Melbourne’s zeitgeist.

Conversations on Melbourne often revolve around its inclement weather, and without doubt it is bewildering the number of seasons that the city may experience in a single day. Luckily, Melbourne is dotted with numerous abodes serving gastronomical delights from around the world, within which to take refuge. Melbourne’s cafes are the rosy-cheeked, aproned housekeeper that welcomes you out of the winter chill, seats you near the fireplace, and fills your belly with baked deliciousness and content. They are bred for the brunch and coffee cultures that you never knew you always wanted to be part of, and if you are not careful you may spend the entirety of your days eating. (Warning: Drinking too much coffee will make you see sounds).

The perfect combination of coffee and art, found along Degraves Street © Nisha D'Souza

The perfect combination of coffee and art, found along Degraves Street © Nisha D’Souza

Bright colors on an otherwise gloomy day near Clemetines © Nisha D'Souza

Bright colors on an otherwise gloomy day near Clemetines © Nisha D’Souza

Think of someone else for a change! Humourous cafe signs add to the fun of exploring Melbourne © Nisha D'Souza

Think of someone else for a change! Humourous cafe signs add to the fun of exploring Melbourne © Nisha D’Souza

They have an answer for everything :p © Nisha D'Souza

They have an answer for everything! © Nisha D’Souza

If, on the other hand, you do manage to stay on the streets and soak in Melbourne’s unique urban culture, you soon realize why she is one of the world’s greatest street art capitals. The city has designated streets for lawful artistic expression, that form a labyrinth of artwork. Melbourne’s most vibrant discussions, the essence of her zeitgeist, are expressed along her tiny cobbled lanes. Innocently trotting around you never know when you might be a hit with the ingeniousness of human creativity. Ever-changing graffiti messages sing out in bright colors and mesmerizing graphics, sprinkled with humor, oddity and soul. It feels much the same as what I suppose walking in orbit of Willy Wonka’s imagination would feel like.

Hosier and Rutledge Lane, opposite Federation Square, is a much celebrated and frequented landmark, and one of my most favorite places © Nisha D'Souza

Hosier and Rutledge Lane, opposite Federation Square, is a much celebrated and frequented landmark, and was featured on Season 2 of the Australian Master Chef © Nisha D’Souza

Hosier Lane © Nisha D'Souza

The artwork in Hosier Lane is an explosion of colour © Nisha D’Souza

 © Nisha D'Souza

Often political in nature, the street art is liberally sprinkled with humour © Nisha D’Souza

© Nisha D'Souza

The tiny lanes attract many trigger happy tourists © Nisha D’Souza

Who you gonna call? © Nisha D'Souza

Who you gonna call? © Nisha D’Souza

ACDC Lane, named after the Australian band, often hosts musical themed art © Nisha D'Souza

ACDC Lane, named after the Australian band, often hosts musical themed art © Nisha D’Souza

© Nisha D'Souza

A soulful portrait of a young Aboriginal boy © Nisha D’Souza

© Nisha D'Souza

The artwork in Degraves Street seemed to be science-fiction inspired © Nisha D’Souza

Melbourne ranks among my most favorite cities, if only because walking her streets is a colorful adventure, and turning a new corner is to discover a delightful cafe, or new mural.

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