I haven’t spent all that much time in cities, so me saying this may not mean all that much, but Melbourne is unlike any city I’ve experienced before. All you have to do is take one look at it to see the difference. It is filled with skyscrapers like other cities, but these are colorful and creative. There are buildings that look like blocks haphazardly stacked on top of each other, apartment complexes streaked with bright, bold colors and hospitals with rainbow shades on the windows. Another hospital glows neon purple at night! The fact that I can’t find a good picture of that just goes to show how fantastic the architecture is here, because there would be so many photos of that if it was somewhere else. The picture below doesn’t show that off, instead it focuses on something else I think is cool about Melbourne. My residential college is at the top edge of the University of Melbourne and just about every side of us that isn’t
connected to the Uni (in the form of other residential colleges) is parks. To the northeast we have Princess Park where people go to run laps, play cricket and do whatever other recreation appeals to them. The photo however is taken in Royal park, which is just west. Five minutes into this park you already feel like you’ve left the city. You see almost no one, but you hear all sorts of birds and can enjoy the vast open space. But then you catch a view like this. Looking at the park maps there doesn’t seem to be anything in all of that grassland – not even walking paths. Space seems to be one thing Australia has plenty of and they use it really well. City parks are important, but often they are too small to accommodate everyone. Melbourne doesn’t have that problem and I love that in a suburb like Parkville I can go on a walk to feel like I’m in the bush only be reminded how close the city still is. Melbourne truly has it all.
Speaking of which, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention at least one of the events I’ve enjoyed in Melbourne so far; in part because they are a big part of my experience here and, it seems, life in Melbourne, but also because they just go to prove how cool Melbourne is. This past
weekend was the annual White Night Melbourne. It lasted just 12 hours. From 7 pm to 7 am the center of the city was blocked off for light shows, concerts, food stands, street performers (buskers), and art exhibitions. While there I wandered down a laneway decorated with black light paint, watched a laser light show on the river, stood next to a hot air balloon as it was inflated, tried delicious new food and more. Armed with only a map containing vague names for the venues, it was certainly an adventure. But that was part of the fun. I plan to keep going to the events that Melbourne and the surrounding cities put on. There are many music, food and shopping festivals coming up and I hope that I’ll still be able to attend even once classes have started. Which next time I write, they will have! So stay tuned for details on that.
Over and out,