Saturday, 04-10-2014. Day 45.
Spray Paint & Coffee
Today was a very important day. First of all, it was our last full day in Melbourne, so we had to make it count. Second of all, this was the day we took Jackie's pink blanket (we call her—yes, the blanket is female—Pink Blanks) to the tailor in Melbourne Central station to have her sewn up. Pink Blanks had blown a few stitches at some point along the trip, but $10 and ten minutes later, Pink Blanks was returned to us whole.
A Day for Coffee
Then it was off to sample more coffee. We walked back toward Queen Victoria Market to try the highly acclaimed Market Lane Coffee. We had two different pour-overs here:
After we finished up here, we had some hungry kids who really wanted dumplings (again), so we took a break for lunch at the very small and very crowded Shanghai Street (which is confusingly on Little Bourke Street). We ate, then plotted the route to our next stop, which it took us straight down an alley where street artists often congregated to create color-rich spray-painted murals along the walls.
Melbourne is very accepting of street art, and it shows—many buildings, alleys, and even railroad cars are decorated with intricate spray-painted designs. But the city makes a big distinction between street art and tagging, which is not welcomed so warmly.
There was a gent there finishing up a mural, and the whole alley smelled like paint.
After walking through the alley, we arrived at the second stop along our mini coffee tour, Sensory Lab, where again we had two pourovers.
Despite feeling amped up from concentrated amounts of coffee in a short time span, we had one more place we wanted to try: Dukes Coffee Roasters, where we opted for a flat white in an attempt to keep things a little mellow. Not sure that it worked, but it was a tasty drink.
After this, we wandered down Hosier Lane, one of the more notorious alleys where the city of Melbourne invites street artists to come and create. It was a pretty crowded place, with lots of photographers, videographers, and tourists checking the place out. It had some really great murals, too.
We even got to see a wedding party having their photos taken there. It was quite a scene.
We wandered out of the alley and down the street, a bit driftless for a few blocks as we decided what to do before we met up with Samantha's friend Rob. We ended up at Metropolis Books, a great little shop on the third floor of Curtin House, a historic building on Swanston street that houses all sorts of cool shops (it's been referred to as a vertical laneway). We picked up a copy of the Wallpaper City Guide Hong Kong and chatted with the owner a bit. She was quite well-traveled, and during the course of this conversation, we learned that her husband owned Mesa Verde, a Mexican restaurant a few floors up.
She also told us we should visit the rooftop bar on top of Curtin House that offers great views of Melbourne, but it was really crowded (it was Saturday night, after all), and it was a little troublesome to go up there with the kids, so we settled into Mesa Verde, where we met Rob.
Mesa Verde plays The Good The Bad & The Ugly on the back wall in a loop. Or maybe they run other spaghetti westerns, too, but the night we were there it was just the one. In any case, it was a nice touch.
After dinner we walked on over to another one of these nitrogen ice cream joints. This was was called The Lab, and each concoction came with a syringe to inject a flavor-filled syrup right into the heart of the dessert. This may be the moment Jackie decided she wants to be a scientist.
- Cups of coffee consumed: 9
- Nitrogen ice cream eaten: 2
- Trains ridden: 2
- Graffiti penises seen: 2