It is so true how much we take for granted in our home city. One of the beautiful aspects of Melbourne is its quaint alleyways, within the perfectly planned grid. If you take a walk through the narrow pathways into the heart of the city you will be transported into another world.
Instead of finding tradesmen and merchants delivering and receiving goods, you will find cafés, quirky sorts and enchanting art and culture.
It was with intrigue and curiosity that Dave and I decided to explore some of Melbourne’s alleys.
Our first stop was Caledonian Lane. Only four metres wide, it is awash with vibrant evolving street art. At one time it was a lane which reflected the past characterised by Lonsdale House. The art deco building originally owned by Sidney Myer was recently demolished by developers. The lane also played host to the infamous St Jeromes Laneway Festival.
We then passed through Bourke Street Mall, often a favourite haunt for street performers, it is also home to the Public Purse. Located at the corner of Bourke and Elizabeth, the Public Purse is a red granite sculpture created by Simon Perry as street seating, commissioned for the council’s Percent for Art Program.
My favourite part of the art walk was Presgrave Place. It appeared to be just another grimey side-street, but if you wander down a bit further you’ll be surprised by how it transforms into a random gallery. Against the dark red-brown brick walls are charming picture frames encasing artwork of the masters and unknowns.
Next is Degraves Street, a much-loved lane of university students and corporates alike. Lined with cafes, restaurants and quirky boutiques, we sat and had coffee and cake in Café No5, a warm and inviting vibe and very friendly staff.
Downstairs we saw artwork in Platform a window-box installation space in the pink tiled Flinders Lane underpass.
A less well-kept secret is Hosier lane which has been part of many photo-shoots. The street is full of what some might call graffiti but is part of the City Lights project to transform Melbourne’s concrete jungle into a platform for art.
We finished off with a romantic walk through the Birrarung Marr Parkland to the Federation Bells which ring trice-daily.