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Swan St., Melbourne

29 Dec

Ben's $2 Shop on Swan St. © Erin Lau 2009

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Yarra River, Melbourne

23 Dec

Yarra River, Melbourne © Erin Lau 2009

I like to sit by the Yarra River, its only a 5 min bike ride or 10 min walk from my house. Its banks are flanked by shady grass knolls and mature Gum Trees (eucalyptus) and another full grown species that provides excellent shade. I like that the river has this natural bank, at least until it enters the downtown area, its banks are devoid of concrete, and theres nothing stopping you from jumping in. Throughout the day, rowing teams glide past, egged on by a coach on a bicycle who rides alongside them on the trail, yelling through a bullhorn. I must have chosen a day to draw when they were doing other things, because most of the time you cant help but see them. I also ride my bike along the river, its a place where all the city’s runners go as well. And through my riding experience, I’ve gotten to the point where I automatically go to the left-hand side of the road, like drivers here, to avoid head-on collisions. It took my mom about a year before she felt comfortable driving a car here on the left side of the road. I don’t blame her.

Melbourne, Australia (OZ)

23 Dec

 

Dimmey's on Swan St. Melbourne, © Erin Lau 2009

 

Its taken me a while to get back to sketching while I’ve been in Melbourne, but now that I’m leaving for India in 2-1/2 weeks, I feel like I should share a little of this place through my sketchbook. Right around the corner from my mom’s place is the Dimmey’s store, on Swan St. It’s a Melbourne institution. Its like a low cost department store, more comparable to Kmart back in the day. The mannequins in the storefront windows are often poorly/ half dressed and the sales clerks look weary, but they have some great finds and overall Melbourne character. In addition, the building is a gem, and thats why there is currently a petition going around to try to save Dimmey’s from becoming part of a 8-11 storey apartment building. To be fair, the development would be setback from the street, presumably saving the historical facade. But the highest building on this street is only 4 storeys, 8 storeys would utterly dwarf the surrounding buildings. We hope the unique urban fabric of this part of Melbourne will be respected. More to come!

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