I think I can really get used to living in Melbourne. There are so much things to do, especially in the weekend and it doesn’t cost much. The only sad thing for me is missing my own little garden. Living in a high rise apartment building requires a different lifestyle and an adjustment to living in a small space with many hundreds of people in the same building. A lifestyle in a big city where the night seldom sleeps, and surrounded by glistening concrete jungle with green canopy of trees lining the streets as viewed from my balcony.
The morning cleared up into a patchy cloudy day with the occassional sunshine and a mild autumn temperature. A nice change from yesterday very wet and cold day.
Yesterday, I went to South Wharf Promenade to soak in the rain at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Today, I went back to the festival, to the other side of the river where it flows toward the northern end of the city. In particular, I wanted to see the eco-friendly sustainable restaurant designed by Dutch-Australian Joost Bakker, which includes a hanging garden and a waste recycling system. It was unique and a star attraction at the Queensbridge Square of the festival.
It is a double storey recycled timber structure with rows and columns of hanging pots on rusted iron frames on one side of the building. The other end of the building was 3 stacks of metal cargo containers designed to recycle all the waste waters from the kitchen and toilets. There were herb gardens in giant recycle metal and plastic barrels.
The interior was as interesting as the exterior – all the furnitures were made from recycle products.
Walking through Southbank waterfront is always interesting for me. There is always something different and interesting to look at, including a Melbourne interpretation of a modern “trishaw”, not as nostalgic or vintage as the Asian version.
Then, there was the “fruit juggler chef” promoting the Melbourne Markets across the other side of the river. And, the nice man offering me fresh apples and pears for free! I accepted an apple – nice, juicy and crunchy. I made my way to the Federation Square to catch a Tram to Brunswick – my destination for today – the Brunswick’s Sydney Road Street Festival, a prelude to the 24th Brunswick Music Festival.
I took the Tram up Swanston Street and got off at La Trobe intersection. I saw this quirky, limegreen smeared RMIT University building which I thought was most unusual. It is something like out of a “Ghostbuster’s movie”!
Diagonally across from the intersection is a hotdog stand with a very small kitchen. It looks good and very inviting. I must go back and try it next time. I had to reserve my appetite for the street festival as I have heard that Brunswick’s Sydney Road is eclectic and bohemian with alternative food and shops.
Brunswick – a northern suburb of Melbourne, about 6 km from the CBD. Its main thoroughfare is Sydney Road with a broad range and diversified cuisines including Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian, African, Mediterranean, Nepalese, Pizza, Italian, Turkish, modern Australian and a few local hotels and bars. The street was shut off from the traffic between Victoria Street intersection and Union Street intersection. There were 7 stages with free live performance of a wide range of music and sounds, including a live concert stage for the children. I stayed for a couple of hours, and enjoyed the sound of Africa band the most. The street food was good, filling and cheap. I tried the lamb souvlaki – the bread was made fresh on the spot for $8. I also tried a Cyprus snack of beef minced wrapped with freshly made bread for $5.
One building caught my eyes. It looks trendy from the outside with dark grey colour scheme and bright yellow signage that reads “Albert St Food & Wine Store”. It really stand out and looks out of place from its neighbouring restaurants, pubs, cafes and shops, which are more rustic looking. Albert St FWS is sleek and very smart. The building used to be the State Savings Bank of Victoria, dated back to 1921. I quickly jumped into “Urbanspoon App” to read up the food critics and bloggers reviews. This was the latest food venture for Chef Philippa Sibley. I had a peep inside the wine cellar, which used to be the bank vault. Very smart indeed. This may have to be my next visit as I was totally suffed with the earlier street food I had.