Art & Design
Posted by Anthony Piovesan
13. Nov, 2014
Melbourne is set to invest in 18 new inner city laneways boosting its cosmopolitan culture and adding to the list of destinations available to tourists.
It has been another year where Melbourne has polled as the world’s most livable city. This should not come as a surprising result, developments such as the new laneways project demonstrates Melbourne’s value for culture, prioritising the importance of diversity and acknowledging the thousands of immigrants who are currently residing in Melbourne.
As Melbourne continues to expand, so does its eclectic culture ranging from restaurants, cafés, bars to museums and galleries to its many enchanting alleyways winding through the towering skyscrapers and office buildings.
These laneways have proven to be a success, they have proven to be a place of variety in culture, but also a place which enables the freedom of individual expression.
If you take a walk down Flinders Street, through the heart of Melbourne, you will notice a staggering number of laneways painted with the talented work of art from many of Melbourne’s graffiti artists. And just in case you are wondering, no it’s not that dodgy graffiti sprayed all over trains and abandoned buildings. Instead, laneway graffiti is an unique expression of art emphasised through different techniques such as stencils, paste-ups and murals.
I have wandered through many of these exciting laneways, constantly impressed at the immaculate detail and the absorbing colour, all of which tells it’s own story. And what’s best about it is you don’t even have to be an artist to appreciate how a randomly selected, lifeless brick wall has been transformed into a medium or canvas of self-expression and artistic liberation. One of my favourite laneways for such ventures is Hosier Lane.
Just a left turn off from the bustling Flinders Street is Hosier Lane. You simply cannot leave your camera at home as each day presents a different show of incredible street art. With the well-known Spanish restaurant Movida on the corner you can enjoy the best of both worlds; great food and original urban art.
And what’s a memorable Melbourne laneway without a seemingly endless chain of restaurants all delivering 5 star quality menus from around the globe? Pick a continent, a country or a specific palate and I am confident that Melbourne’s laneways will not leave you disappointed. Hardware Lane is a must, nightly jazz performances lighten up your evening as you choose from an impressive array of restaurants, bars and cafés.
Located in a north-south direction between Bourke Street and Little Lonsdale Street, Hardware Lane is global cooking on a strip. From the authentic and tantalising Greek street food at Kalamaki to the sharp flavours of South-East Asia at Red Spice Road, Hardware Lane is a small representation of Melbourne’s vast food culture.
Then, why not end your little laneway experience with a little memento from an antique store or a rare article of clothing from one of Melbourne’s many laneway boutiques.
The perfect location to hunt down that one fashion piece none of your friends can find and the exact location to treat yourself to a trendy gift. Browse through the men and women’s fashion boutiques from Zambesi to Ava & Red or purchase a print for your bedroom wall at Arc One Gallery – Flinders Lane is a celebration of originality in Melbourne, and you can own your own piece of it.
The 18 new lanes project will include a link between A’Beckett Street and 151 Franklin Street, a new north-south street and east-west arcade at the old Age site in Spencer St, and a link to Queen Street from Victoria University at 364 Lonsdale Street.
Just imagine the many more exquisite restaurants ready to wow your tongue with exotic combinations of flavours created in a foreign kitchen way beyond our shores, or the increased number of galleries and street art, more artistic representations of reality to marvel at. 18 exciting new adventures are on their way to Melbourne so get set to embrace more cultural ventures in this wonderful city.
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