Thursday, June 30, 2011

An evening promenade

LinkThere are three Art Series Hotels and I think more are planned. Each hotel is named after a well known Australian artist. We can see two of them from the Highrise. The Olsen is in a regenerated part of South Yarra, in behind the old bakery/cable tram shed on the north western corner of Toorak Road.

The other we can see is the Cullen in Commercial Road, Prahran. We have eaten there a couple of times and it had problematic early days.

The most recent Art Series Hotel to open is the Blackman and although we can't see it, it is only a block away. Its rear faces Queens Lane. R and I used to sometimes walk along Queens Lane, admiring and criticising or just commenting on buildings and new building progress. But our usual walking time, around 4.30 pm meant many cars were exiting carparks and they caused us some botherations, so we stopped walking Queens Lane (R was getting to the point where he was going to punch out an aggressive motorist. Me being of a less violent nature, was going to carry a syringe full of battery acid, only for the paintwork mind).

But last week we took a walk down memory lane and walked the Lane. We stumbled across the Blackman Hotel, even though we knew it was there. There is the chef, among the bins, having a smoke and a play on her phone. We turned the corner into the side street that the Blackman faces. Oh, a terrace, coffee, cakes, glam. We partook, which made it a very short work and the benefit of the walk cancelled out by cake. I rather liked it and will go back for coffee and cake again. It is a big hotel and seemed busy enough, as does its sister in Commercial Road.

On the way home, these are trees which have leaves that appear in spring, mature in summer, go pretty colours in autumn and fall off in winter. It is winter and the trees are still just holding their leaves. I don't know what they are, but I suspect a non fruiting fruit tree variety. That they still have leaves is a testament to how hot and bright our city has become.

There is a lot to like about the apartment block Deva. The lack of balconies is reason enough for me to not like them. I think it is an office block conversion. The garden is starkly formal and ordered, and guess what, I like the garden. (make your character assessment of me now)

I have noted one famous resident who lives in nearby Balencea, out walking his dog. He only appears on our televisions around Australia Day in some television advertisements. Bahhh. Click on the photo to see the clock properly. I love the way it peeks out.

I have a vague memory that the old mansion in front of the Blackman is a private house. I have seen interior photos. It is sumptuous. The Blackman is built in its former back yard and outbuilding area.

I can only assume this is all Charles Blackman art work, or representations of such.

NB, if the lighting, sun angles and clock time seem wrong, it it because I forgot the camera and went back to take the photos a couple of days ago in the morning. Actually the clock was wrong anyway. As if I would out on the streets at 9.30 am. I may have well had my act together by 10.30 though. Daylight saving clock problem, methinks.


  1. Hello Andrew:
    You very clearly live in a most interesting area with many different architectural styles. Yes, like you, we should not wish to be in a high rise block with absolutely no outside space as appears to be with the Deva block.

  2. Oh, whatever happened to photographic integrity??!!

  3. DEVA was very lovely when new about 1995 and I went there because a workmate lived there. Her apartment was 'bijou' in landrat parlance, but very pretty and had a view.
    But she was terrorised by all the rich Hong Kong kids living there. Smearing the elevator with jam and screaming round the halls.
    Doesn't matter how glamorous ones' enclave is, there will be bogans to ruin it.

  4. Indeed J&L. You need to breath of fresh air at times, or somewhere to sit in the sun.

    Red, out the window like the rest of my integrity.

    Ann, I had that impression. Forget your meek submissive Asian types when it comes to HK kids. Mind, ours next door are nice. Was it a purpose built block of apartments then?