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									One on One: Paul Theroux • Volunteer Vacations · On Foot in Melbourne • Insiders Istanbul · photo Contest




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                                                                                            holes peddling coffee, crepes, and hot
                                                                                            spuds on Centre can be overwhelming.
                                                                                            For a peaceful perch, look for the circular

                Melbourne Walkabout 
                                                       "Hell's" sign and climb a flight of stairs
                                                                                            to Hell's Kitchen, a cafe/bar with angled
    Even Sydney has begun to acknowledge her little sister's                                floor-to-ceiling windows that look out
                                                                                            onto the alley action below. Before con­
  charms-especially her pedestrian laneways. By CAROLINE TIGER                              tinuing north to Centre Way, explore the
            elbourne has always been the scrappy underdog to cosmopolitan                   colorful graffiti in the blip of an alley that



M            Sydney, but its vibrant downtown laneways are something even
            Sydneyites envy. This north-south network of narrow service
            lanes and arcades was laid down in the late 19th century to store
trash and forge shorter passages between the city's long, broad avenues.
In the past few years, the laneways have developed into lively gathering
                                                                                            doglegs off of Centre Place. This is one of
                                                                                            Melbourne's "maximum tolerance zones"
                                                                                            for street art.
                                                                                               Cross Collins Street, where the city's
                                                                                            Victorian elite would strut their stuff
places and incubators for independent boutiques. The resulting feeling is                   on Saturday mornings-this promenad­
                                                                                            ing ritual was called "doing the block."
of another, funkier city just beneath the     built with some of the $4.5 million the       Proceed to 0 Block Arcade's entrance on
Central Business District's staid surface.    city spent spiffing itself up for the 1956                          (continued on page 54)
"The laneways are a puzzle, an adven­         Olympics. It's now home to quirky spe­
ture," says jewelry designer Natalia Kras­    cialty shops like Corky St. Clair, which          J
                                                                                                     rn.'0(\. .\(oro/
                                                                                                                Sea
nodebska, who lived in the city for eight     stocks Melburnian-designed jewelry              ; - AUSTRALIA ' \
                                                                                                                      Sydney
years. "There's this sense of never know­     including "Up Your Alley" pendants by                 .r        Canberra}
                                                                                                         Me lbou me~  ,
ing what might be around the corner."         Krasnodebska that memorialize the best­         INDIAN OCEAN              V
   This circuitous walk only stretches a      loved alleys in the city's grid.                           l''''~ ''~
                                                                                               v,OU O CAUSEWAY
few city blocks, first north then south,         Head toward the stairs leading up to
but those blocks are so jam-packed, you'll    the first laneway on this walk,    e   De­
                                                                                              ROYAl e                       o
                                                                                                                                HOWEY
                                                                                                                                PLACE 

be busy for at least half a day.              graves Street. At the top of the stairs,       ARCADE
                                                                                                                                 ...... PRESGRAVE Pl                  ,,~ 


   Begin your walk in front of busy           first turn left to peruse Smitten Kitten,        ~t~g~O                                                    0l.I.,'tI"
                                                                                                                                                         c       ~
Flinders Street Railway Station, a cen­       a boudoir-style shop stocked with pricey                            O~~~~~E                          ~               ~
tral meeting place for Melburnians who        local- and Euro-designed lingerie, and                                                               ~               ~
                                                                                                                                                     ~                1­
congregate "under the clock." Cross           cute-as-a-button Little Cupcakes, which                                                                    ~
Flinders Street and turn left, ducking un­    trades in mini- and standard-size cup­                                                                         2
derground via the stairs marked "Subway       cakes in creative flavors like passionfruit                                             DEGRAVES                 ~
                                                                                                                                  e   STREET
To Station." This is 0 Campbell Arcade,       and flourless chocolate mudcake.                                                                                     Flinders Street
                                                                                                                        CAMPBEll      0           "?'"   ,,~   • Railway SOloon
Outwardly staid Melbourne actively supports      Head north to cross Flinders Lane to                                     ARCADE          ,'tI0
                                                                                                                                      ~'- ST. KILDA RD~
cool commerce in its downtown laneways.       e Centre Place. The sheer number of bolt-


                                                                                                                                                         April 2009              51
City Life
ONFOOT
(continued from page 51)

Collins. The ornate shopfronts, intricate­
ly tiled mosaic floor, and vaulted ceilings
offer an idea of how Melbourne looked
in 1893. Step from hushed, pristine Block
                        e
Arcade into bustling Block Place. About
halfway down on the left, pop into Din­
kum Pies to find out which veggie or
meat pies are on offer today.
   Continue to the end of Block Place and
to the entrance of the 0 Royal Arcade on
Little Collins Street. This arcade, the old­
est in Australia, was refurbished in 2004.
Take the set of stairs immediately to the
left to browse boutiques Don't Come (for
streetwear) and Marais (for international
couture). Take a right on pedestrian-only
Bourke Street and walk a few steps to the
G Causeway. The elegant 1920s Union
Bank building dominates the south end of
this lane, as does its ground-floor tenant,
Laurent Patisserie. Cross Little Collins
to G Howey Place, one of many covered
laneways, and look for the lefthand en­
trance to Presgrave Place, a laneway off
of the laneway. This dead-end alley is
home to Pushka, a cafe the size of a walk­
in closet. The small glass box embedded
in the wall to the left of the entrance is an
artspace called twentybythirty (a name
inspired by its measurements). This mini
gallery presents new artists everymonth.
Stop in the cafe for an espresso and bagel
to round out your urban walkabout.




Built in 1869, the Royal Arcade is Oz~s oldest.

54 National Geo9raphic Traveler

								
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