Melbourne and 3 Cities to Hail Under Rain

 

If you’re living there right now, or just checking the forecast you’ll know the world’s most liveable city has been in a springtime snafu of rainy weather. Although September should mean to be the start of warmer weather and a preview of summer, the past few days have seen far more people tempted to pack a snowboard over a surfboard for a weekend away.

It should not be news weather can have a big impact on a city and region. This does not just apply to train delays, lost productivity in the workplace (as many may be inclined to stay under the covers and call in sick on a torrential day), but also to the positive effect of good weather on a locale.

With its eternally sunny climes – getting on average 293 days of sunshine in the city compared to New York’s 234 – Los Angeles long lingered as a natural choice to setup shop a century ago as the American capital of film making. Further south you’ve got a city like San Diego, heralded as having one of the greatest climates in the world, and accordingly a hub for many startups, eateries, and sports businesses who’ve Click to continue reading

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Melbourne: 5 Years as the World’s Most Liveable City (and 5 Books to Explain It)

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For 5 years in a row Melbourne has been named by The Economist magazines annual survey as the World’s Most Liveable City. While Melburnians as a rule have long aspired to function over decoration – for this title is wonderful but unlikely to happily cited if stuck in traffic on the Westgate – yet is nonetheless affirmation the city is one of opportunity, diversity, and lifestyle; and surely a quiet point of pride for any Melburnians who travel beyond Greater Melbourne.

News this week then that Melbourne could stand to lose its title when the rankings are announced next week generated much discussion. It may be a new headline but in another respect is not news. Melbourne is not perfect, and it is a city that has problems.

This is not a derision but instead just acknowledgement that there is always more to do – and resting on our laurels has surely never been the Melburnian nor Australian way. Just as a generations of great Australian swimmers have seared through the swimming pool and rewritten records books in prior Olympics so too do we cheer the Campbell sisters in Rio right now on their gold and new World RecordClick to continue reading

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Melbourne and Sydney Property Markets vs the World

 

Large-scale investment from Asia and particularly China is not confined to Australia. Yet, skim some local headlines on your phone or pick up any Sunday morning paper and you’d be hard pressed to find a mention of the word that is crucial to any report on the trend: context.

Certainly, both the Melbourne and Sydney property markets have been going through a certifiable surge in recent months and years. Yet, neither Melbourne nor Sydney nor wider Australia is unique in this regard. At all.

Simply put, foreign investment by Chinese investors is immense the world over right now. From Melbourne and Sydney to London,  New York, Toronto and beyond. Chinese investment is big business. To most this is not news, but now and then some of the more sensationalist coverage in Australian media deploys a ‘blind spot’ this reality. So, here now a ‘just in case’ overview…

The “China Challenge” for Australia’s economy

For those yet to encounter the debate surrounding Chinese investment in Australia it is largely is as follows. While Australians may welcome the economic growth and greater wealth that comes from a growing relationship with its largest trading partner, recent years have Click to continue reading

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Chris Cincotta’s Camera and Community

 

CC are Melbourne photographer Chris Cincotta’s initials. Yet, they may as well stand for the two pillars upon which he’s built his career: cameras and community. In the day-to-day trade of being a photographer in Melbourne, engagement and interaction with community is a must. However, the way in which Chris does it surely makes him a rare commodity.

This Melbourne photographer, who has spent many afternoons and evenings along the coastal trails and among the Melbourne CBD – including having shot some of Bayside’s most famed and picturesque spots – is now in a sense very much anchored down. After a most interesting couple of years around Australia and across the world, Chris is now a Melbourne-based photographer, regularly selling his photos day-by-day in the CBD, and who also a very proud Melburnian. It sounds so straightforward, but just like an Ansel Adams landscape or a Leibovitz portrait; the detail is so very often everything. Chris’ story needs to be given some further colour and scope then.

By his own words, Chris says photography was not the first or most foremost love of his early life. Like many young men who’ve grown up in rural NSW – Chris originally … Click to continue reading

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A New Debate About the Old: Vintage and Replica Furniture

 

by Ed Kennedy

What Gary and Rachel have cannot be manufactured. You’ll never find the British-expats who have come to Melbourne via Perth selling goods of which they cannot detail in-depth. The history, the significance and quality of craftsmanship that underpins an item in the vintage goods store can routinely be listed off-the-cuff by this couple.

Gary and Rachel represent one side of the coin in a furniture and goods industry that is facing a growing challenge to the ‘ways of old’ by replica furniture salespeople.

The existence of ‘new’ enthusiasts for old goods is becoming more common in modern commerce, as evidenced by the current debate surrounding replica furniture in Australia and the wider international market.

With copyright laws difficult to enforce internationally – combined with the rise of globalisation and online shopping – the idea of furniture pieces being unique, distinct and one-off is being challenged.

For Rachel, the issues within the industry are clear.

“Replicas are everywhere and it’s an insult to the second hand industry”, she said.

Having opened Nook’s first store at 258 Johnston St in January 2010 – and established a warehouse in North Fitzroy during 2012 – the couple crossed over the … Click to continue reading

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Rich Story Sewn Into Life By Ricci The Italian Tailor

by Ed Kennedy

Niccola Ricci is not foreign to fame. Walking into his shop and looking across the slew of jobs he is to finish one can see carefully strewn across the walls inklings of a great past and a quiet but proud acknowledgement of the recognition his work has brought him.

Ricci is one of the last great tailors not only of Carlton – but all of Melbourne. At 90 years old his work now is driven far less by necessity and more by ritual. On the days he feels unwell he does not arrive to open up shop on Rathdowne St. For those who’ve quickly need jeans shortened or a tear in a shirt repaired he may not be your man then. But, given the quality of the work done – and the clear evidence across the store of a ongoing demand for his talents – the willingness to wait a little longer for something done well seems something his customers are more than willing to accept.

This theme of quality has been key not only to Ricci’s attitude to work but attitude to life. Having begun his career in tailoring by learning in a small Italian town … Click to continue reading

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Chefs Compete For Gelato World Tour Crown

by Ed Kennedy

The Gelato world tour attracted big crowds in North Melbourne last month, attracting gelato fans from far and wide to partake in the inaugural international competition.  The event, hosted at Argyle Place in Carlton, featured a selection of gelato artists from around Australia and the world, and saw the Melbourne event won by Donato Toce and Simone Panetta of Sydney Gelataria Messina, for their Cremino recipe.

The winning flavour was comprised of salted caramel gelato, Italian meringue, and with amaretti biscuits scattered throughout.  The winners are now eligible to compete in the Grand Final in Rimini, Italy next year.  Mr Toce said multiple elements are required to craft a winning gelato.

“It takes science, skill and love”, he said.  “I’ve been a chef for 25 years and making gelato for 10. So it takes a long time to get it just right.”

Mr Toce indicated plans to open another Messina in Smith St, Collingwood by the end of November this year, which will allow Melbournians to get a taste of their award winning Gelato.
The event saw over 6,000kg of gelato produced, and over 50,000 cups and 80,000 mini-cones used.  John Crowl of Cow and Moon Sydney … Click to continue reading

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