ghostsigns

The real and the fake in Abbotsford

Something that strikes me often about the Melbourne suburbs is their quietness. Walk through most suburbs on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and you won’t hear much at all, except traffic (on the busier roads), the occasional lawn mower or leaf blower, perhaps the remote sound of a TV, or the bark of a dog behind a gate. More than once I’ve asked myself: where is everybody? I encounter few other walkers as I make my way around, and occasionally feel oddly conspicuous as a solo pedestrian. Sometimes parks are busy, and certain shopping/cafe strips, but many places seem eerily deserted.

The suburbs are not totally silent, though. On the wall of the Collingwood Neighbourhood House in Perry Street I came across evidence of an intriguing psychogeography project: a list of sounds heard by Lauren Brown, ‘listener in residence’. 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

A walk along Victoria Street (part two)

Elizabeth Street marks the point on Victoria Street where you cross from North Melbourne into Carlton. As with the western section of Victoria Street, there’s a great diversity of things to see along here. I finished the last post with a reference to uncontrolled apartment construction. In contrast, on the other side of Elizabeth Street is the elegant former HQ of the Rechabites, a Victorian temperance society devoted to preventing the evils of strong drink. Continue reading

Functional fancy Flemington

The walk continued from the intersection of Union Street and Epsom Road in Ascot Vale, heading east and south into Flemington. Flemington has a plethora of buildings of all eras, from the fading Victorian shops of Racecourse Road to the rather totalitarian Melbourne Gateway created in the 1990s. But two starkly contrasting bits of architecture particularly interested me as I walked through it. Continue reading