ghostsigns

The lost names of Emerald Hill

The walls of South Melbourne (or Emerald Hill, as it was known in the later 19th century – one of Melbourne’s lost place names) are rich in memories: of people, occupations, products, social movements.  These painted signs, featuring other lost names, are an archive of the suburb’s history, visible in plain sight, though often overlooked. Continue reading

Spaghetti, coffee and drag: more from St Kilda

Continuing our walk through St Kilda, we turned up Fitzroy Street. For sheer quantity of stories, this is probably one of the richest streets in the Melbourne suburbs. As always, the stories that appeal to me begin with the traces of the past that can be read on the walls. Continue reading

The romance of Elwood

Crossing the Nepean Highway and entering Elwood, we found ourselves in the land of the English writers. This is one of the most famous street name clusters in Melbourne, where dozens of poets and novelists, many of them 19th century but a few more recent, hang out  together. In fact the whole suburb has a romantic, fictional kind of atmosphere. Continue reading

The diverse charms of St Kilda East

Leaving St Kilda cemetery, we headed south down Hotham Street, towards St Kilda East. This part of suburban Melbourne – St Kilda East heading into Balaclava – has a lot to offer, when you tune in to it – diverse architecture, appealing old signage, and suburban oddities of various kinds.   Continue reading

Memories of Commercial Road

Picking up the walk at the corner of Commercial Road and Tyrone Street, on the border between South Yarra and Prahran, we headed east towards one of the busier shopping areas in the Melbourne suburbs – as the name Commercial Road implies. This is an area where the past seems particularly alive. The area still contains many traces of former days, from Victorian buildings to art nouveau styling to ghostsigns.  Continue reading