There is a place in our city I love to hate, and that is Melbourne Central. I can never work the layout of the vile place. If I want a train, I get lost. If Chadstone is the largest shopping centre in the Southern Hemisphere, then I wish it would grow some more by moving Melbourne Central there and attaching it. Not only is Melbourne Central not user friendly, it is ugly to boot.
Contrast it to the marvellous Queen Victoria shopping centre. It is hard to describe, even though it is simple to find your way around. It is made up of straight right angled walkways, some covered, some not. While it is heated and cooled, it is open to the fresh air so it never feels oppressive.
In Melbourne Central, I might want to go to Coles, but really there is little else to attract me. In QV I visit the newsagent, the chemist, the post office, Woolworths supermarket, Big W, Officeworks, Harvey Norman, the hardware store, Dan Murphy, Domayne furniture, Brumbys Bakery, a place that sells nice soup, The Wedge for good coffee, KFC if I am feeling wicked.
So while essentially it is a shopping centre, it seems to have the best aspects of one, and yet still it feels a bit like street shopping. It can get quite crowded at times, whereas if you took all the people out of Melbourne Central who were catching or just arrived on a train, it would be pretty empty I reckon.
Someone at work asked me where we shop and although it is mostly Prahran, we are nearly as often at QV.