"an elegant tapestry of quotations, musings, aphorisms, and autobiographical reflections" (James Atlas)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Little lanes

I love exploring Melbourne's little lanes. They're always full of surprises, no matter how often I visit. Armed with my camera, I go in search of new and interesting vistas of my city. One of my favourites is Union Lane, just off Bourke Street Mall. It's a very narrow space, claimed by spraycan artists (I'm sure there's a better term but I don't think they like to be called 'graffiti' artists!). The tableaux change on a regular basis, and some are stunning. Colourful, shocking, artistic, joyous - so many ways to describe them!
The trick is to look UP! (Thanks for reminding me of that, Scott!). One encounters a whole new dimension, especially in Melbourne, full of Art Deco architecture. Delicate glass ceilings in arcades, antique lamps overhanging a narrow lane, art nouveau tiles in stairwells, carved sconces supporting window sills, criss-crossing walkways high above - I expect them to swing away suddenly, magically as in Griffindore  - every turn reveals more.
The lanes are bustling with people, tables laden with food and drink cramming the sidewalks, coffee shops galore, their heady aroma stimulating the chatter....everybody talks to everybody here.
Some of the lanes are not for the faint hearted, even in daytime. Accosted occasionally by (mostly polite) homeless folk, one might stumble across a lively drug trade, imperious wedding photographers, politicians. Nearby backpacker palaces ensure a international and boisterous youth presence at all times. The retail outlets here are quirky and transient, favouring the hand made, fair trade, ethnic, and downright intriguing.
One can walk through the lanes and arcades from Flinders Station all the way up to Melbourne Central, through the heart of the city, over to QV and back down again to the east, discovering downstairs bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants, all hopping on a Friday night.

Come with me on a photographic journey through my city...

1 comment:

  1. Intriguing lanes, wonderful art I enjoyed the stroll.