I’m not sure if I’ll ever fully adjust to opposite seasons and the fact that February is technically the last month of the Aussie summer.
Thursday, February 1
Anthony and I recently recognized how much reusable food waste we produce, so we connected with some neighbors through the Good Karma Network Facebook group to donate our food scraps to their worm farm. On our walk over to their house, we could hear our local saxophone player practicing in Flagstaff Gardens. It felt like such a Melbourne moment.
Friday, February 2
My friend Colleen and I met up to see indie rock band Manchester Orchestra play at 170 Russell. This venue in the heart of the Melbourne CBD only holds about 1,000 people, so it’s an intimate place to catch any concert. Despite the band’s often mellow music, Manchester Orchestra knows how to throw a killer show and I would definitely go see them rock again.
2 Year Anniversary
Wednesday, February 7
Today marked me and Anthony’s two year anniversary. To celebrate, we indulged in a few drinks at The Lui Bar before dinner. This special occasion cocktail bar had been on my list for a while as it’s located on the 55th floor of The Rialto tower and offers stunning views of Melbourne. We enjoyed finding local landmarks in the cityscape below. Our tip to share is that this is a beautiful place to watch the sunset, where I took the featured image. For dinner, we dined at the Peruvian restaurant Pastuso hidden at the end of a prominent Melbourne alleyway. We both made it a very special Wednesday night for us.
Saturday, February 17
Even though I did not attend this year, I would be remiss to not include White Night as a Melbourne February highlight. From 7pm – 7am, artists transform the city with the likes of lights, theatrical performances, temporary art installations, film and music.
The public can attend over 100 free events and explore the city in Melbourne’s largest arts celebration. Unfortunately for locals, this means the city experiences more than 600,000 visitors and translates into a good time for us to find somewhere else to hang out for the night. When Anthony and I visited in 2016, even post 2am, the queues for popular exhibits were still insane. For me, the throngs significantly detract from the fun of the evening, so I enjoy my White Night living vicariously through my friend’s social media.
Instead, we gathered at a friend’s in Coburg for her house warming. Mara lives in the most unique housing development I have ever visited, a community built around the remains of an old prison. Her balcony faces a beautiful bluestone wall built in the 1850s to house inmates at Pentridge Prison. With an address like Wardens Walk, it doesn’t get much more Australian than this!
Saturday, February 24
The Yarra River has a reputation of being the dirtiest river around, which is why you might find it ironic that a group of us chose to voluntarily float 2km down the Yarra in the Inflatable Regatta. Over 2,000 people enjoyed a relaxing, yet chilly and overcast afternoon in light pink and purple matching blow up rafts. If we were allowed to drink and wanted to splash in the water without risk of a potential amputation, it would remind me of tubing in Luray, VA. We spotted some floaters dressed as captains and pirates as we all got to enjoy live music when we passed two different acoustic bands jamming on the river banks. The inflatable regatta is such a great idea and we would happily attend again next year, but it’s just a shame that you can’t schedule the unpredictable Melbourne weather.
Laneway Learning at Madame Brussels
Monday, February 26
On the 13th, I volunteered with Laneway Learning while the class learned how to design their own silver pendant. Tonight, participants met at the popular CBD bar Madame Brussels to learn how to upcycle t-shirts into rugs. I found it interesting to sit in and learn how to craft “yarn” from an old shirt. The instructor, Maria feels passionately about reducing waste, so I look forward to learning more tips from her like how to crochet with a recycled plastic bag.
“Get crazy with the cheese whiz!”
Wednesday, February 28
A new friend who I met at the Manchester Orchestra concert introduced me to a website called lasttix.com. About a week before the show, I was able to snag a general admission ticket on the floor to see Beck for half price! The juxtaposition between an eccentric alternative band performing at a conservative tennis arena felt rather ironic, especially when he started singing “Loser.” This seemingly humble man brought fun personality to his show with colorful changing LED background lights and I can’t wait for next time when he promised confetti!