At the corner of Lennox Street and Rowena Parade is a Victorian shop (dated 1878) on which some very faded ghostsigns can be discerned. The words ‘General House Repairs’ are just about legible between the upper storey windows, and I could make out ‘Builders’ and ‘Carpenters’ above the ground floor windows, along with the now almost illegible name of the former owners, which appears to read ‘ … ETT & SONS’. Continue reading
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
Life wasn’t meant to be radioactive
If you turn right out of North Melbourne station and walk along Adderley Street towards West Melbourne, pretty soon you will reach a house on which the remains of a mural can be clearly discerned. The first thing you notice is the sun, beaming down benevolently on commuters trudging towards their workplaces. You can also make out a rather angry looking cloud, a flash of lightning, a small farm building nestling among pink hills, and the word ‘radioactive’. 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
Quarries and a nature reserve in Yarraville
We walk from the West Gate bridge north up Hyde Street. Ahead of us, to the right are the big white drums of yet another refinery, Mobil this time (Caltex and Shell are behind us, in Newport.) Opposite Mobil is a Singaporean power company. There’s industry all the way up this road, and signage warning of hazards of various kinds. Not really a place that you’d expect to find a nature reserve.