Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Art, food, coffee and hipsters in Melbourne

Melbourne is a fantastic city with so much street art, foodie culture, hipsters, beach bums, artists, start ups, and so much more to discover! I went to visit a couple friends in Melbourne for a few days a couple months ago and wished I had spent longer in this hub of culture! The CBD (Central Business District) is a crowded and bustling hub where you can find cute little laneways filled with al fresco bars, dining options, and most importantly street art.

I signed up for a free walking tour through I'm Free walking tours to get an overview of the city on my first day in Melbourne. I like to do this when I'm new to a city I haven't been before to get my bearings. These free walking tours are available around the world. At the end of the walking tour, you donate whatever you feel the tour is worth. Typically I put in about $10-15 as it really depends on good the travel guide is with taking us to the most interesting spots in the city.

Street Art is everywhere but especially in the laneways 
The Most famous Laneway is Hosier Lane. This street is lined with street art and tourists the world over can be seen taking pics and selfies next to the art. While I was on the free walking tour, we walked by some artists hard at work with his new masterpiece. Typically the art stays up for a couple weeks and then another artist comes along and creates something over it. I wonder how much paint is on these walls...

My friends are self proclaimed Melbournites who love living there and after a few days of wandering around, I can see why this city is ranked high on one of the best cities to live in. Though not a budget-friendly destination, the cost of living in Melbourne is high but I think residents of this city do not mind it so much as the Australian dollar is very strong and minimum wage is actually at a reasonable rate of $17.70 per hour (according to Fair Work Ombudsman).

Its an easy city with a good quality of life. I can see why many people love living in this city. When I travel, I always ask myself this question: Could I live here? The answer for Melbourne would probably be Yes. I could see myself living there because of the multitude of activities that this city provides align right along with my lifestyle. Although, the sheer amount of people in the central area is a bit overwhelming for me and I'd prefer a quieter less populated area.

This city is the cultural capital of Australia and there's a lot to see in terms of arts.
I'm a dancer so naturally when I saw the Arts Centre Melbourne look like a giant Ballet tutu, I got a bit excited that a city has made one of their landmarks look like a tutu.

Arts Centre of Melbourne is lit up at night and right by the National Gallery of Victoria
Arts Centre of Melbourne
Beautiful Ballerina statues by the Arts Centre. The Australian Ballet studios and offices are just behind the Arts Centre.
The sweeping views of the city from the Arts Centre is a great place to see the sunset. The end of the walking tour concludes here as well. I'd recommend visiting the National Gallery of Victoria after the walking tour if your legs are ok after traversing the city for 3 hours. The National Gallery was hosting a special exhibition by the artist, David Hockney. I was pretty tired after the walking tour so I went back to rest before catching an Indonesian dance performance at the Arts Centre in the evening. I did eventually go to see the special exhibition by David Hockney the next day.

An evening at the National Gallery of Victoria
My friend suggested going to the David Hockney exhibit as part of the museum's evening event that happens monthly. There was some interactive art in the garden, a bar, live music in the main hall, and of course the exhibit itself. A lively evening and would highly recommend going with some friends to check out the live music but get there a bit early because tables would be snatched up.

Children were playing in and out of the interactive art pieces in the garden 
I was floored by the David Hockney exhibit as this man created a lot of his new works digitally. He's created such beautiful works on the iPad and iPhone! Check it out below:

One would assume an artist who can create this type of artwork digitally on an iPhone or iPad would be some sort of millennial artist genius. David Hockney is 79 years old! Check out the video of him perusing his work in the museum.

The architecture is really interesting in Melbourne. A modern architect's dream.

The vibrancy of the buildings and color injected to represent the artistic side of Melbournites is really apparent throughout the city. There's an air of experimentalism, creativity, and exploration. All kinds of people live here and the hipsters have taken the coffee culture by storm. I didn't get a chance to check out the Fitzroy neighborhood but supposedly that is the mecca for the hipsters of the city. Perhaps on my next trip to Melbourne, I will venture out that way and try out some yummy hipster cafes there. I do love my cup of joe paired with some beautiful people watching (beards, man buns, tattoos, moustaches, and dapper outfits!). 

Gimme some coffee and brunch!!!
At the recommendation of my foodie friend in Melbourne, she suggested Krimper Cafe for brunch as the food and coffee is supposed to be good. I did a quick search on google maps and was delighted to find out that it was within walking distance to my hotel.

I had to walk down this side street to find Krimper cafe 
Exposed brick wall
Iced long black coffee
Prosciutto wrapped asparagus on a toasted brioche with pesto, salad, and two poached eggs. THIS WAS AMAZEBALLS!

On another day, I consulted Yelp for a brunch recommendation. I kept hearing how brunch was a serious affair in Melbourne so I was reading to soak in all that good brunch food options as much as I can on the few days I was in Melbourne. 

Iced Long Black coffee

Fish tacos - Good but too much coriander and not enough chilis!
I had some awesome meals in Melbourne. I'll share that in another post devoted to eating in Melbourne next week!

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