Here are the results. You'll notice the closer I got to the city, the older (and sometimes grander) the ghost signs. I snapped pretty well everything I could find: superseded shop fronts; writing on walls, old neon signs. And not only the pretty ones or the ones that evoke a romantic or nostalgic response - the utilitarian, plain and plain ugly ones too, the reminders of hard work and sometimes dirty work.
I took so many pix the phone battery died on the way back, just as I reached perhaps the most snapped ghost sign in town: a glorious old milk bar wall handily adjoining the Park St bike path. There are pix of it here: http://ghostsignsmelb.blogspot.com.au/2011/05/ghost-signs-melbourne-4-time-for-cuppa.html
So I didn't get to snap this one, or a couple of others I had my eye on. But plenty nonetheless (oh, and am also including a few from a previous city visit I haven't had time to upload yet).
Doing this today, enjoying myself despite being soaked and at times freezing, I wondered why it was so much fun. A few ideas: it creates a narrative for meandering, an ordering principle for a flaneur-like wandering (is that a contradiction?), a lens through which you can explore the ordinary world around you in new ways - a kind of archaeology of the stamping grounds you usually take for granted. In inner Melbourne, whose shopping strips are largely composed of two-storey terraces, it forces you to look up - at the walls, the ornate fronts, the history of occupancy and renovation - and it's like a whole other, hidden world... a book you can read that is there the whole time but you never see it. I've been traversing these streets for 23 years now, and I have never seen a lot of things I saw today, a level up, silent and removed from eye-level bustle and distractions.
Here are the pix:
|see the insurance-related sign?|
Preston: these are mainly small-scale shops, or old factories turned into apartments:
|Added in 2014 - a pic from the Your memories of Preston group on Facebook|
|love this one|
|how long has it been since a $2k deposit buys a house?|
|my favourite of the day|
|layers of ghost signs...|
|a gentrified sign treatment on a popular pub|
And now for the previous CBD ones:
|taken at night...|
|taken in North Melbourne|