…which is pronounced 'Melbin' – say it fast and swallow the 'r'. I've almost got it. We flew in, took a taxi from the airport, and checked into our cool hotel. The Bloomfield Albany is a boutique hotel I found online. The hotel has a retro-cool 1960s vibe. There's a huge poster of a young and very thin Mick Jagger in the lobby and this one in the stairwell that take me back to my youth.
There are black and white prints of 1960s photos, enlarged and used well throughout the hotel. The headboard of our bed is made from one of these prints:
Some of the people I recognized but who is this woman? I love her face…
(After hearing from several of you I think it is possible that this is Claudia Schiffer – except that she was born in the 1970s. If they chose images from the 1960s it's not her. Perhaps it is Natalie Wood as others suggested.)
This floor is from an older part of the hotel. It would make a nice quilt:
Here's a detail:
The hotel is south of the city center near the Botanic Gardens – a nice
walk for us into the heart of Melbourne. Here's the street our hotel is on. A lot of Melbourne looks like this. The city center is a city with old and new buildings and lots of people. I've seen more men in business suits in the last 3 days than I've seen together in a long time. Dark gray business suits. I'm kicking myself for not taking more photos but, in my defense, I was busy enjoying the moment and didn't want to see everything through the lens of a camera.
Steve carried the heavy camera for hours and the best shots I got were of a graffiti alley. I believe there are several of these designated spots throughout the city.
I love the scale, the energy, and the colors on these walls.
We walked Melbourne for 2 more days, with the smaller camera. Didn't take as many photos but we had a marvelous time! And we ate (and ate) well. There are an amazing number of small restaurants here. The painted column, below, is from the restaurant near the hotel where we ate breakfast every morning. Cafe Domain has the best porridge (oatmeal) and multi-grain toast I have ever eaten.
By and large, Australia is full of art. Every city we have visited has art on the street, in the buildings, and of course in the museums. I wish art was as much a part of the city I live in. Did I take pictures of it all? No. But I did snap this chalk Venus on the sidewalk by the river. Even the sidewalks here can make you smile.
As I write this Steve is on a plane heading home. I'm about to go for a walk before being picked up to go to my next stop here in Melbourne. I'll be teaching for three days at Amitie – and then I head to Alaska for the Valdez Quilt Festival! I'll take more photos and keep you posted…