On the Street where I live…

Ok, I don’t technically live here, but my office is around the corner and I think I spend more time in this neighbourhood than my own!

This post is in response to day 2 of The Daily Post Developing your eye challenge  – to compose a wide establishing shot of a street. I picked this one because I liked how the red car looked against the red brick buildings and tried to frame it accordingly. But after I took the shot I realised the hero was the mural across the park. This is one of many pieces of “wall art” in this neighbourhood – the council engaging local artists to paint huge murals, in an effort to defeat the taggers.

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This is Peel Street in Collingwood on the fringe of the Melbourne CBD. This is an old neighbourhood, with an industrial, working class history  (and a famous football club). GJ Coles opened his first variety store here (just behind the building with the mural) – the humble start to the Coles group empire.

As the old manufacturing businesses moved out of the city, Collingwood became a run down collection of Victorian brick monoliths, low cost housing and community garden beatniks. Until the developers moved in, repurposing grain silos into studio apartments, and creating loft apartments in old breweries (my office building used to be a mannequin factory). Closely followed by a wave of hipsters, french bulldogs and demand for cold drip coffee.

In the picture above the brick building on the right is the newest apartment block, an ex-factory complex with windows cut into the brick facade and a car stacker in the basement. The brick building on the left is occupied by offices, waiting patiently for the entire block to be purchased and redeveloped.

For the moment both worlds sit side by side – the nightly soup van sets up in the parking space opposite an artisan french bakery. And outside the entrance to the community housing office is a real estate billboard for new luxury apartments down the street.

Oh and everyone is bearded – of both the hipster and – er – tramp variety…

I love Collingwood.

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