Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Federation Square and Flinder’s St Station – Melbourne’s Meeting Places
Federation Square (Fed square) is a public civic center, a cultural precinct, and favourite meeting place in Melbourne’s CBD. It is a complex of buildings and open areas. There are a variety of shops, cafes and restaurants, as well as art galleries. The Melbourne Visitor Centre is part of the square; it is located underground and is a recommended first stop if you are planning to explore the city’s attractions. The Ian Potter Centre is located in the Atrium; the Centre houses the Australian part of the art collection of the National Gallery of Victoria. Also part of the complex is the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) which has two cinemas. The BMW Edge amphitheatre is designed to have views of the Yarra River and the spire of the Arts Centre across. In this open area is a large public screen that is used to broadcast major events. We were in Melbourne at the time of the Australian Tennis Open and the week of Australia Day. The square was always filled with people watching the tennis games; however, the games were pre-empted by Australia Day’s programs and celebrations.
Across from Federation Square is Flinder’s St Station, the bustling hub of city and suburban rail travel. It’s another favourite meeting place; when Melburnians say “I’ll meet you under the clocks” they refer to the rows of clocks above the main entrance. These clocks indicate the departure time of the next train on each line. Or they can say “I’ll meet you on the steps”, this refers to the wide staircase leading into the main entrance. Lots of people seating on these steps is a common sight. My high school classmate and I arranged to meet under the clocks on Australia Day; she was coming from work (on a holiday!) outside of the CBD. That was day 2 of our reunion after not having seen each other for almost 32 years (since my wedding day)! Lots of catching up to do!
You can learn more about Federation Square and Flinders St station at these websites