My mother often tells a story from when she was little, of how she drove with her parents and brother down to Melbourne, Florida from Ohio once a year. When they arrived, my uncle would sing a song he made up:
“For now we are in Melbourne. So what? So what?”
I might have felt the same way when we arrived in Melbourne, Australia if it wasn’t so awesome.
Let us count the ways-
1. Melbourne is famous for its laneways. The CBD (Central Business District) is a rectangle. Within this rectangle are tiny laneways off the main streets-they house little shops, restaurants, and various homes and give Melbourne its European feel. Plus, they’re car-free so our five-year-old can ride his scooter up and down them all day.
2. Melbourne is further south which means it’s further from the equator which means it’s cooler-a plus for the two Irish boys I have down here with me.
3. Its focus is geared more towards culture: art, wine, coffee, food-an air of sophistication without snobbery. It’s like the Chicago of the Southern Hemisphere, but without organized crime.
4. For example, at the end of the lane is a former printing press turned adorable coffee shop where some of the staff know our little man by name. When he walks in they say, “Hey mate! Can we get you your usual?”
5. Our apartment in the laneway is a converted warehouse with its pulley system still intact.
6. Access to the roof of the apartment has given us some serious opportunities to photograph Melbourne’s central clock. It quixotically chimes every fifteen minutes to keep our days on point.
7. There are bees on the roof-I swear. They make honey up there. A company aptly named, Rooftop Honey, places hives all over Melbourne. Once a month they come over in their bee keeper suits for collection and leave us a jar on the counter. Trés local, non? The honey is delicious with just a hint of a disco ball.
8. From inside the apartment, the views of the clock through arched windows with warped glass are lovely as well.
and the moon-lest we forget about nature too soon in our new found city life.
9. While I’m not a fan of the sci-fi movies Ethan Hawke finds himself in from time to time-it is fun to know his most recent movie, Predestination, was filmed in this apartment. If you skip ahead to 1:23 in the preview below, you’ll see him fall through the very same floor I’m sitting on right now.
10. There is a swing inside our apartment.