I've been back from Melbourne a week and it is still in my heart. It is my favourite place to visit in Australia. I love it's laid back feel, the fact most places do not open until 10am (I'm so not a morning person), it's streets stay alive at night, the food is remarkable, the people friendly, the shopping excellent (and I call myself someone who does not like to shop!). and it's magnificent architecture. It is a really cosmopolitan city with a European feel.
Mostly I just feel at home, especially now I have found a private apartment that I stay at each time I visit.
This trip I had fewer 'missions' than previous visit and was meant to be a bit more laid back but I really did pack a lot in! I did manage plenty of quiet, naps, reading, and watching the world go by though.
My main missions were to see the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition, Les Miserables (show and exhibit) and the new musical, Once.
I saw the movie Once years back and fell in love. It was a little Irish indie musical about an out of work muso and an immigrant who fall in love via their shared love of music. And so years later it is made into a stage musical, and it lends itself so beautifully to that. I headed off to a matinee of it at The Princess Theatre. The cast were superb, most importantly the two main characters. They needed to be able to sing and act and play musical instruments, and they were superb. The set was simple but worked well. It was a full working bar that encouraged the audience to come and order drinks from prior to the show, which was a great concept. Like the movie the show has heart, is funny, and also poignant. If you're in Melbourne, you simply must check it out. Though I am sure it will travel to other states soon.
I also caught up with Stop Making Sense on the big screen at ACMI and Intersteller on the IMAX screen. I love a good movie about space and Intersteller is one of the best I have seen in a long time. It's plot is simple in that it is set in the future (never says exactly how far in the future), and the US (where it is set) has returned to the Dustbowl of the 20s. An ex-astronaut (Matthew McConaughey, superb as usual) 'stumbles' across a NASA co-operative (NASA is no longer meant to exist in this future) trying to locate a new planet for earth to inhabit. But it is sooo much more than that, and I kinda wish I had paid more attention to physics at school. With twists and turns including a lot of time bending, this is just a great story with fantastic acting and amazing visual effects.
I spent a beautiful sunny day at St Kilda, wandering, shopping, eating, and just sitting in the sun and reading and watching the world go by. I think that is where I would live if I ever moved to Melbs.
I did some good shopping, I love the laneways and little alleys in Melbourne, you always come across quirky little stores with interesting things. I also checked out the new H&M and Emporium shopping Centre plus old favourites like the VIC markets, ACMI store, Readings, and Minotaur Books. And of course, the amazing strip of shopping at Acland Street, St Kilda. I managed a fair bit of Christmas shopping this time round plus a few goodies for me.
And as always I ate very well. I returned to old favourites, Time Out Cafe, Beer Hut on Fed Square, Caboose Kitchen, E-Dumplings. My friend M is lucky to work near the wonderful Sunny Boy Cafe which is but a block from where I stay, we I caught up with him there a few times and we lunched at the new hip dumpling place at the Rialto Towers, Mr Huang Jin. Oh my and caramel dessert dumplings!!!
And as usual I wandered the city, marveling at it's beauty and architecture.
And finally heading to Melbourne at this time of the year wouldn't be the same without Myers Christmas windows: