My Mom told me a story about how she and her parents and brother would drive down to Melbourne, Florida from Ohio once a year when she was little. When they arrived, my uncle would sing a song he made up.
“For now we are in Melbourne. So what? So what?”
I would have felt the same way upon our recent arrival to 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 streets which house little shops, restaurants and various homes. These give Melbourne a European feel. Plus they are car free, so G can ride his scooter up and down them all day.
2. It’s 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 with no organized crime or blistering wind.
4. For example, at the end of the lane is a former printing press turned adorable coffee shop where some of the staff know the 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 Michael some serious opportunities to photograph the view of Melbourne’s central clock. It quixotically chimes every 15 minutes to keep our days on point.
7. There are bees on the roof. I swear. On our roof there are bees in a hive and they make honey…on the roof! A company aptly named, Rooftop Honey, places hives all over Melbourne and once a month they travel around to collect the honey from the bees. They came over already in their bee keeper suits and left us a jar on the counter. Trés local, non? The honey is delicious with just a hint of a disco ball overtone.
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 huge fan of the kind of 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.