Melbourne is Australia's second-largest city, falling behind Sydney, but most Melbournians will defend their town as the cultural Number 1. It has a hip reputation on the order of San Francisco or Portland, while Sydney's flashy, mainstream wealth is more like L.A. or Dallas.
Melbourne actually reminds me of Brooklyn. It's the first town I've seen in Australia that has what I would call grit. The buildings are old; cafes and storefronts are stuffed into sticky alleyways; graffiti and street-art are somewhere between tolerated and actively encouraged.
|This is just a small sample of the street art I found within a block or two of the place where I'm staying.|
|My view up Brunswick Street in hip Fitzroy|
|Cool light fixtures and ironwork in a hidden alleyway shopping area|
|Some old municipal building converted into residential housing|
|Street art and flannel-clad citizens.|
|Many Australian buildings, including the place where I'm staying, have lovely ornate ironwork balconies.|
|There's lots of cool signage, too. I don't know if you can see the "Extreme Gelato" sign down the block. It's made with liquid nitrogen, and it is awesome.|
I'm in town for one more full day, so I'll probably update this post with more photos, especially if I stop stuffing my face and go get a new camera.