Friday, 25 May 2012

The 'Paris End' of Collins Street

Bill and I walked the length of Collins Street several times on our way to various other places. 

Meet Bill's best friend, Larry LaTrobe

We sort of wondered what and why part of it was referred to as 'the Paris end'.  Bill thought it might have been because of the rows of trees planted along the sidewalks, but didn't think it was that big a deal. 

However, having read this phrase so many times, we put it on our list of things to do - to 'do' Collins Street properly. 

I haven't mastered Terri's trick of putting loads of photos into a Youtube video, sadly. 

As often happens, I wasn't able to capture the whole of some of the magnificent buildings because the streets were too narrow or my camera inadequate. 

Suffice it to say that part of Collins Street was once the banking district.  From our walking tours in Chicago we learned that it was customary to have clients walk into banks and up some stairs to the counters and offices, as though going up to an altar to worship their money and its managers. 

We saw several examples of this. 

I also noticed, as in Double Bay near Sydney, many of the young women in Collins Street were exceptionally glossy.  I wouldn't likely recognise designer clothing on sight without some really obvious clues, but the perfect way in which they presented themselves made me certain there were some extremely expensive labels next to the bones and the youthful skin. 

Some of them even managed to walk in ridiculous shoes.   My overall impression was that they were all about serious business. 

Looking that good is hard work I'm sure.    

I'm guessing the main reason it's called 'the Paris end' is because of the concentration of expensive shops, which also accounts for the presence of glossy girls. 

Many of the former bank buildings are apparently now designer premises, which somehow seems fitting.  

I thought of Frugal Scholar when I saw this scarf.
You can read more about Collins Street and see the list of flagship stores in this Wikipedia entry.

Bill and I did the tourist thing, wearing casual clothes, having little polish and snapping photos everywhere.  I loved the glitzy displays of what I think is silly stuff.  It was like visiting yet another culture. 

Some of the places we found on Collins Street, like the Manchester Unity Building and Block Arcade, deserve their own posts. 

Or, you could visit
Walking Melbourne, enter Collins Street in the search box on the left and see it all for yourself. (I don't recommend searching by post code, as I got hung up in a glitch there). 

Manchester Unity Building

I feel certain I've not done Collins Street justice.  I'm thinking some things just have to be seen in person.  Still, perhaps you get the general idea.


Tabitha said...

I was trying to work out where that was - ah not here!
Oh I just spotted your beautiful wrapping job down below, I am an appalling gift wrapper, I wrap them like a man - all lumps bumps and obvious sticky tape.

Enjoy the sunshine - this may be all we get!

Beryl said...

After searching all the libraries I have cards to for a copy of Cocaine Blues to begin reading those Phryne Fisher books you recommend, I broke down and ordered the Nook copy. I couldn't put it down! Now I see how much more fun visiting Melbourne could be searching out the spots from the book. Thanks!

steppingmywaytobliss said...

I think you did Collins street justice as a tourist. The only other way to do it "justice" would be to have $20,000 burning a hole in your purse so you could've bought another one at the Hermes store. ; ) Great tour! (Glad I am not the only one that can't identify certain designers--unless obvious--by sight).

BigLittleWolf said...

OMG. Torture.

I want those shoes. All of them.


Shelley said...

Tabitha - I really don't know how to act with this warm weather. I need a table with a little umbrella so I can enjoy the sun without frying...but no way am I going to go out and buy one, we would use it so rarely!

Beryl - I'm so excited that you would try a Phryne book. She really is addictive, particularly her lush clothing. I do so hope the TV series gets out of Australia so that the rest of us can enjoy it!

Bliss - There is so much more to see, especially the lovely buildings, but at least you get the idea. Designer stuff just isn't part of my lifestyle. I tempt myself now and then, but it doesn't really make sense for me. Maybe in my next life...

LBW - Congratulations on having the life to live wearing those shoes! I couldn't afford the taxi fares, never mind the shoes!

Karena said...

Shelley this sounds like a dream shopping tour. Fun to see the luxurious goods offered!

Art by Karena

Terri said...

Whoa--I'm impressed by the concentration of higher end stores in the "Paris End". We have nothing like this KC and to wrap up my Window Shopping Project properly, I may have to travel. I do like those studded boots, but I can't picture myself wearing them.