After my early shopping trip to Queen Victoria Market, I went back to my hotel and registered for the Apple Academy. A quick lunch spruced me up and I was ready to explore another part of Melbourne. But as luck would have it and with the prodding of my fellow ADEs (Apple Distinguished Educators), I joined them on a quick trip to visit the city’s trendy shopping district: Bourke Street
From our hotel, we took another tram and got off at Bourke Street. If I had done some minor shopping in the market, Bourke Street is where people do some serious shopping. Unfortunately I am not a serious shopper nor do I have the budget for such endeavors. Since I was on “eyes-only” mode, I focused my attention at capturing the essence of the city.
Despite the international brands that lined Bourke Street, there was still a lot of culture going around. Some streets had musicians playing either a guitar or a violin, the ubiquitous black instrument case not too far from them, skateboarders zigzagged their way around the crowd, and alleyways were filled with the usual graffiti.
From the streets we exited and made our way to an alleyway and into an arcade. Nope, not the arcade that we know, but the type where people shopped or dined out. There were a lot of quirky and interesting stores: an apothecary, local artisanal goods, a board game shop, and these really added a whole lot of flavor and eye candy for the frustrated city boy in me. Some alleyways even had some interesting characters along the way: there was, what I assume to be, a gothic pigeon lady (who was still there when I returned 3 days later), or a guy selling magazines whose proceeds would go and fund the nearby pay-it forward eatery.
Truly there were a lot of great scenes during our walk around the street, but it was when we finally reached the riverfront that I just stared and took it all in. For some weird reason, I’ve never had the chance to visit the riverfront of any of the countries I’ve visited. There was the Han River in Seoul, the various rivers in Japan, or god-forbid the ones here in Manila. It was only when we had reached the Yarra River that I marveled at its beauty and serenity. The sun was already setting when we got to the riverside, the wind hadn’t picked up yet, but it was already cool, and the day was really winding down for a lot of people.
By the riverside we decided to stop and I just had to take it all in, the ducks that swooped past and glided down into the river, or the river cruise barge as it made its way to wherever, and rowers just training for the next event. It was all normal for them while I was just staring at awe with the tremendous amount of activity happening all around me. I was envious.
And so with an envious heart, we crossed on to the other side, to cap off our journey and part ways. I and a few other ADEs had a date with a very important artist.