Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,

Walking to Work in Camberwell

I never had much interest in bringing a camera with me on my travels. ("That's a novel approach," said a travel agent friend who helped me plan my monthlong trip to Europe in 1984.) I would rather experience a moment than document it (it's often an either/or situation), and besides you can buy wonderful pictures of any place of note. The digital revolution -- and the borrowed camera of my friends Matt and Deb -- changed that equation for my recent trip to Australia. I took some pictures that are quite boring, indeed, but which bring me back quickly and vividly to my time in Sydney and Melbourne.

[Clicking on the pictures gets you slightly larger versions.]

Each Melbourne workday I'd take the train out to the suburb of Camberwell. In Australia the word "suburb" means, at times, what we would call "neighborhood". Or perhaps "borough". This is the streetscape that greeted me when I walked out of the train station onto Burke Road:

Pretty cool, eh? All the inner suburbs have picturesque Victorian streetscapes like this, with an air of having been in constant use for over a hundred years.

This next picture is up the road a bit, still on the way to work. Two weeks was nowhere near long enough to dispel my sense of awe and wonder at the streetscapes -- and Camberwell is fairly typical of what many, many neighborhoods in and around Melbourne look like:

The building concentration thins out a bit after five or six blocks, and 1930s-era municipal buildings dot the streets. It's hard to see behind the trees, but this is a gloriously deco police station:

A school from the same era:

Eventually I came to the Old Salt Mines:

Boring and new? Ah, but SGI's offices in Melbourne are directly across the street from the Camberwell Town Hall:

Here's the proof of the stylistic juxtaposition, a picture taken from the alley next to SGI, with the aforepictured office building on the left and the Town Hall in front of you:

Then I'd head into the office building and go to work. In AUSTRALIA!
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