Friday, November 27, 2009

Street Walking in Fitzroy

I have given you colour and movement from various inner Melbourne places. Here are places I have visited that I can remember.

North Melbourne
North Melbourne
Clifton Hill
South Yarra
St Kilda
South Melbourne
Middle Park
Albert Park
Port Melbourne/Beacon Cove/Garden City

There are probably more places and a few yet to visit. Don't ask me to do Camberwell. I hate the place. I don't mind Hawthorn though.

Maybe you are wondering where I like the best? Oh, you aren't. Never mind. I will tell you anyway.

Has to be Fitzroy. Not saying I want to live there. Balaclava was 'interesting' enough for me.

We recently took an early Saturday morning outing to Fitzroy because R needed an emergency haircut. You know how it happens. You let it go a bit and then suddenly realise it has to be done yesterday. Normally we would not dream of driving to Fitzroy, but it was early Saturday morning and I was not at the wheel, just navigating. Toorak Road, left into Punt which changes to Hoddle, along Johnston and into Brunswick Street. Plenty of pay street parking.

R had his hair cut while I took a walk. I know the streets west of Brunswick Street reasonably well so this time I walked east. Mein gott. Napier Street and the majestic Fitzroy Town Hall. Along the way there were some old signs and a not so great park with a wonderful muriel.

Plenty of old houses, mixed in with new apartments and some good use of old buildings converted to apartments. The bottles littering the streets perhaps dumped by people sitting in cars drinking is a good enough reason why it is not a place for me to live. But no matter, Fitzroy is just a wonderfully interesting place to explore.

I just happened across the Fitzroy Town Hall by accident. What a majestic building. It really needs some land around it to set it off properly, but land is in short supply in Fitzroy.

The rear of the the town hall seems to have been tampered with or restored.

The Napier Hotel on the opposite corner to the town hall is not flash on the outside, but even fairly early in the morning customers were sitting outside taking in an ale. The old highly glazed tile work looks to be original and the pub has beautiful stained glass windows.

The Rainbow Hotel seems to be an original name, so gay peoples, don't get excited. The hotel is ever so small and seems to have live bands playing in the evenings.

You just cannot turn a corner in Fitzroy without seeing a mural. The graffiti writers seem to leave them pretty well alone. I think Fitzroyites should be very proud of their murals. Here are just a few.


  1. named after Sir Charles Fitzroy who was the Governor of New South Wales in 1850 (before 'the Port Phillip district' was named Victoria).

  2. Anonymous11:08 pm

    The Rainbow Hotel used to be a folk music venue in the 70's/early 80's - no idea what it is now, but was a nice pub because it was small, nice publicans, - not likely to be big drunken brawls...

  3. I love the pictured Andrew. I must go to Fitzroy to have a look at these buildings.. and I must remember to go take pics of the places in Newport I spied last Sunday.
    The last pic of the graffiti art is amazing!

  4. Fab photos, I enjoy reading your walks ;)

  5. I love the Town Hall, just tucked away. Really elegant building. I would guess it hasn't been tampered with, more that the façade was only added for the sides that were most visible from the street. It was all recently restored though.

  6. Hey Andrew, in reference to your comments about Camberwell, I have two words that must surely counter any ill feeling about the place: Camberwell markets.

  7. Camberwell's Golf Links Estate developed by Barry's dad J.A.Humphries is quite lovely if you appreciate Le Style Moderne, art deco.

    Follow link to see house (at no.24) of Barry's (at no.36) childhood friend he wrote a chapter on in his memoir 'My Life As Me'.

  8. Yep Brownie. I knew there was a Governor Fitzroy. Just wasn't sure what his role was.

    Do post Newport photos Cazzie. I like Newport. The last photo, was the people one yes? It is only because the tram was very late that I walked back one stop and found it. It is near the famous Fitzroy plant nursery. Take you credit card with you.

    And I like yours too Jayne.

    Katya, elegant is a nice word which I approve of, but in the case of the Fitzy Town Hall, it is a knock out. It is tucked away. It should be on a huge site in the middle of Brunswick street, but changing demographics I think. I would say the top of the rear is new. Far too perfect.

    AR, we did C'well market every weekend in the eighties and nineties. We went back a year or so ago and it just was not the same anymore. Probably time for another visit. Some not very Camberwell types visit Camberwell Market.

    Brownie, do you think Golf Links Estate was superior to Summerhill Estate where we use to live? Our house title had a covenant that we could not make bricks.

  9. I love the green tile and the murals...especially that blue monster guy.

  10. He is a ripper Dina. I think there was more to the mural that was out of sight down the lane.

  11. Missed your comment Michael. It still looks like it would have folk type music. I might even go in there one day for an refreshing ale and have a look.

  12. Anonymous10:58 pm

    I always motivated by you, your opinion and attitude, again, appreciate for this nice post.

    - Norman