Sunday, June 27, 2010

And Now a Lesson in Melbourne Culture

Now Lord Wiki is going to teach me about Melbourne culture.

Maybe.

My computer is acting extremely slow right now. I hate that.

Melbourne is a UNESCO City of Literature. I'm not sure what that means, but it sounds impressive.

I'm waiting to find out what it means.

Waiting...and waiting....and waiting.....

Okay. Here we go. To be a City of Literature, you have to meet several criteria. I was going to list some of the criteria, but it's probably easier to just summarize it. The city needs to be one in which writing, reading, and publishing is seen and shown as being valued and important.

According to Lord Wiki, only three cities meet the criteria: Melbourne, Edinburgh Scotland, and Iowa City in the United States. That seems a bit off to me. What about New York City? London?

I'm guessing it's not something you're simply awarded with. Maybe you have to join as well. There's probably cities that DO meet the criteria, but they haven't bothered with joining. Does it cost money to join?

I'm waiting impatiently get an answer.

I think I shall take a break, and come back later. Maybe the Internet will be faster by then.

I'm back. Let me see if it's gotten faster.

It doesn't feel like it.

I'm slowly looking at the UNESCO website, and it seems like they're inviting cities to join.

I found a how-to-apply page, and it's loading. So I shall hopefully find out more about this.

The city applies, and then they have to wait for approval. There is NOT a fee. So, that's good. But the application is supposed to be about 50-80 pages. I guess it would be kind of like writing a grant?

My guess is that it hasn't become a big deal yet, and cities aren't really jumping for the chance to join.

Melbourne has had other honors. The magazine The Economist has labeled Melbourne as the most livable city three times. One of the attributes that earned them this honor is their rich cultural environment.

Lord Wiki lists the current winners of that award. Melbourne is now down at number three. That's still pretty awesome. The winner is Vancouver, and Austria is in second place. Four of the ten cities are Australian. None are American.

There's some festivals in Melbourne; well, of course.

We have the Melbourne International Film Festival. That's going to start on 22 July. It's coming up. Anyone planning to go? It costs $340 for a passport, and there's cheaper ticket for those who don't need to go to every event.

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival had their 2010 event in April. But they do roadshows through out Australia. Currently, they're in South Australia. Although I think that shall be over by the time I post this.

The Melbourne Fringe Festival is an art thing, and they'll be having their thing in September.

Australia's national ballet company is based in Melbourne. I don't get too excited about that stuff. My parents like it though.

Like most cities, Melbourne has an orchestra. My cousin is a violinist, and has been in orchestras. I'm not sure if she does that anymore. She's gone into modeling. But maybe she does both now.

There's the Victorian Opera. I'm really not into ballet, orchestras, or opera. I'm not very cultured...in that sense. I guess you'd call that high culture? I'm more of a pop culture type person.

I do like orchestra music if it's in a movie, or I have it on as background music. I don't like sitting there, and watching musicians play. It's not my thing. I don't mind watching it for short periods. It IS interesting to see musicians do their thing. But then I get bored if I have to watch it for too long.

Melbourne has many music and theatre venues. I'm not going to list them all.

I remember reading about the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. That's an outdoor theatre thing.

There's a group of theatres called the Marriner Theatres. Their venues include the Regent Theatre, Plaza Ballroom, Princess Theatre, Comedy Theatre, and Forum Melbourne.

In August, there's going to be a Beatles song event. We have a friend who's really into that.

On the day before my birthday, John Edward will be there communicating with dead people....and living people too.

The Jersey Boys are going on right now at the Princess Theatre.

I do like theatre, at least watching it. I get nervous about having to pee though. Then I hate standing in the long line during the intermission.

Melbourne has a lot of art galleries. We usually don't do art museums, but I'm thinking we will on the next visit. We've done a few with Jack, and he seems fairly okay with them. I think now that he's getting older, he might like them a bit more. I don't mind them, but I get overwhelmed and lose interest fairly quickly. I couldn't spend several hours in one.

The big art museum in Melbourne is the National Gallery of Victoria. It's on St. Kilda road.

From their website, it look like right now they're having a lot of European stuff. That's fine, but I'd be more interested in seeing Australian stuff. I'm sure they have it.

Yep.

Right now they have an Australian fashion exhibit. And they have other Australian stuff.

Admission is free, but there are special exhibits that cost some money. I think we should try to go there.

If we get too lazy, we can get our art quota by walking around Melbourne. Lord Wiki says there's a lot of street art.

In fact...there's a whole website about it.

You can click random, and get a random photo. That's cool. I got a weird smiley face on Caledonian Lane.

You can totally do fortune-telling with this. It would be like that iTunes shuffle fortune-telling game.

Let's try it!

What will our time in London be like?

Melbourne Street Art says.....

I got a picture of a crayon box, and a message saying we should color our city.

I'm not sure how to apply that picture to our London trip. Maybe it's telling us to bring crayons, so we can draw when we're bored. Maybe we'll just bring pens. Jack's more of a pen and pencil kid than a crayon one.

Next question: What will our next Australia trip be like?

I got a pink dog from Hosier Lane.

You know, maybe iTunes fortune telling is better.

While we're here, let's do that.

What will our time in London be like, oh Holy iTunes God?

I got the Quidditch World Cup song from Harry Potter. Well, that fits!

What will our time in Australia be like, oh Holy iTunes God?

I got a Lisa Chapell song; "When Then Is Now". I think it's saying that right now our Australia trip is pretty far off. But the next thing we know, it's going to be now. Time flies.

Let's get back to Melbourne culture.

Lord Wiki says Melbourne was the birthplace of Australian film and television. The world's first feature film was made there. That's The Story of the Kelly Gang. You can see clips of the film on the Australian Screen website.

The Australian impressionist movement called The Heidelberg School began in Melbourne.

A type of dance originated in Melbourne. It's called The Melbourne Shuffle. Here's a video demonstration of that.

And there's a whole documentary about the dance.

Well, that is it for now.