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“This will be the place for a village,” famous words uttered by squatter John Batman in 1835 after discovering gently wooded lands with deep waters six miles up the Yarra River. Or so the story goes. Batman may very well have been six miles up the Maribyrnong River but James Fawkner  (often credited as being second to the scene) was a steely, political fox who made plenty of enemies. So when “good-time boy” and alcoholic Batman died young of syphilis, Fawkner’s enemies went into a furious frenzy establishing Batman as the true founder of Melbourne. The settlement of Melbourne is a fascinating story and can be read about in some detail on the Foundation of Melbourne Wikipedia page.

When I’m not hermitting in the bush you can find me hermitting in the city and if you can’t find me there you’re not looking hard enough in the bush. People watching in the city can be infinitely interesting. Like a trip to the zoo, it’s an intersection for species emanating from all walks of life. One of the best places to do this in comfort is from a well-worn, vinyl, bar stool at Pelligrini’s Espresso Bar. If you’re craving a homely cooked spaghetti bol, $3 cafe latte (that’s right three dollars) and hot apple pie you come here. Businessmen, vagrants, hippies, family men and even women (sorry bad Ron Burgundy joke) rub elbows while chowing on coffee and cake. The place reeks of history and authenticity with no pretensions about what their trying to be or who walks through their doors.

Melbourne has a fascinating obsession with coffee, sport and street art, a little of which is reflected in the following photographs. I’ve been noticing coffee shops opening up in some of the tiniest alcoves and cavities around the city streets lately. One poor barista was rabbiting away in a burrow that mustn’t have been much bigger than a toilet cubicle just off Swanston St.

Commissioned street art seems to be on an increasing march across Melbourne’s interior. There’s a beautiful mural of an aboriginal boy by street artist Adnate which is pooling many admirers in Hosier Lane. Multiple street art tours are being hosted on bicycle (great to see the Melbourne Bike Share put to good use) or on foot.

Ma’a sa-laama, Nick.

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## All images available to purchase as high quality, archival, canvas prints or smaller acryllic blocks. Just click on image to be taken to purchase gateway.