Melbourne Daily Photo

Hello, I created this blog because Melbourne is my city and I want people to see what a beautiful place it is. So come with me on a journey of discovery as we traverse the dining precincts, the culture, the laneways and hidden gems that make Melbourne marvellous.

Waltzing Australia

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Ruby Tuesday - The Red Chevy

A grand ole classic
I was meeting friends in town recently one Saturday when I espied this beautiful old car. Gleaming red paint work, original tyres the chrome like a shining beacon and best of all - there were three of them. The male members of the wedding party were in tow but the bride I couldn't see. There's something about a red car - sexy and it turns heads.

Click here to see other Ruby Tuesday photos.

Today's Quote: If your wife wants to learn to drive, don't stand in her way - Sam Levenson.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Scenic Sunday - Geraniums

Just the spot for a cup of tea
Imagine sitting here among the potted plants with a cuppa, perhaps a book to read, or just to sit and inhale the freshness of the greenery. This little corner is at the end of the verandah of a country winery with rolling hills in the distance.

Click here to see other Scenic Sundays

Today's Quote: The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses ~ Hanna Rion.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Skywatch Friday - Ships That Pass In The Night

Time to say goodbye
Down on the Mornington Peninsula, the ferry runs between Sorrento and Queenscliff across Port Phillip Bay connecting it (Sorrento) with the Bellarine (Peninsula). The trip takes around 40 minutes and is much faster than driving back to Melbourne, then heading west down the Princes Highway.

This photo was taken not long before sunset from the Portsea pier. In the first photo, the boat on the left is heading back to Sorrento and the one on the right is on its way to Queenscliff. As you can see in the second photo, they have passed each other. After taking these shots, I went back to my car and drove back to Sorrento to wait for the ferry to pull in where I took some more photos.

To see other skies around the world click here.

Today's quote: Like two doomed ships that pass in storm we had crossed each other's way: but we made no sign, we said no word, we had no word to say ~ Oscar Wilde.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

My World Tuesday - Melbourne's Block Arcade

Melbourne's equally famous Block Arcade is an impressive and historical shopping arcade noted for its beautiful etched-glass roof and highly decorative wrought iron and timber supports and having the largest mosaic floor area in Australia. The Block's French Rennaissance-revival design was inspired by the Galleria Vittorio in Milan (with which Melbourne is now a sister city) and is one of the finest examples of a 19th Century shopping arcade.

Some early history:
From 1856 to 1883 the site was occupied by Briscoe's Grain Bulk Store. This later became the site for George & Georges Drapers until 14th September 1889 when a fire swept through the building. Three firemen died fighting the fire which caused 200,000 pounds ($100,000) worth of damage.

Like many Melbourne buildings, the previous grain store was built on bluestone foundations and because of this Melbourne is often called 'the bluestone city'. The disastrous fire could not destroy the bluestone foundations, and the lavish new arcade grew on top of the old foundations.

Above: Block Arcade's etched glass roof
The Block Arcade was constructed in two sections in 1891 and 1893 and derived its name from the tradition of "doing the block", or parading around Melbourne's fashionable shopping streets. Designed by David C. Askew for the financier Benjamin Fink, with instructions to produce something similar to the Galleria Vittoria in Milan, the end result was one of Melbourne's most richly decorated interior spaces, complete with mosaic tiled flooring, glass canopy, wrought iron and carved stone finishings.

Above: Mosaic floor
The mosaic floor runs through the entire complex framed with beautiful timber shop fronts adding to the air of elegance and olde worlde charm. The complex is classified by the National Trust and is on the register of the National Estate.

Above: Victorian weighing machine
One of the many scales that are to be found in Melbourne's arcades and shopping malls. For only a dollar you can check your weight - pay to weigh! Many of these were imported from Britain at the turn of the century.

Royal Letters Patent
The sign above the scales reads "By Royal Letters Patent" - On 25th June, 1847, Melbourne was declared by letters patent of Queen Victoria to be a city.

Above: Central Atrium
The Block derived its name from the tradition of "doing the block". In the 1880s and 1890s, fashionable Melbournians would parade in their finest dresses, suits, hats and accessories along Collins Street and Elizabeth Street and around "The Block", chatting and socialising with friends before retiring for a cup of tea.

It was fashionable to "do the block" between 2.30 and 4.30, especially if you were on the lookout for an eligible beau!

Above: Block Arcade - looking south towards Collins Street
Situated between Collins and Little Collins and Elizabeth Streets, the Block Arcade is our grandest arcade and houses some of Melbourne's most exclusive retailers offering jewellery as well as handmade toys, leather goods, lingerie, cosmetics and shoes, fashion and giftware.

Above: Haigh's Chocolates
Haigh's was founded in 1915 by Alfred E. Haigh, who was born in Adelaide in 1877. The first Haigh's store in Melbourne opened in the 1960's. Their hand-made chocolates and truffles are a delight for all chocaholics as the chocolate has that deliciously decadent melt-in-your-mouth feel which only truly first class chocolate can give.

Above: Hopetoun Tea Rooms - 1892
The Victorian Ladies' Work Association ran a tea room in the Block Arcade until 1907. The association was disbanded but the tea rooms continued under a new name, Hopetoun Tea Rooms, named after the association's founder, Lady Hopetoun.

Upon entering, you could be forgiven for thinking you had stepped back in time over 100 years, for the vintage decor remains the same. Inside, the marble-topped tables sit beneath walls swathed in glorious wallpaper shot with green, white and black triffid-like flowers and is adorned with a double-etched mirror dated 1891. Serving such delights as pinwheel sandwiches, lamingtons, vanilla slices, home made scones and tarts, asparagus rolls and Welsh rarebits.

A selection of the finest teas is available. If you come in for a light luncheon or afternoon tea, don't forget to raise your pinkie as you partake of the fragrant Earl Grey.

Above: Block Arcade - Collins Street entrance
The arcade was restored and refurbished in the late 1980's by the Buchan Group, which upgraded the complex to modern retail and commercial standards while remaining faithful to the original Victorian vision. The work involved the reinstatement of original timber shopfronts, the repairing, cleaning, painting and illuminating of the upper facades to Collins and Elizabeth Streets, and the design of a new entry canopy for Elizabeth Street.

Above: The Golden Mile
Like the Royal Arcade, the Block Arcade is part of the Golden Mile heritage trail.

Today's Quote: If men liked shopping, they'd call it research ~ Cynthia Nelms

Click here to see other photos from My World Tuesday

Monday, 14 June 2010

Geppetto's Toy Shop

Return to childhood?
The brightly coloured toys and kites outside drew me in and as I stood in Geppetto's toy shop, I was transported back to childhood. Forget the latest X Box and battery operated gizmos with bells and whistles - here are the true toys. When toys were made to last and a child's play ran rampant with his imagination. Puppets and marionettes, puzzles, games, kaleidoscopes and spinning tops - all the toys of yesterday that kept children enthralled for hours.
The next time you're down in Sorrento, pop into Geppetto's and see for yourself. They also have shops in Sassafras and Olinda.

Today's Quote: Growing up, I didn't have a lot of toys, and personal entertainment depended on individual ingenuity and imagination - think up a story and go live it for an afternoon ~ Terry Brooks

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Melbourne's Royal Arcade

Australia's oldest arcade is Melbourne's Royal Arcade with its timeless beauty and Renaissance Revival architecture. This beautiful piece of history draws admiration from locals and tourists alike.
Above: The Royal Arcade facing south

In 1837 Joseph Moore bought the land on which the Royal Arcade stands for 20 pounds ($10)and later sold it to Simon Staughton for 650 pounds ($325). Charles Webb won a competition held in 1868 to design the arcade and construction began the following year in June. It was completed by May 1870 and was officially opened by Lord Mayor Charles Amess.

Above: Gog and Magog
Gaunt's Clock is one of the most drawing features of the arcade which is flanked by two giant statues of the mythical figures Gog and Magog which have struck chimes every hour since 1892 and can be heard resounding throughout the arcade.

The sign 'neath the clock reads as follows:
(Left side) These two 7-feet giants have been striking the time on Gaunt's clock since 1842. They were carved from clear pine and modelled on the figures erected in Guildhall, London, in 1708 to symbolise the conflict between the ancient Britons and the Trojan invaders.

(Right side) Mythology tells of the giants Gog and Magog (also known as Corineus and Gogmagog) having been captured in battle by the Trojans and made to serve as porters at the gateway of an ancient palace on a site later occupied by the Guildhall. It is traditional for Gog to stand to the north and Magog to the south.

The statues were carved by Mortimer Godfrey and were modelled on statues in London’s Guildhall which were built in 1708 to replace those lost in the Great Fire a generation earlier.

Above: The Royal Arcade facing north
Melbourne's arcades are indoor shopping streets and were built wide to accommodate the gently swaying voluminous crinolines of the Victorian ladies who shopped the lanes in the late 1800's, their maids behind them to carry their purchases.

Above: Stained glass
Facing north towards the Bourke Street entrance, you can see the natural light that streams through the glassed roof supported by graceful Victorian lacework.

Above: Barbie, Babushkas and Boards
Some colourful wares caught our eye as we strolled around the arcade. My friends and I had had a ladies lunch earlier and as we stood in front of the Barbie poster we all sucked our muscles in and wished for a figure like that!

Above: The Royal Logo
The Royal Arcade along with Melbourne's Block Arcade is on the Victorian Heritage Register and like our lanes is a tourist icon.

Today's Quote: Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping ~ Bo Derek

Friday, 11 June 2010

The Butterfly

Flutterbies and Flowers
This brilliantly bright mural is painted on the side wall of the Lord Mayor's country children's holiday camp in Portsea. The camp was established to provide holidays for children of the outback areas. Portsea is a seaside town on the Mornington Peninsula across Port Philip Bay.

When I saw this I was reminded of the song "Butterfly" written by the French singer-songwriter, Danyel Gérard. Click here to listen to the song. This is the English version I remember. This is the German version sung by Gérard.

Today's Quote: The butterfly is a flying flower, the flower a tethered butterfly ~Ponce Denis Écouchard Lebrun.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Theme Day - Funny Signs

You have been warned!
I love signs - the funnier the better. I remember seeing headlines in the newspaper - "Police station toilet stolen. Police have nothing to go on" and ouside a country shop, "We buy junk and sell antiques"

Today's Quote: The trouble with our age is that it is all signpost and no destination - Louis Kronenberger.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Melbourne Daily Photo

Hello, I created this blog because Melbourne is my city and I want people to see what a beautiful place it is. So come with me on a journey of discovery as we traverse the dining precincts, the culture, the laneways and hidden gems that make Melbourne marvellous.