorated places as well, like the simple, tiny tiny French Jewel Box, selling only the best antique French jewellery…

An arcade in Melbourne

An arcade in Melbourne

or Hopetoun Tea Rooms at the Block, an Alice in the Wonderland type cafe, with rich Kelly greens hugging the walls and swaths of green fabric hanging from the ceiling.

Hopetoun Tea Rooms, Melbourne

Hopetoun Tea Rooms, Melbourne

And then at the epicentre of these arcades are these beautiful high domed centres… you might forget to view the architecture while being dazzled by beautiful wares… like in the Block Arcade.

The Block Arcade, Melbourne

The Block Arcade, Melbourne

Ancient mosaic tiles on the walls, the floors of the arcades, high ornate ceilings, super ornate brackets and signs… Contrasted by super modern, super beautiful glassware in the super white, bright store.

Beautiful dome centre of the Block Arcade, Melbourne

Beautiful dome centre of the Block Arcade, Melbourne

The Block Arcade is punctuated by green glass lights and glass ceilings.

The Block Arcade is punctuated by green glass lights and glass ceilings.

I’ll stop here for today with the Melbourne GPO (General Post Office) which suffered a fire in 2001. Business relocated next door but because the GPO was a landmark, heritage listed building, it was painstakingly restored and is a swanky upper-market shopping mall.

The newly converted General Post Office, Melbourne

The newly converted General Post Office, Melbourne

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *