Archives for the month of: November, 2011
December 1st is World AIDS Day. More than thirty 30 years on, there are still thousands of new HIV infections each year, and AIDS still claims thousands of lives. The Australia State of Victoria holds an annual World AIDS Day Poster Design competition. Here are some photos of the top entries that I took outside the National Victoria Gallery at Federation Square. 

My Favorite:
It Says It All
Winner of the 2011
Victoria World AIDS Day
Poster Design Competition

Advertisements
December 1st is World AIDS Day. More than thirty 30 years on, there are still thousands of new HIV infections each year, and AIDS still claims thousands of lives. The Australia State of Victoria holds an annual World AIDS Day Poster Design competition. Here are some photos of the top entries that I took outside the National Victoria Gallery at Federation Square. 

My Favorite:
It Says It All
Winner of the 2011
Victoria World AIDS Day
Poster Design Competition

View From Car Window
Ballarat City Hall

Ballarat is synonymous with Australia’s gold rush of the 1850s. Just 1.5 hours north of Melbourne, Ballarat is a large modern city that has carefully preserved many of its gold rush buildings and landmarks. I was expecting to find a tacky gold rush town like those you would encounter in northern California (i.e., Nevada City, Folsom), but instead, Ballarat is a sophisticated city with fancy restaurants, wine bars, and cafes.


Lake Wendouree, Ballarat
Craig’s Royal Hotel. Mark Twain stayed here.

Unfortunately, the prices in Ballarat match or exceed the prices you will find in Melbourne. It’s like being in Norway! A small coffee will cost you $3.80 – $5.00, and a no-frills breakfast (for two) will run $35.00-$40.00. The cheapest dining option is Eureka Pizza (why gold rush towns find it necessary to have Eureka in their name has always been a mystery to me). Ballarat does have an interesting botanic garden and art gallery, but why people come to high priced Ballarat is perplexing.


House in Daylesford

Daylesford, a town northwest of Melbourne, is likewise uninspiring. Daylesford is part of “Spa Country.” This is the place where trendy Melbournians go for weekend getaways. You’ll find art galleries, foodie outlets, holistic spas, and stores selling the latest in “new age” paraphernalia. The town and beautiful countryside remind me of Marin County in California: a bit precious and a tad too self-conscious about “image.” Daylesford and Ballarat aren’t my thing, but then again, I’m difficult to please. 


Clunes (Sky Looks Almost Unreal)
The New and the Old
Clunes

Clunes, on the other hand, is an authentic and unpretentious town of around 1,000 people. Just 40 minutes from Ballarat, Clunes is a place where time has stood still. Visiting Clunes is like traveling to the 1930s and 1940s. Its “downtown” has aging buildings with weathered facades and vintage signage. It’s like visiting Mayberry without the southern accent.   

View From Car Window
Ballarat City Hall

Ballarat is synonymous with Australia’s gold rush of the 1850s. Just 1.5 hours north of Melbourne, Ballarat is a large modern city that has carefully preserved many of its gold rush buildings and landmarks. I was expecting to find a tacky gold rush town like those you would encounter in northern California (i.e., Nevada City, Folsom), but instead, Ballarat is a sophisticated city with fancy restaurants, wine bars, and cafes.


Lake Wendouree, Ballarat
Craig’s Royal Hotel. Mark Twain stayed here.

Unfortunately, the prices in Ballarat match or exceed the prices you will find in Melbourne. It’s like being in Norway! A small coffee will cost you $3.80 – $5.00, and a no-frills breakfast (for two) will run $35.00-$40.00. The cheapest dining option is Eureka Pizza (why gold rush towns find it necessary to have Eureka in their name has always been a mystery to me). Ballarat does have an interesting botanic garden and art gallery, but why people come to high priced Ballarat is perplexing.


House in Daylesford

Daylesford, a town northwest of Melbourne, is likewise uninspiring. Daylesford is part of “Spa Country.” This is the place where trendy Melbournians go for weekend getaways. You’ll find art galleries, foodie outlets, holistic spas, and stores selling the latest in “new age” paraphernalia. The town and beautiful countryside remind me of Marin County in California: a bit precious and a tad too self-conscious about “image.” Daylesford and Ballarat aren’t my thing, but then again, I’m difficult to please. 


Clunes (Sky Looks Almost Unreal)
The New and the Old
Clunes

Clunes, on the other hand, is an authentic and unpretentious town of around 1,000 people. Just 40 minutes from Ballarat, Clunes is a place where time has stood still. Visiting Clunes is like traveling to the 1930s and 1940s. Its “downtown” has aging buildings with weathered facades and vintage signage. It’s like visiting Mayberry without the southern accent.   

Secluded Corner

Melbourne is a very livable city. There are bicycle paths, jogging trails, plenty of opportunities for water sports, and lots of green open spaces. One of the nice discoveries this visit to Melbourne has been Fitzroy Gardens. It’s a 15 minute walk from Melbourne’s Central Business District (CBC) and just a few minutes from our apartment. Designed in the classic English style but with subtropical vegetation, Fitzroy Gardens is an ideal place to unwind after work or a great place to start your day. It reminds me of my carefree childhood in Southern California.


Two White Parrots
Being Affectionate

The strong scent of freshly cut grass and the occasional whiff of jasmine pervades the air. During the early morning hours, I really enjoy the chatter of parrots and other birds. 


The park isn’t particularly big or unique, but there’s something meditative, almost serene that makes this space comfortable and inviting. There are meadows to play sport, quiet nodes to read a book, play areas for children, and even an excellent cafe and restaurant to catch a quick bite. The park’s unassuming style makes it a wonderful neighborhood escape.

The Faries’ Tree
1932

Melbourne’s cultural attractions, diversity, temperate climate, and green open spaces makes me think that Melbourne might be a great place to live.

Secluded Corner

Melbourne is a very livable city. There are bicycle paths, jogging trails, plenty of opportunities for water sports, and lots of green open spaces. One of the nice discoveries this visit to Melbourne has been Fitzroy Gardens. It’s a 15 minute walk from Melbourne’s Central Business District (CBC) and just a few minutes from our apartment. Designed in the classic English style but with subtropical vegetation, Fitzroy Gardens is an ideal place to unwind after work or a great place to start your day. It reminds me of my carefree childhood in Southern California.


Two White Parrots
Being Affectionate

The strong scent of freshly cut grass and the occasional whiff of jasmine pervades the air. During the early morning hours, I really enjoy the chatter of parrots and other birds. 


The park isn’t particularly big or unique, but there’s something meditative, almost serene that makes this space comfortable and inviting. There are meadows to play sport, quiet nodes to read a book, play areas for children, and even an excellent cafe and restaurant to catch a quick bite. The park’s unassuming style makes it a wonderful neighborhood escape.

The Faries’ Tree
1932

Melbourne’s cultural attractions, diversity, temperate climate, and green open spaces makes me think that Melbourne might be a great place to live.

View of Melbourne Skyline From Southbank
A Turkey in the Window on Little Collins Street
is the Closest Thing to Thanksgiving
in Melbourne

It’s Thanksgiving Day! In Australia, it’s just another day: no festivities, no turkey, and alas no pumpkin pie. Here are some photos I took on this uneventful day in Melbourne. 


Collins St., 5 p.m. (National Gallery of Victoria) by Melbourne Artist
John Brack. Describing the ritualized drudgery
of nine-to-five office work, Brack shows people
leaving work and walking along Collins St. toward trams and 
trains that will take them home. Brack is also commenting on Melbourne’s homogeneous society of the 1950s. Australia’s immigration policy favored people of Anglo-Saxon descent and excluded people deemed “less desirable.” 
Modern Street Sculpture on Collins St.
An obvious reference to Brack’s Painting
Tram Signage. Beware of those
Runaway Streetcars
Street Sign.
Dame Edna Place is located just off Little Collins Street here in 
her home town of Melbourne. This is no ordinary street sign.
Her name is in lights. Dame Edna would expect no less!   

View of Melbourne Skyline From Southbank
A Turkey in the Window on Little Collins Street
is the Closest Thing to Thanksgiving
in Melbourne

It’s Thanksgiving Day! In Australia, it’s just another day: no festivities, no turkey, and alas no pumpkin pie. Here are some photos I took on this uneventful day in Melbourne. 


Collins St., 5 p.m. (National Gallery of Victoria) by Melbourne Artist
John Brack. Describing the ritualized drudgery
of nine-to-five office work, Brack shows people
leaving work and walking along Collins St. toward trams and 
trains that will take them home. Brack is also commenting on Melbourne’s homogeneous society of the 1950s. Australia’s immigration policy favored people of Anglo-Saxon descent and excluded people deemed “less desirable.” 
Modern Street Sculpture on Collins St.
An obvious reference to Brack’s Painting
Tram Signage. Beware of those
Runaway Streetcars
Street Sign.
Dame Edna Place is located just off Little Collins Street here in 
her home town of Melbourne. This is no ordinary street sign.
Her name is in lights. Dame Edna would expect no less!   

As much as I admire America’s talent in the field of spin-doctoring, I must admit that South Korea seems to have one-upped us. According to a recent article in The Australian, the South Koreans have produced a short educational video that they play for visitors to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The video looks for upbeat things to say about this tense, empty strip along the border, across which the two Korea’s stare at each other. “Once just a dreary minefield,” the narrator’s voice intones, “now a natural wonderland!” Yes, thanks to the absence of humans, animals are flourishing. This, according to the video, is “the miracle of the DMZ.” I hope our politicians and spin doctors take note and learn from this fine example of spin. 

As much as I admire America’s talent in the field of spin-doctoring, I must admit that South Korea seems to have one-upped us. According to a recent article in The Australian, the South Koreans have produced a short educational video that they play for visitors to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The video looks for upbeat things to say about this tense, empty strip along the border, across which the two Korea’s stare at each other. “Once just a dreary minefield,” the narrator’s voice intones, “now a natural wonderland!” Yes, thanks to the absence of humans, animals are flourishing. This, according to the video, is “the miracle of the DMZ.” I hope our politicians and spin doctors take note and learn from this fine example of spin.