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An Afternoon in Parkville

Bailey Gilmore
June 7, 2013
An example of the ironwork on a terrace house in Parkville. The terrace houses are all connected and similarly structured, but the ironwork makes them unique. Gardens make the Parkville terrace houses particularly nice. This old car helped set the scene in this old-fashioned neighborhood, even though the housing likely predates even the first cars. This street has no houses facing it—instead, cars use it to access the driveways, car ports, and backyards of the terrace housing, making it a low-traffic and scenic boulevard. If you can't see one, you can probably hear one—magpies are everywhere in the city, fortunately their vocalizations are diverse so they can make for quite interesting listening! Melbourne's area is 25% parks, yet this doesn't include the wide, tree-lined meridians—good places to wander through autumn leaves or toss a frisbee.

I recently spent a sunny afternoon in the suburb of Parkville, home to Victorian-style houses and cobbled backstreets. The area is only a five minute walk from where I live and surprise, surprise, it has plenty of parks. Parks may include a playground and playing fields, but it generally means green space, often with walking paths in the larger ones.

Apparently, terrace housing was the standard in Victorian times, yet when the style came to be associated with the working class it went out of fashion among the wealthy. There were even efforts to replace the houses with modern accommodation which would have featured a lot more concrete and little in the way of aesthetics. Efforts to preserve these areas have brought about a resurgence in their popularity and now terrace housing is trendy.

I’ve come to find that Melbourne is very accessible to the casual wander. The countless suburbs aren’t actually that big—it’s common to cross through several in the course of the day—so it feels quite manageable to check out a new section in an afternoon or choose a different route home. I surprised myself last week when I looked up a favorite eatery on a map and found that it was not nearly as far as I’d imagined it, having only taken the train there in the past.

One thing is for certain: distances have shrunk for me in Melbourne where I walk nearly everywhere. It may seem like it would be the other way around, as if everywhere was far when on foot, but I just needed a reminder of how accessible the world is to me without the aid of a bike or a ride—something to be grateful for.

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Bailey Gilmore

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Bailey is a comparative politics major at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. Her academic interests stretch across the social sciences, from history to geography to criminology, and, of course, to politics. Originally from Eugene, Oregon, Bailey is an devoted ultimate frisbee player and can&#39;t wait for Australian Rules Ultimate. When she&#39;s not on the field or nerding out about population growth in various countries, you can find her singing along to the best of the &#39;60s and &#39;70s and/or working to capture life, place, and person on camera. She is ready and eager to dive into life at a big university in a big city, all in the wonder Down Under.</span></p>

2013 Spring
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University of Puget Sound
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