Saturday, April 24, 2010

Melbourne Coffee Culture

Waiting for customers - Degraves Lane Arrogantly French - Hardware Land Coffee is an essential part of Melbourne life and half the fun of any visit there for me, is not only drinking the stuff, but photographing everyone else doing the same thing - especially in the back lanes of central city, where graffiti, posters , colour and character reign supreme.
Reading the News -Centre Place
Writing a Diary - Brunetti, Centre Square
An Early Breakfast - Hardware Lane It was probably Melbourne's immigrant Italian population who got everyone hooked on coffee way back in the 1950s, when they started opening cafes - especially around the Carlton area. You'll still find a cluster of Italian businesses there, but coffee and cafes have spread far and wide since then. They're everywhere. Whether you're in Block Arcade, Centre Place, Degraves Street, Hardware Lane; in Docklands, Southbank, , Fitzroy Street or St Kilda, the one thing you can be certain of is, you won't ever be far from a cafe. The hidden arcades and lanes though are my favourite spots. Not that they were always filled with trendy cafes, boutiques and nightspots. Most were just service lanes, providing vehicle and drainage access for city buildings and they were dimly lit and uninviting. Now they're THE places of Melbourne. So how do you find them? Simply wander the streets, follow the crowds and negotiate all those narrow markings on your inner city map. And don't forget to take your camera. (If you click on Centre Place in the label line below this post, you'll see other photos I've taken in some of the lanes over the last few years).

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