Monday, December 31, 2012

The Never Ending Vacation Continues

I write this on New Years Eve from what has become a regular house sitting visit to Melbourne, Australia. This is the fourth house sit for the same owners in as many years, and I have begun looking forward to my stay in the city as I explore its numerous alleys and cultural institutions (and bookshops), more and more. Here in no particular order are my favorite Melbourne haunts - places I return to again and again on each visit.

The National Galley of Victoria
Each year I return to the National Galley of Victoria to take in the latest exhibition, and to reacquaint myself with the permanent works of art on display there. However, like all major museums and galleries, the NGV pulls works out of storage and returns some of the items currently on show back to their storage vaults, so visitors never see exactly the same artists or work on return visits.

Australian Centre for the Moving Image
I wrote about the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) after my first visit there in January 2010, so I won't repeat myself again. Suffice to say, that I always enjoy returning to the Centre, not least because there is an excellent cinema complex on site, showing an eclectic mix of classic and contemporary movies.

Federation Square
The heart of Melbourne's revitalized downtown area, Federation Square features live music and arts performances on a regular basis throughout the summer months, and the giant outdoor screen is used for a variety of live broadcasts including tennis, Australian Rules Football, the Grand Prix, and numerous other events. Oh, and both the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, and the National Gallery of Victoria are part of this massive complex.

Melbourne Museum
Completed in 2001, and located in the Carlton Gardens, the Melbourne Museum is the largest museum in the Southern Hemisphere, and "provides a place for education, history, culture and society to engage with each other in a contemporary setting". The museum has seven main galleries, including a Children's Gallery and temporary exhibit space. Along with a couple of theatres, the museum is also home of the city's IMAX Theatre.

Queen Victoria Market
The QVM is a Melbourne institution covering several city blocks. There are hundreds of stalls selling everything from tea to T-shirts, exotic soaps, faux aboriginal trinkets, CDs and DVDs, and so much more. A section of the market is devoted to fresh fruit and vegetables, and the indoor food and delicatessen departments are a gourmands delight.

Arts Centre Melbourne
While I have never been to the Arts Centre to catch a performance in any of its venues, I have made a point of visiting to see free exhibitions that take place over the summer inside the main building. Over the past couple of years I have seen the raucous AC/DC exhibition and the wonderful Reg Livermore Take A Bow exhibition which I wrote about in an earlier post. I don't know who or what the current free exhibits feature but I am looking forward to checking them out as soon as possible.

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