- Place I wanted to spend more time - The fabric storeroom in the Phillips Shirts factory
- Most friendly place - East Melbourne Synagogue
- Most beautiful place - The golden hues of St Patrick's Cathedral (top photo)
- Tips: Check you have the right day, be prepared to queue, wear sensible walking shoes
Open House Melbourne requires some planning. I left home alone on Sunday with my water, comfy shoes, camera and a map of places to visit. Despite much perusing of the Open House Melbourne website, I still managed to find my first destination was only open on Saturday.
All the buildings I visited this year tugged at my memories. My first open building was the Hellenic Museum at the magnificent building that was formerly the Royal Mint on the corner of Williams and LaTrobe Streets. It was opened in 1872.
While I have never been to the Hellenic Museum that tells the story of the Greek community in Melbourne, I vaguely remember visiting the Royal Mint as a child. How amazing to go to a place where they made money! I was more interested in the building than the museum. However, I thought it a shame there was no space in the museum to explain the history of the Royal Mint.
Between Worlds by Polexeni Papapetrou. You can see one of the people with animal heads on the grand staircase above.
|Top photos: details from Hellenic Museum. Bottom photos: details from Victoria Law School|
The lovely thing about Open House Melbourne is being able to wander the city and drop into places that aren't usually open to the public. I saw the blue sign of the Open House at the Victoria Law School on Queens Street. It was formerly the Public Records Office built in 1900-1904. So I had a quick look see.
I love grand old buildings or little cottages that show how we lived at home. The building I chose this year to challenge myself to see something different was the Phillips Shirt Factory in Little Lonsdale Street. Though it is not as though I don't have an appreciation for industrial history. I studied the industrial revolution at university and as a student I did an oral history project on a former knitting mill in country Victoria that my great grandfather ran.
We wandered about with our cameras and curiosity. I wondered out loud if it would be a good scene for a murder. Obviously I watch too many detective shows on the telly. One woman mentioned she would not stand too close to me and I am sure others thought it. (Well, how else could I get some space to take photos!) It was such a fascinating place that I was sad to have to leave all too soon to make way for other tour groups.
Mad Men in her faux fur jacket and high heels. She told us a little of the history of the company that was started in the 1950s by a couple of Czech immigrants. Apparently there are no inventories of the historic material. She told us of piles of boxes with unknown contents. Sometimes they open a few just to see what are in them.
I saw Veganopoulous' post on Open House Melbourne the night before I headed out. She had lunch at Om Vegetarian. It reminded me that I had been meaning to try it so I went there too (Shop 4, 227 Collins St). I was pleased with the recommendation. The all-you-can-eat lunch for $6.50 comprised excellent value. The plate held a dal, a potato curry, rice, naan and pickle. Nothing fancy but it was good tucker! It was a great way to fill myself up and keep myself going with all the walking.
My next destination was the East end of the city. My map got a bit vague and so I headed to the most familiar landmark, St Patrick's Cathedral. After all, they do build churches on hills to make them easy to find. I wondered if it was worth going here. I remember attending church here as a child, but after visiting European churches I can find Aussie churches a wee bit plain. I had forgotten that this is truly high church pomp and ceremony.
My next and final destination was The East Melbourne Synagogue just down Albert Street from St Pat's. After the grand cathedral, this was a much smaller and intimate place of worship. A small crowd was gathered around the rabbi. He was answering questions about worship at the synagogue and struck me as friendly and welcoming.
Cauliflower Tikka Masala that I had seen Mel make on Veganise This! It was very spicy but deliciously creamy and full of interesting flavours. My beetroot powder might be old as it wasn't as vibrant as Mel's and my oven let me down yet again and took ages to roast the cauliflower. I followed Mel's recipe fairly closely, just using cashew butter instead of raw cashews and cardomom seeds instead of pods, so I am not reproducing the recipe here but highly recommend it.
I am sending this green lentil dal to Ricki for Wellness Weekends.
You can also read about my 2012 Open House Melbourne visits.
Green lentil dal
An original recipe
serves 4 as side dish
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove
1 carrot, diced
225g green lentils
1 litre water
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 handfuls of baby spinach leaves
Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Fry mustard seeds, cumin seeds and onion until onion is translucent and seeds have popped. Stir in garlic clove and carrot for one minute. Add lentils, water, salt and turmeric. Gently simmer for about 1 hour or until lentils are soft and dal thickens. Stir in spinach leaves for a minute or two until they wilt.
On the stereo:
Retrospective 1974 - 1993: Figgy Duff