Monday, July 12, 2010

Districts and Precincts

The City of Melbourne site says the city isn't just divided up into suburbs. We also get districts which are further divided into precincts.

Geography confuses me with all it's various divisions; countries, continents, cities, counties, towns, subdivisions, districts....

This weekend I tried to get a sense of what my 7 year old niece understands of geography. I asked her what city she lived in.

Dallas, Texas!

Or maybe I asked her what state she lived in. Either way, she couldn't grasp the concept that Dallas was the city, and Texas was the state. I think to her, they're one and the same.

I might have asked her what country she lived in. I think maybe she got that one right.

I then asked her what planet she lived on.

I tried to correct her, and she looked at me like I was absolutely nuts. No, we don't live on Earth. Of course not! Earth is a space!

I tried to explain that we live in space. She thought I was being absolutely silly. Crazy Aunt Dina.

When it comes to geography, I've always probably been like my niece; Confused. I HAVE gotten a little better, but I still get lost sometimes.

Anyway, let's go on with the city of Melbourne's districts and precincts.

The four districts are south, central, west, and north. That's pretty straightforward.

Oh, I just saw something to make it all more complicated. Each of the districts have their precincts. But then not included in those, are three other precincts. These are the cultural ones; Greek precinct, Italian precinct, and Chinatown. I'm not sure why someone can't put them in the south, central, west, and north category. I think they just want to confuse people like me....and my niece. If my niece ever decides to study Melbourne, I'll bet her brain will scramble up like mine.

Now I'm going to look at each precinct.

First we have the ones in District South.

There's St. Kilda Road. When I was playing around with hotel possibilities, the best one I found was here. So maybe we'll be staying in St. Kilda Road. But it's almost two years away. Maybe something else will come along.

I just had another moment of confusion, but I think I've got things straight now. St. Kilda (I think) includes the Royal Botanical Gardens.

The Moomba Festival is held in St. Kilda. This is the festival with the funny story behind it. Legend has it that those in charge obtained the festival name from some friendly Aboriginal folks. They thought Moomba meant Let's Get Together and Have Some Fun. Now there's a rumor that moomba does NOT mean that. Some people think it's saying something along the lines of up your butt.

Is the story true? I don't know. Snopes labels it as being undetermined. It might be true. It might not be.

I hope it's true.

I think we MIGHT be going to Melbourne when the Moomba thing is going on. If we do, I think we'll probably check it out.

Also in District South, we have the Yarra River. Federation Square is here. The City of Melbourne site says it's futuristic. I have a feeling it's very touristy. I could be wrong. It makes me think of Darling Harbour in Sydney, and South Street Seaport in New York. I'm not sure why. Neither of those places are very futuristic. They're tourist magnets though. Oh! I know. Like Federation Square, both places are near the water. That's probably why I connect them in my brain. Another place like that would be that place in San Francisco. I can't think of the name right now. It has a lot of tourists, and there are sea lions.

Well, I didn't know this. I went to look up the name of the place in San Francisco, and found an article saying that the sea lions had mysteriously disappeared. It ends up they went off to Oregon or something. But now it seems they're coming back.

In Yarra River, we have the Southbank suburb. I think this is the one with the multicultural wealthy highly educated young people. It's also known for art. The ballet and symphony are here, along with the National Gallery of Victoria.

This is where we'll find the aquarium. I'm sure we'll make a stop here. Jack and I love aquariums, although I didn't like the Dallas one too much. It was confusing. And well....they didn't have enough Australian animals. I have prejudices when it comes to that. I'll admit it.

Next district is District Central. I think this would be the Central Business District.

It has a lot of precincts. I'm a bit overwhelmed.

I'll just do a quick rundown on all of them.

Swanson Street seems to be a place for shopping and eating. The City of Melbourne site doesn't mention that it's the place that had the should-we-allow-cars controversy.

Collins Street seems to be the place to go for expensive luxury shopping. We're not really into that, but there might be something here that appeals to us.....

Well, it's good for seeing old buildings. Lots of preservation going on. I'm not one to enjoy studying architectural history in detail. But I do enjoy walking about and soaking up the historical atmosphere.

Little Collins Street is some kind of fashion Mecca...again not something I'm really into. And it has bars. I'm not into that either. Tim likes it somewhat. HOPEFULLY our friends will be meeting us in Melbourne so they can take Tim out drinking.

They list City Arcades as a precinct. That kind of doesn't make sense to me. Oh, I think I get it. I think it's kind of like an area where the most famous city arcades can be found. I guess they're all clustered together. Or maybe these are the only arcades in Melbourne.

The City Arcades equals more shopping.

Melbourne really is a shopping place.

I feel I'm going to be out of place there, since I don't love shopping too much.

I do like bookstores. Maybe they have some of those.

Oh! Funny! That's in the next Precinct; Bourke Street. Bourke Street has bookshops. Cool.

Flinders Quarter has more shopping, but it also has a hotel with a glass bottomed swimming pool on it's roof. That sounds fun.

Hardware Lane is supposed to be a good place for breakfast. So maybe we'll go there one morning. They have a lot of adventure/outdoor shops. Tim might be interested. Sometimes he gets into those type things. My brother-in-law is REALLY into it. He loves camping. Right now though he has a toddler and a bun about to pop out of the oven. There probably won't be much camping in that family for awhile. But when the kids are older, I'm sure they'll have some exciting outdoor adventures together.

The West End is supposed to have Melbourne's Aquarium. I thought that was supposed to be in the Yarra River Precinct of the South District. SO confusing!!!! Well, I guess we just have some overlapping going on.

Now we have District West. The City of Melbourne site doesn't list any precincts for this one. They say though that this is where we'll find the Docklands. According to the City of Melbourne site, it's in development. Well, there's a lot of stuff already there, but I guess even more stuff is coming.

District North DOES have some precincts.

North Melbourne has lots of bookstores, so I'll try to go there.

Kensington has quirky houses and outlet shopping. If I remember correctly, Kensington was the place with a lot of families. I think I'd probably like this area. I prefer discount easygoing shopping over the fancy stuff.

Queen Victoria Market is in District North. It's one of those farmer's market type things. We love those.

I think the North District will be more my style...maybe more Tim's style too. But I'm not a hundred percent sure about that.