Monday, February 14, 2011

City in Pages - Melbourne

I've been sitting on this idea for a while now. I had it after reading Lili Wilkinson's Pink. I get really excited when I read books which mention places I know (or because in Pink, Kobi is from my old hometown and rides my train line). Anyway, I thought it would be fun to take you on a little trip around Melbourne through some of my favourite books - enjoy!

image source: we ♥ it

Notes from the Teenage Underground - Simmone Howell
Published by Pan Macmillan, 2006

State Library
State Library of Victoria is the main research and public reference in Victoria. Opening in 1856, the Library currently holds over 1.5 million books. Notable features include the stunning Domed Reading Room (seriously amazing) and the La Trobe Reading Room. The State Library is also home to the Centre for Youth Literature and the newly opened (in early 2010) The Wheeler Centre. The lawns in front of the Library on Swanston St are also a great lunching and/or people-watching spot. For more information about the State Library, check out their website.

National Gallery of Victoria
NGV is the oldest and largest public art gallery in Australia and holds approximately 65,000 words of art (from both Australian and international artists) including Frederick McCubbin's The Pioneer and Tiepolo's The Banquet of Cleopatra. I've been here a number of times, and my favourite thing (besides looking at the art of course) is to sit down in the Great Hall and look up at the Leonard French ceiling (made of stained glass) - it's amazing. There's a photo here.
Also mentioned in Six Impossible Things.

Six Impossible Things - Fiona Wood (reviewed here)
Published by Pan Macmillan, 2010
Yarra River
If you're from Melbourne, you've surely heard many stories about the Yarra (particularly in relation to some of the 'lovely' things found beneath it's surface) and it's level of pollution and cleanliness (yeah, you couldn't pay me to take a quick dip in it, sorry!). Despite the unsightly appearance of it's water colour, there are some beautiful parklands adjoining the Yarra at various sections (like the Warrandyte State Park and the Royal Botancial Gardens). The Wikipedia page has a wealth of interesting facts about the Yarra.
Also mentioned in Beatle Meets Destiny

Edinburgh Gardens
A beautiful park in North Fitzroy. What I just recently learned, was that Queen Victoria provided the grant for the land in 1862, and the centrepiece rotunda used to hold a statue of her, until it was mysteriously stolen in 1905 and was never replaced (personally, I’d like to think the statue is sitting in someone’s shed haha).
Melbourne's first suburb (according to Wikipedia). Formerly a working-class neighbourhood, Fitzroy is now pretty damn trendy. This page highlights some of Fitzroy's great features (including the shopping & food on Brunswick St, which is possibly a bit of a cliche now, is still pretty great - personally, I highly recommend Harem for lovely things and Veggie Bar for amazing food). Fitzroy is also home to a wealth of book stores, cafes, restaurants, bars and galleries.

Beatle Meets Destiny - Gabrielle Williams
Published by Penguin, 2009

The Espy
St Kilda’s Esplanade Hotel has some of the nicest views in Melbourne. An awesome place for a drink, to play some pool (like Beatle, Toby and Magnus) or watch a band. You can check out their website here.
Camberwell Market
Running every Sunday, the Camberwell market is home to a treasure trove of pre-loved items (clothing, records, trinkets, collectables - you name it, chances are there's a stall which sells it) and hand-made goodies. I have to admit, I'm not very good at finding hidden bargains here (I'm not a very patient person), but I do like to flit from stall to stall (whilst eating a hot jam-donut of course).

Royal Botanical Gardens
I love them! In summer, they are home to some of my favourite summer things - the Moonlight Cinema, the Australian Shakespeare Company productions and of course, picnicking! Seriously, I highly recommend spending an afternoon just wandering through the gardens (and bring a picnic lunch!)

The George Cinema
Formerly owned by Palace Cinemas, this St Kilda three-screen cinema sadly closed in October 2010.

Number 16 Tram (Melbourne University – Kew via St Kilda Beach)
Gabrielle William’s description of this could be used as a route guide.

Chadstone Shopping Centre
Australia's largest shopping centre, with over 500 stores. The car park alone gives me nightmares.

Also mentioned:
Ian Potter Centre, Federation Square
Carlisle St, St. Kilda
The Prince

Part 2 to come soon (because Melbourne is so well-loved in young adult fiction that I couldn't fit it all into one post!).


Megan Burke said...


This must have taken FOREVER!

Great job - I too love Melbourne references!

Miss Friday said...

Thanks Megs! I've been working on it on/off for a while and am excited to now share :)

Braiden said...

Yes I get excited when I come across Melbourne streets/landmarks...just like say Montague St I think it was in Graffiti Moon, or like the train stations. I get all excited and smile when I read them because most of what we read is either in a created world or set somewhere in the US.

Miss Friday said...

Braiden - I totally agree (and do the same)! I love being able to recognise places and streets and landmarks - I think it defintely allows us to connect more with the novel and it's characters, when they inhabit the same city as us :)

Aleeza said...

melbourne sounds awesome--ive a friend who lives there and he says its amazing. if i ever come down to aussie, im so visiting it. esp. the state library. 1.5 million books = my idea of PARADISE! :D

brave chickens said...

This is an excellent idea! I love this post, 'cause I love Melbourne. :)

Nic @ Irresistible Reads said...

Great post! I am not a Melbourne girl but have been to 3 places on the list. It is nice to be able to picture the setting so clearly :)

Nomes said...

what is it with all these awesome YA novels set in melbourne? I love it ~ these ones you chose are especially awesome with the setting. i've only been to melbourne twice but I love the vibe and I love the Aussie feel of it all. Looking forward to your next post!

and hey! have missed being around the place. am technically still on bedrest, haha, but sneaking about to see what I've missed! Hope you're going good!

xo Nomes

Miss Friday said...

Aleeza - come down here for a holiday - you'll love it!

Brave Chickens - thank you! Glad you enjoyed it

Nic - thank you :)

Nomes - Aww thanks lovely - and you are very much missed, glad to see you popping in now and again!

Anonymous said...

'Boy: pee lon tere Nile-Nile Naino ki Shabnam.
Pee lu tere Gile-Gile Honto se Sargam.

Girl: Aby in dono k beech me Naak b ati hy, Waha se b kuch pee k dekh:

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