Row X

We stood at the back of the hall clutching our tickets for Row X dismayed that the rows stopped at Row V. There was no Row X. The group of us grew in numbers as we hailed the attention of an usher. Traipsing back out to the foyer we were reallocated tickets to the Balcony in Row OO.IMG_8860

This was our experience when we purchased tickets online for the Elvis Tribute Show with Jack Gatto at Melbourne Town Hall. As an information professional I know about the quick evaluation of reliable sources; and in my defense it was not me who found and selected the website. But I should have checked.

So an expensive and annoying lesson learned. But the show was good and Jack Gatto gave a great show with a powerful voice very like Elvis. The choir, backing singers, and big band were led by John St Peeters. Jack did the outfits justice and enthusiastically busted the moves. Not quite the decade for us, but you can’t deny those classic songs.

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Earlier we had enjoyed beer and a meal at Il Pom Iltalian at Federation Square, while young football fans, dressed in blue and white and yellow and brown, played kick-to-kick under yellow fluoro lights in the ‘square’.

After the show we walked back to our car parked in the gardens. The cold winter night air shimmering rainbow fog against the colourful lights of the Melbourne cityscape.

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Melbourne rainbow

So I was in Melbourne at Southern Cross Station filling in some time before my train trip home and I was taking photos using Instagram when a vivid rainbow appeared before me as I walked across the concourse. I stopped to take this photo:

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As I looked around me I noticed a few other people doing the same thing while rushing for their trains.

Later on while looking through the images on Instagram there were people ‘liking’ my rainbow photo and they also had a photo of the same rainbow from a different viewpoint.

I tagged my photo with #melbourne but not #rainbow!! How does this happen? Are they just looking at a stream of the latest image uploads?

It really does make you think about controversial incidents or dramatic events or especially political or criminal situations. Who saw what?

Dear Melbourne

Oh Melbourne how I love thee/ hate thee!

Melbourne Street Art June 2012

I appreciate you more now that I live further away. I love your many faces. You are indifferent and snobby to all people. They try to make a corner to call their own. The rabbit suited guitarist playing Stayin’ Alive at the traffic lights, only to be upstaged by the penguin suited busker playing the bagpipes on the bridge across the not-so-beautiful waters of the Yarra River. Earlier this spot belonged to an ancient looking Asian man sitting cross-legged and playing an ancient Asian flute.

The able-bodied wheel-assisted pedestrians weave uncaringly amidst the brisk walkers; they on scooters big and small, skate boards, small bikes and large bikes.

The beer/wine/coffee drinkers inside and out at bars and cafes in every nook – river pontoons, holes in walls, rooftops, lanes, everywhere.

By day your grey footpaths cause sore feet; by night your fairy lights deceive. Too cold and windy in winter and too hot and dry in summer. Autumn and spring is when you are best dressed.

You exhort an edgy fashion sense – cool, tough, absurd, and aloof. Stilettos and Doc Martens; flat runners and boots; always thongs (flip-flops) in summer. The clothing is always dominated by black; splashes of colour here and there, but always black, black, black.

The idea spruikers try and persist: The Big Issue; The Watchtower; the endangered species protectors; the sidewalk chalk artists; the actual beggars; full of daring and hopelessness; optimism and pessimism. They are ignored by the suited office workers, the beautiful women, the haggard faces; the many shapes of people matched by the mixed architecture. There is no dominant style – old and new, symmetrical and asymmetrical, shiny and textured, elegant and ugly; conformity and anarchy. The gold phallic top of your Eureka Tower catches the afternoon sunlight shining like a beacon that can be seen from The Heads.

You beckon but when they come you turn them away with indifference. Unless…..unless they like your football. You give us that. One thing to hang our hopes upon. One thing to inspire us, excite us, unify us. Are you really happy to share that one thing nationwide? If they like your football you enfold them.

OK so you have more to offer than football. There is live theatre, music, opera, comedy, soccer, art, cycling, markets, movies, libraries, museums, golf, and great food food food. We know.

You could be Paris but there is an absence of dogs. You lift your nose with mistaken self-aggrandisement, but you are not Paris.

Melbourne you are like a dysfunctional parent that is difficult to hug. Still…you are my city. (Fortunately for me my actual parents were not dysfunctional at all.)

What is your relationship with Melbourne?