Saturday, June 27, 2009

Melbourne, city of parking lots

"So how do you like Melbourne?" he asked.
"Very much," I replied into the mobile. "It's a beautiful city. For instance, at the moment I'm passing by a really nice little parking lot."

It was a particularly prescient conversation. Melbourne truly is the city of the parking lot. Federation Square makes little sense as architecture or as a public gathering place, but a couple of times every year I've walked past it and seen motorbikes or designer cars parked in it. It does, at least, serve as a decent parking lot. My own flat affords two exceptionally attractive views: to the west, of the corrugated iron rooftops of Thornbury; and to the east, of a particularly ravishing cement-fringed parking lot, including an empty space for the provision of my own car (which I don't have).

And, just the other night, as I was walking through the Carlton Gardens, and past the grand vistas of the Royal Exhibition Building, and thinking how bizarrely triumphant and statuesque it all looked, I couldn't help but notice that it, too, had a spacious car park right around it: you'd never find that at the Palace of Versailles. It felt oddly reassuring: it kept the building down to earth.

Melbourne truly is a fine city for anyone who wishes to park their car. Perhaps you, stranger, in time will come to Melbourne, too, and find a place to park your car.

1 comment:

Helen said...

Have you seen the parking lot underground at Melbourne Uni? It's a bottler! They film fantasy / horror films there sometimes.

Email: timhtrain - at -

eXTReMe Tracker

Blog Archive