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

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Mad Hatter's Tea Party

I'm late, I'm late for a very important date
You don't have to be in Alice In Wonderland to attend the Mad Hatter's Tea Party - just come to Melbourne. This darling display of beautiful hats by various Australian Milliners was in the Block Arcade during Melbourne Spring Fashion Week.
We promenaded along Collins Street and viewed the "Hats Off To The Races" exhibition. After voting for your favourite display, you received a gift bag of samples and vouchers.

Lilac Luscious
Wondering what to buy for that special lady in your life? Then look no further ~ imagine the admiring looks she would receive wearing this beautiful creation of midnight blue adorned with mauve flowers around the crown and a dark violet organza ribbon bow. The perfect accessory for a Sunday afternoon stroll.

Lemon Fantasy
What lady wouldn't want to be seen in this gorgeous piece of millinery confectionery? Featuring a gun-metal grey straw crown overlaid with chartreuse tulle and a silk band, finished with a large silk rose and feather.

Midsummer's Night
For that special occasion ~ a darling little confection of organza beaded swirled ribbon overlayed with butterflies of pastel and the palest of gold satin flowers with diamante centres.

The Cheesemaker
And for every day wear, this practical pink straw with magenta single flower and a swirl of delicate azure netting.

The Milliner
One of the milliners next to her array of hats. The Guest Judges were the Lady Mayoress, Emma Page Campbell; Deputy Lord Mayor, Susan Riley; and Millinery Master Peter Jago.
At the conclusion of the exhibition, the Hatters High Tea Party was held in the Hopetoun Tea Rooms.

Today's Quote: A hat is a flag, a shield, a bit of armour, and the badge of femininity. A hat is the difference between wearing clothing and wearing a costume; it's the difference between being dressed and being dressed up; it's the difference between looking adequate and looking your best. A hat is to be stylish in, to glow under, to flirt beneath, to make all others seem jealous over, and to make all men feel masculine about. A piece of magic is a hat ~ Martha Sliter

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Beyond the Ocean of Existence

On the corner of Swanston Street and Flinders Lane is a beautiful piece of art work. Titled Beyond the Ocean of Existence, this patinated bronze sculpture was created by Loretta Quinn in 1993. It comprises a single large ball surrounded by eight bronze coils and a series of smaller balls and lengths of column, both triangular and circular in cross-section, surmount these coils. At the sculpture's top is a stylised angel. The work is a mounted on a granite plinth of dressed and polished blocks.

About the artist
Loretta Quinn was born in Hobart and studied sculpture at the Tasmanian School of Art and the Victorian College of the Arts. She was commssioned by The City of Melbourne in 1992 to create Beyond the Ocean of Existence as part of the Swanston Walk redevelopment. The sculpture was unveiled the following year. The city also commissioned Quinn's Within Three Worlds, located in Princes Park

Beyond the Ocean of Existence demonstrates Quinn's reflective approach, and it is a work replete with religious references. There is a sense of 'folk religion' in much of her art, and whether the symbols derive from the mystery of a Latin mass or the animist universe, a Celtic myth or a Japanese garden, she says they are 'visual references to which others will relate'.
Further information about Loretta Quinn can be found at the Harrison Galleries.

In the background
The tall Gothic building in the background is the Manchester Unity building built in the 1932 and designed by Marcus Barlow which was once Melbourne's tallest building, the modern piece of architecture slightly to the left and in front is Wales Corner (Bank of NSW) 1973 by Wolfgang Sievers. And if you look very carefully through the trees, you can see the Painted Poles in City Square.

Today's Quote: It is not known precisely where angels dwell - whether in the air, the void, or the planets. It has not been God's pleasure that we should be informed of their abode ~Voltaire

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Mingary - the quiet place

Mingary ~ A peaceful sanctuary for people of all cultures and religions. Mingary is a Gaelic word meaning 'the quiet place'

Here, rocks, water and light have been brought together in harmony. These elements are the ancient and contemporary symbols of life, strength and spiritual elevation.

Mingary has been developed as a place for quiet reflection and offers an escape from the hectic demands of city life. It is a place for solitary contemplation. Mingary is dedicated to healing, restoration, inspiration, vision and empowerment.

The feature light which is 2 metres across and wall lights were designed by Stephen Hennessy Art & Design and made in 1999.

On entering the gates, you will see a rough-hewn rock. Water falls down it from above reminding us of the gift of life coming to us, unsought. At the base, are numerouse small stones representing us as individuals.

The lighting is subtle and unobtrusive, providing a relaxing glow in the room. The small candle lights define the edges of the space, and the large feature light, situated directly above the sculpture, illuminates the scultpure without drawing too much attention within the room.

Bowl of Welcome
As you enter the sanctuary, you see the Bowl of Welcome - it is set on two stones. One, a fragment of green marble from the island of Iona, the other, a gift from the Aboriginal Mia Mia tribe who it is believed once lived on this sacred site.

Water flows down the table-rock and into the Bowl of Quietness and Peace.

Plain chairs are placed around the room close to the walls.

Enter in silence ~ leave in silence.

Part of the garden around Mingary. Mingary is part of St. Michael's Uniting Church 120 Collins Street, and you enter from Russell Street.

I found this place quite by accident on one of my city walks. The place was empty when I arrived, thus I was able to take photos. Other people came and sat down. It was a very peaceful experience and it's really wonderful that Melbourne has such a place to offer for those just wanting some time out from their busy lives.

About the artist

The sculpture was created by the Japanese artist, Akira Takizawa and called in Japanese, Seinaru-ishi - sacred rock. It is composed of three large rocks, a surge of white marble, and the magnificent water bowl at the base. He was born in Japan and has been resident in Australia since 1978. He has responded to many commissions in Melbourne and Osaka, Japan and has participated in many solo and group exhibitions. (Photo from State Library of Victoria)

Today's Quote: If you reflect within yourself and find nothing to be ashamed of, how could you have anxiety or fear ~ Confucius

Monday, 27 September 2010

The Guardians

These two large sculptures are carved from Italian statuary marble and clad with ceramic tiles by a then, local artist, Simon Rigg. The square based mounting of the larger statue depicts the four elements. The smaller Guardian reveals a woman's head looking through the hole of the larger sculpture, and hints at the source of all images, beyond our plane of vision.

Facing south
The Guardians, by Simon Rigg were unveiled in November at Melbourne's Southgate precinct near the Crown Casino, the commissioning body. Information from Artlink

Facing north
Another side to the Four Elements - Earth, Water, Air and Fire.

You can see the Crown Entertainment Complex in the rear. The Guardians stand at Yarra Promenade just past Queens Bridge. There is seating nearby - and a nice area with trees. A quiet place to sit in front of the river and enjoy a coffee or read a book.

Today's Quote: The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty ~ James Madison

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Webb Bridge

Webb Bridge
This spectacular bridge is a showmanship of technical design and elegance. Connecting Southbank Promenade to Docklands and panning 110 metres across the Yarra River, it is user friendly - wheelchair access is provided - pedestrians and cyclists use this bridge every day. Designed by Melbourne artist Robert Owen with Architects Denton Corker Marshall, the design is an analogy of Koorie fishing traps, drums, baskets and the gestural flow of the river below.

On the bridge
Ever seen a snake's skin once it has been shed? Well this is what this bridege reminds me of - the delicate and intricate curves all connecting in one beautiful pattern.
Webb Dock Rail Bridge was the original bridge and this pedestrian/cycle bridge over the Yarra river, as part of a public art project re-uses the remaining sections. The bridge comprises two distinct sections: the 145m long existing structure and a new curved 80m long ramped link.

Metallic Arches
The hoops vary in width from 5 – 8.7m and in height from 4 – 8.9m high. They are constructed from steel sections 15 x 150mm, occurring at varying centres along the bridge. These are interconnected by a series of steel straps 150mm wide. The steelwork was made in prefabricated sections and then assembled on a barge that was floated in at high tide. At the northern bank it starts as a series of plain hoops that grow further apart towards the middle of the span. As you approach the south bank, the hoops regain their intensity and evolve into a filigree cocoon.

A Spaceship? No, it's the bridge!
Webb Bridge appears as a delineated structure, a sensuous volume, light and linear. Space is seen as atmospheric, dynamic and transitional.

Bridge with a View
You can truly appreciate the surrounding views and activities along the river. Here I was facing east - you can see part of Spencer Street Bridge with its cream uprights and red. And of course the Eureka Tower which stands out like a beacon.

Click here to view all participants of Sunday Bridges
Click here to view all participants of Scenic Sunday

Today's Quote:
I am seeking for the bridge which leans from the visible to the invisible through reality ~ Max Beckmann

(I am out all day today but will visit all the other lovely bridges tonight, Have a good day everyone.)

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Weekend Reflections - Grossi Florentino

A Collins Street Classic - Romance at its Best
Said by some to be the most romantic restaurant in Melbourne, this beautiful Italian restaurnat at 80 Bourke Street is a master of perfection. If you wish to impress, this is where you go.

Only the best when only the best will do - from the Florentine wall murals to the gleaming chandeliers, with a wall of mirrors on one side. White tablecloths, starched table napkins, cutlery polished so brightly you can see your reflection, opulent and luxurious timber panelling, leatherbound menus and accented waiters who are as efficient as they are charming.

And a wine list that is as extensive as it is expensive - this is the place to take that special someone. Owner and executive chef Guy Grossi and Chef De Cuisine Chris Rodriguez make this one of the best restaurants in Melbourne.
Check out Grossi Florentino and read about their beginning, fascinating murals, menu, wine lists.

James Weekend Reflections Newtown Area Photo

Today's Quote: Some people ask the secret of our long marriage. We take time to go to a restaurant two times a week. A little candlelight, dinner, soft music and dancing. She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays ~ Henry Youngman

Friday, 24 September 2010

Skywatch Friday - Under Sorrento Skies

Street with a view
This is the scene you see when standing on the roundabout at the intersection of Point Nepean Road and Ocean Beach Road facing the sea. If you were to walk down the hill and turn left at the Esplanade you would be at the Sorrento Queenscliff ferry wharf.

Click here to see other skies around the world.

Today's Quote: Clouds symbolise the veils that shroud God ~ Honore De Balzac

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

The Pathfinder (Aka the Hammer Thrower)

Above: The Pathfinder
Photo taken facing west.
The Pathfinder (aka The Hammer Thrower), is a bronze sculpture created by John Edward Robinson in 1974 and stands proudly in the Queen Victoria Gardens. The hammer held by the figure has been stolen several times and duly returned or replaced by another.

About the artist
John Robinson was born in London on 4 May 1935 and died on 6 April 2007. He was evacuated to Australia as a child during WWII to escape the Blitz. Returning to Australia in 1952, he lived in South Australia until his return to England in 1969, where he devoted himself to sculpture full time. His major commissions include four sculptures for the Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra, Gymnast for the New Olympic Museum, Lausanne, and The Pathfinder and Water Children, now with the City of Melbourne.

Above: Facing east
This shows the garden bed in which The Pathfinder stands.

A bit of trivia
The Pathfinder was initially commissioned by mining giant Conzinc Riotinto (now known as Rio Tinto) which they planned to have on display in their proposed new building, but when it (the building) failed to go ahead, the statue was placed on long-term loan with the City of Melbourne. The Pathfinder was unveiled by Lord Mayor Councillor Whalley in April 1974. Information taken from eMelbourne

Some other works by Robinson
For those interested in art, I have included some of his other works.

Above: Bonds of Friendship
Bronze sculpture, 1979 and is 45 x 25 cm.

Above: Abstraction, sculpture pyramidale
Brass 1983. Stands 91 cm high.
You can find more of Robinson's works here.

Today's Quote: Sculpture and painting have the effect of teaching us manners and abolishing hurry ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, 17 September 2010


Moon at Night
Taken on the back balcony late at night.

I will be away for a couple of days and will visit other lovely skies on my return. May you all have a happy weekend.☺

To see other skies around the world click here

Today's Quote: The night walked down the sky with the moon in her hand ~ Frederic Lawrence Knowles

Thursday, 16 September 2010


The Guitarist
This handsome hunk had the ladies on the edges of their seats with his artistic musical display of his 6 string.

Today's Quote: My guitar is not a thing. It is an extension of myself. It is who I am ~ Joan Jett

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Garden Urns

Grecian or Roman?
Don't you just love the warm earthy tones with a touch of the rustic about them? I do and these wonderful examples are at our local nursery. And yes, that is water springing forth from the urn in the right foreground. I tried for a better shot but as there is a high wire fence around this section, I had to hold the camera between the wire "squares".

Today's Quote: Oh, tenderly the haughty day fills his blue urn with fire ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Queenscliff - Sorrento Ferry

The Queenscliff-Sorrento car and passenger ferry links two attractive seaside destinations - the Mornington and Bellarine Peninsulas. There are two vessels, the "M.V. Queenscliff" and the "M.V.Sorrento" and they depart Sorrento Pier and Queenslciff Harbour every hour between 7am and 6pm, every day of the year. An adult one way fare is $10 for foot passengers and from $55.50 for a car and one adult. Sorrento is a nice day trip and you could drive to Sorrento, spend a couple of hours, catch the ferry to Queenscliff then drive back to Melbourne via Geelong.

The M.V. Queenscliff was put into service on the 22 December 1993. Traffic using the ferry service continued to grow though the 1990s, carrying about 110,000 cars/trucks/coaches/motorcycles and 600,000 passengers each year so by 2000, a second ferry was needed. The MV Sorrento was built in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia at a cost of $12 million.

A Bit of Trivia
On 12 October 2005 the Australian Defence Force staged an anti-terrorism exercise on the MV Queenscliff. Two Black Hawk helicopters were used to fast rope members of the Tactical Assault Group onto the roof of the ferry, and members of the Boat Assault Force boarded the ferry from inflatable dingies

The M.V. J.J. Farnsworth
There was another, smaller ferry which plied these waters for many years and carried passengers only. The M.V. J.J. Farnsworth which travelled Sorrento-Portsea-Queenscliff, closed down in the early 2000's due to the increased frequency of the two larger vessels.

The photo below was taken in the late 1990's. I didn't have a digital camera then and this was taken with an instamatic ($29.95 from the local chemist) I used my digital camera and took a photo of a photo so the quality isn't all that good.

The old ferry
Photo taken at Sorrento pier, one April late 1990's. It was really fun riding in this - if you stood near the front of the boat, as the swell of the water rose, the boat dipped so low you almost touched the water! Great fun but it did make you feel a little giddy.

Today's Quote: The water is the same on both sides of the boat ~ Finnish proverb.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Aix Café Creperie Salon

A touch of France in Melbourne - Parlez-Vous Français?

Aix Café Creperie Salon, a popular French Café in busy Centre Place is one of those tiny-perch-on-the-pavement places boasting tables just large enough for a plate, pepper grinder and a wee bowl of sugar cubes.

The raison d'etre for its popularity is the high quality of the delicious crepes - from savoury to sweet. Try an orange blossom honey crepes for breakfast or the Peking duck crepe filled with duck, cucumber, lettuce and plum sauce. Also in the menu are such yummy epicuran delights such as home made soup (great for winter) and baguettes with fillings of every imaginable variety.

Open for breakfast and lunch six days a week, you can't go past this tiny cafe for a delicious meal or snack and at a very reasonable price. With prices ranging from around $4.00 to $9.00, you'll be laughing all the way to the bank!

Today's Quote: Of all the items on the menu, soup is that which exacts the most delicate perfection and the strictest attention ~ Auguste Escoffier

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Seafarers Bridge, South Wharf

"Seafarers Bridge" reflects rich maritime history.

Looking through the arches

This beautifully arched pedestrian bridge built at a cost of $15 million dollars opened to the public in January 2009, but remained unnamed until December 2009. (People just called it the "Big white bridge"!) Melbourne City Council invited Melbournians to suggest fitting names for the bridge - there were 539 submissions and from these the name "Seafarers Bridge" was chosen and approval was obtained from the State government to officially christen the bridge. (Remember the "good old days" when a person of note would cut a satin ribbon and smash a champagne bottle against it?)!

Acting Lord Mayor Susan Riley said “The name draws on the rich maritime history of the area and is a fitting connection to the nearby ‘Mission to Seafarers’ centre located at the bridge’s northern landing.”
This photo and the one above are facing north.

Facing north east

Chief executive of the Mission to Seafarers Andrea Fleming said she was delighted with the decision. Ms Fleming went on to say “Since 1857 seafarers have strolled the banks of the Yarra River whilst taking shore leave in the Port of Melbourne. We are thrilled with the naming of the bridge which contributes to the significance of the maritime precinct, the work of the Mission to Seafarers Victoria and the seafarers whom the organisation serves.”

Mission to Seafarers
The Mission to Seafarers is an international organisation which cares for the practical and spiritual welfare of seafarers of all nationalities and faiths. The Melbourne Mission, created in 1905, is a volunteer-managed facility providing a home away from home for approximately 12,000 seafarers visiting the Port of Melbourne annually. See Australian locations of the Mission.

Facing north west
The bridge crosses from near the newly constructed world-class Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, in the South Wharf precinct and forms a vital connection between the river-front and the city’s waterfront at Docklands. It is very popular with pedestrians and cyclists.

Click here to view other participants of Louis La Vache's Sunday Bridges
Click here to view other participants of Scenic Sunday

Today's Quote: Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known ~ Winnie the Pooh

Friday, 10 September 2010

Skywatch Friday - Early Morning Walk

City Skyscape
I was doing an early morning waterfront walk in the city of Melbourne last Friday. this was taken on the pedestrian bridge which runs alongside Sandridge Bridge. Shot taken facing east.

Click here to see other skies around the world.

Today's Quote: In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true ~ Buddha

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Hurstbridge Wattle Festival

The last Sunday in August is the annual Wattle Festival and I went with two gentlemen - Master Five and Master Four to witness the glorious wattle that abounds in the lovely town of Hurstbridge. It is a fun family day with free horse, bus and train rides. Driving through Diamond Creek and along Heidelberg Kinglake Rd is one of my favourtie drives with the sound of birdsong and the fresh smell of trees and flowers playing imaginitive dreams with your senses.

Horse and Buggy
The horse and coach rides must be the most popular because the biggest queue was here. The boys loved riding on the carriage.

Double Decker Bus Rides
The double decker bus was the second favourite and after we had waited patiently, it was our turn but they wanted to ride "on the top" so we waited for the next one. Everyone wants to ride on the top!

Tongan Dancers
The Tongan dancers were wonderful and we sat entranced listening to Tongan music and watched various traditional dances. The ladies were a little cold in the strapless Tapa.

The Hupmobile
A display of vintage cars saw many people having a good look. Here we see Master Five and Master Four sitting in one of them. There were many more things to see and do, but alas we ran out of time. You can read more about them here.

The Wattle Girls
These lovely girls willingly posed for me - aren't they pretty in their wattle clothes?

Miss Wattle 2010
Here we see Miss Wattle 2010 graciously posing before hitching a ride with the horses. She was dressed in a lovely ballgown of green and yellow and sprigged with wattle. She said ballgowns and horses don't go well together and gave us a demonstration of how to fix this problem by tucking her gown into her purple satin bloomers!

And of course - the wattle. Did you know there are over 600 different species throughout Australia? One species of wattle, Acacia pycnantha, is the floral emblem of Australia and is featured on our coat-of-arms.

Today's Quote: You are invited to the festival of this world and your life is blessed ~ Rabindranath Tagore

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Three Businessmen who brought their own lunch: Batman, Swanston and Hoddle

Three Businessmen Who Brought Their Own Lunch: Batman, Swanston And Hoddle

Nicknamed the Metal Men, this sculpture is one of the most popular pieces of public art in Melbourne and must have the longest public art name in the world!

The whimsical, life-size bronze sculpture of three businessmen carrying lunchboxes, is located in the heart of Melbourne, on the corner of Swanston and Bourke Streets. Artist Alison Weaver claims that while the men are named and motionless, they are also intended to be anonymous and to represent being 'trapped in the perpetual motion of consumerism'. Weaver figures these three Melbourne pioneers as 'pedestrians of vast time' who have returned to the city streets, and says her interpretation of them is driven by humour rather than by iconoclasm.

The Businessmen looking East

Created by Alison Weaver and Paul Quin, "Three Businessmen Who Brought Their Own Lunch: Batman, Swanston and Hoddle" was commissioned in 1993 as part of the Swanston Street Art Works Program, and was a gift to the City of Melbourne from the Republic of Nauru to celebrate the City's 150th Anniversary and unveiled on 20th April 1994 by His Excellency, the President of Nauru, Hon. Bernard Dowiyogo M.P.

This life-sized sculpture pays homage to Melbourne’s three pioneers, returning them to the city’s streets as pedestrians observing Melbourne’s development throughout time.

Whenever I see this sculpture, I am reminded of the short poem about businessmen -

She was Susie up in Sydney, she was Penny down in Perth,
She was Betty up in Brisbane the greatest gal on earth,
She was Molly down in Melbourne, the best of all the bunch,
But down on his expenses, she was petrol, oil and lunch!

Today's Quote: All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them ~ Walt Disney

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.