Living in Australia is Fortunate

Na praia de Brighton, em Melbourne, estado da Victoria. / At Brighton Beach, Melbourne, Victoria.
At Brighton Beach, Melbourne, Victoria.

In ten months that I am living here I have been able to notice the numerous professional opportunities, the politeness of its people, the easiness of becoming friends with them, the several entertainment options, but mainly, the safety the country has to offer for those who live here. Currently I am living in Melbourne, a big city with over 3.4 million people, the most populous in the Estate of Victoria, southeast region of the country, and now, elected The Most Livable City in the World. It is easy to understand why that is when you spend a couple of days here! The city’s infrastructure is incredible, with a transport system which can be considered a model and impressive for anywhere in the world.

Melbourne, Victoria.
Melbourne, Victoria. On the left you see Eureka tower, the tallest building in that city.

The people is welcoming, happy and always ready to help you. The architecture, well… the architecture is amazing! Having its foundation around the year 1835, Melbourne presents majestic buildings in Gothic style from the 19th and beginning of 20th century, like Flinders Street Station building, which used to be world’s busiest train station middle of the 1920’s, and which today, contrasts with some of the most modern buildings in Australia, like the ones on Federation Square. This square was built to offer exposition centers, music shows, cafes and pubs. Nowadays, Melbourne presents about 600 sky-scrapers, among them, Eureka Tower, a residential building in Southbank with 92 floors, 297.3 meters high and which demanded investments of 415 million dollars to be built. Just in concrete were spent more than 110,000 tones. Eureka Tower used to be considered the highest residential building in the south hemisphere and is only 3 minutes away from where I live. I particularly, think, its architectural beauty is superior to many other more famous buildings we have in modern world.

With my kangaroo “friends”, when traveling to the country side of Victoria.

Melbourne however, is not only made of buildings, most of its people live in the various suburbs it is surrounded by. There are trains and trams going to and from the suburbs. The rail network offers over 200 train stations and the largest tram network existent in any city there is, with quality service and fair cost. In Melbourne’s suburbs, the predominant architecture is Victorian, Georgian and Tudor, commonly seen and also existent in the United Kingdom, Australia’s “mother country”! Nevertheless, nowadays, Melbourne’s suburbs present modern homes and mansions in some neighborhoods which may value dozens of million of dollars. The most expensive home sold last year in Melbourne, was bought for 25 million dollars, about 60 million reais (Brazil’s currency). The mansion configures two external swimming pools, ten vehicles garage, lifts which take you to four levels and believe me, seven kitchen. Yes, seven! Another interesting real estate transaction in 2013 was of a mansion sold by 23 million dollars and with which the owners made a profit of 20 million dollars. The couple bought the house in 1992 for around 2 million dollars. Can you believe what a great investment it was? They actually made 1 million a year just by owning the property. Next month, I’ll bring a new article to you. I hope you all enjoyed knowing a little bit more of real estate on this side of the world! To me, it was a pleasure writing about. Like the Australians say: Cheers, mate! And till next time!

No meu segundo dia na Austrália, ainda me acostumando com o frio, porém, muito feliz! / On my second day in Australia, still getting used to the cold, but happy to be there!
On my second day in Australia, still getting used to the cold, but happy to be there!

Italy in Aussie?

O bairro de Carlton em Melbourne, é conhecido como o bairro italiano. Detalhes na arquitetura local remetem aos vistos na Itália. / Carlton, in Melbs, is known as the little Italy there. Details in the architecture make us remember the city in Europe.
Carlton, in Melbs, is known as the little Italy there. Details in the architecture make us remember the city in Europe.

In many big cities around the globe there is a district named or known as “Little Italy. Some examples are the cities of Toronto and Montreal in Canada, New York and San Diego in the USA, Dublin in Ireland, Göteborg in Sweden, Curitiba and São Paulo in Brazil, and last but not least, Sydney and Melbourne here in Australia. With a population of about 200.000 italian citizens, the State of Victoria in Australia, where Melbourne is the capital city, is the State where there is the largest number of descendants and italian immigrants in the country, and, possibly, in western world. It is very likely when a large number of immigrants come to a country, with them, they bring traces of their culture. Lucky we are one of its finest “traces”, is its culinary, and the italian cuisine, undoubtedly, is highly rich and one of the best there is (elected in 2013 by CNN as the world’s #1), rich in flavor and variety, without losing its simplicity. Winter drinking wine and eating cheese, so very italian, and after the espresso coffee, can you not like it? Even better than its food, throughout my eyes, it is the atmosphere created in italian cafes/restaurants here in Melbourne, it is such a faithful reflexion, architecturally, the italian speakers, the charm there is, the feel, the scents and colors… I could go on and on. Many italian citizens feel home when visiting Lygon Street in the suburb of Carlton, where the Little Italy is. In approximately 1km of extension, both sides of the street, you will find as many italian cafes, restaurants, bakeries and ice cream shops there, you will lose count. Specially after the wine! Brunetti, Koko Black, Il Dolce Freddo, Tiamo Coffee, La Latteria… it is so nicely easy to spend your day there. The neighborhood style is singular, tables put outside on the wide walkways, day and night you feel welcome inundated in an unique atmosphere. During the day siting under the trees or tents shadows, during the cold evenings, warmth by the gas heathers everywhere. You will feel well treated and watching nice movement of people passing by. All this structure has a direct influence from Italy. Not many people know but, Melbourne and Milan are Twin Towns, also known as Sister Cities. Through the concept of Sister Cities, the purpose is to promote cultural and business relations between the cities, creating understanding and friendship in the most various local cultural differences. This is all very noticeable there. When the Grand Prix of Formula 1 comes to Melbourne, the restaurants in Lygon Street wear Red and Yellow, in support to team Ferrari. And, in 1982 and 2006, it was there that the largest reunions of people and celebrations happened when Italy won the World Cup. With a very rich and based on its flavor culture, peculiarities and also simplicity, all italian citizen and cheese, wine, pastas and a beautiful “gelati” lover, feels home when visiting the Little Italy in Melbourne. Well well, all this talk about food made me hungry! Ciao amico, I mean, cheers mate, i’ll run there and get myself a gelati. See you next month.

São centenas de restaurantes, a maior parte deles com mesas nas calçadas. / There are hundreds of restaurantes, most of them attending tables on the sidewalks.
São centenas de restaurantes, a maior parte deles com mesas nas calçadas. / There are hundreds of restaurantes, most of them attending tables on the sidewalks.


A dream named Opera House


Na Ópera House de Sidney. / At the Opera House in Sydney.
At the Opera House in Sydney.

Every architecture lover dreams about visiting some buildings around the world. Those buildings they consider reference, being by its beauty, audacity or because they identify themselves with those works in some way. Well, on the last 18th of June, I had one dream come true when I visited this, which for me, since I saw for the first time on TV, is one of my favorite buildings all around the world. I went to a city many think to be the Capital city of Australia, but in fact, Sydney, even though it is the largest city in Australia, is not its Capital City. Rumor has it “fighting” between Sydney and Melbourne, to establish the Capital City, was so big, it was decided to establish it half way from each other, avoiding later arguments, in the city of Canberra, NSW. Ok, but talking about my dream, the building I visited, is Sydney’s Opera House, magnificently built at Sydney’s Harbor, surrounded by beautiful views and other amazing architectural works like Sydney’s Harbor Bridge. What many people don’t know is that, even though the building has a very modern and audacious design, known as Expressionism, it was designed in the 50’s, almost 60 years ago. The design was selected through an international competition that gathered over 200 designs. When visiting, I had the opportunity to see some of those designs, and I have to say: I’m glad they chose this one! The architect who had the wining project is Jørn Utzon (Swedish) and the project was budgeted in 3.5 million pounds with a time frame of somewhat longer than 5 years to be completed. What happened though, was a huge drama with heaps of difficulties on its way of execution, specially when talking about the shape of its very unlikely roofs – so innovative for the time being – the incredible enlargement of budget, from 7 to 102 million dollars, and, the time frame from 5 to 14 years, also including the leaving of Jørn Utzon from the project execution. With Jørn Utzon leaving the leadership of the project, it suffered some alterations, most noticeable in the interior of the building, changing a little bit from what the swedish envisioned. After that, never has him stepped in Australia, no more. Currently though, the Opera House is going through renovations and the son of Jørn Utzon works along with the building administration to bring the project closer to what his father designed that time. A tunnel is also being built beneath the Opera House, which will make it easier for the delivery services, trucks will no longer be on the way of the tourists and other visitors of this that is one of the busiest Opera Houses in the world.

Encantado em poder conhecer de perto e ver detalhadamente. Aqui, o telhado, coberto em azulejos. / Amazed to able to see it up close all the details. Here, the roof covered in tiles.
Amazed to able to see it up close all the details. Here, the roof covered in tiles.

Now, talking about numbers, 1.056.006 is the number of ceramic tiles covering the roofs of the Opera House, all peculiarly made for this specific purpose. The largest Concert Room is set to accommodate 2.679 persons siting, the largest instrumental organ, with over 10.000 tubes and positioned just above the main stage, is there. This instrumental organ has over 9 meters of depth, only in tubes, and took over 10 years to be refined after its installation. Australians are proud this project is theirs. There is no doubts that after learning a bit more about the history of the Opera House, this building became even more interesting to me. Its structure is amazing inside and out! You can see more about the Opera House, through my eyes, accessing my facebook page or instagram. Modern and beautifully set, even after 60 years of existence – and hopefully for much longer – the Opera House of Sydney continues to be one of the main references from Australia around the world, not as much popular only when talking about kangaroos. See you next month. Cheers mate!

Perfeição! / Perfection!