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The icons of Cremorne

What makes a Melbourne icon? I reflected on this as I headed south from Richmond into the handkerchief-sized suburb of Cremorne, a place where Melbourne icons are thick on the ground.

Cremorne is tucked into a few streets south of Richmond and north of the River Yarra and the Monash Freeway. This little pocket of narrow streets, red bricks and bluestone laneways was once a hub of industry, the home of products that were literally household names, such as Bryant and May matches and Rosella tomato sauce. It’s been a long time, though, since these iconic products were actually made here. Continue reading

Wall of champions

Richmond has long been a footy mad suburb so it’s not surprising that its walls are adorned with a few footballers. Nothing quite as lavishly over-the-top as the shrine to Diego Maradona which I once saw in the streets of Naples, but striking enough. As you leave Richmond station at  the east end of Swan Street, you are greeted by this long-legged giant of a Richmond player bestriding the suburb (above). Continue reading

A deco dairy and stories on walls

Picking up my walk from Sydney Road, Brunswick, I headed east along Blyth Street as far as Nicholson Street. Turning south, at number 136A I came across a small brick building with the words ‘Dairy & Milk Bar’ in art deco lettering, moulded out of concrete. That tells us that the building is most likely late 1930s. Continue reading

Fading signs in Moonee Ponds

A definition of the vague term ‘psychogeography’ is “the study of the specific effects of the geographical environment … on the emotions and behaviour of individuals”.

One way of exploring the psychogeography of a city or suburb is to simply drift through it, trying to sense the moments when the atmosphere changes and your mood alters correspondingly.

I felt such a shift as I walked along Holmes Road, Moonee Ponds. It was around the moment when I spotted the signage for the Chinese restaurant. The words ‘Eat Here or Take Away’, shaped out of some soft and impermanent substance, looked as if they had been half eaten themselves. Continue reading