Fitzroy, Melbourne’s first suburb, sits at the northern perimeter of its commercial heart — what locals call ‘The City’. The kilometre-and-a-half grid of streets situated on Wurundjeri land has a checkered history, transitioning through the decades from a genteel residential neighborhood of stately Victorian homes, when Fitzroy was conceived in 1839, to a working class area of boarding houses and small factories, a centre for immigrants — first from China, then Europe, later for arrivals from Vietnam and Africa, a mecca for students, artists and musicians, to its inevitable gentrification, becoming an expensive inner-city lifestyle hub; though public housing estates in the area ensure a diversity of residents, these days the area is defined by its many cafes, restaurants and bars, its art galleries and live music venues, and by the extensive vibrant street art, bold ornate tags and scrappy graffiti that adorn walls everywhere.
Home. Melbourne, Sydney, Tokyo, Osaka, Okinawa, for a few brief moments the Greek island of my ancestors, all have been and are in some sense home. Most recently, my base has been Melbourne, my original home, the city often rated the world’s most liveable. At certain times of the year it more than lives up to its reputation. When the weather is fine, the city’s glorious outdoor spaces, a kaleidoscope of greens, are pockets of paradise, and eateries across town, both big and small, serve up meals and drinks whose serious quality is tempered with a typically casual professionalism. The city’s streets provide a feast of visual stimuli. In Melbourne these last months I’ve been busy, but have found time to savor both the outdoor oases and the eateries. I’ve also managed to enjoy Melbourne’s streets and to make a series of photos of the city that has become the latest addition to my Wallpaper gallery.
With the dawn of a new year, I’ve added this blog to my site as a place for more spontaneous publishing: a place for phone snapshots and photos that don’t fit into more considered long-term projects, for photographic items of interest and interesting quotes, for unformed ideas and brief musings.
I wrote those words on this site in my very first post, Hello, two years ago to the day. Today’s post is the hundredth, a small personal milestone.
Life, it comes at you fast, as they say. The last two years have, for the most part, been truly awful: unsettling for so many people, filled with worry and stress, illness and pain, loss and grief. Two years ago, who could have known? The calendar says we’re starting a brand new slate today. Another year of history waiting to unfold, memories waiting to be made, and posts waiting to be written. Thus far, publishing my snapshots has been a creative release and scrolling through the last two years of posts has helped me revisit my past, the earlier ones especially triggering forgotten memories of a world that no longer appears to exist. It seems appropriate to keep adding to this blog, for in the words of Joan Didion, who left us only days ago:
We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget.