Month: February 2014
Every day my heart breaks a little.
On the weekend, en route to my Saturday morning happy place, Queen Victoria Markets, I stumble across this shaggy, curly-haired guy with snow-white 3-day growth, weather-beaten green cap and no front teeth.
Unlike the hundreds of other times I’ve walked past homeless people in Melbourne I look him in the eye and say hello. I keep walking past like I usually do, as I truly don’t believe in giving money to homeless people for “food & accommodation” because of “this affliction” or “that illness”, but in this instance I walk back to the gentleman about 10 minutes later and ask him if he is hungry. He says no as I’ve found people who beg for change in Australia invariably do, whether it be through pride or the fact that in reality earnings are funneled into a drug habit, alcohol to numb the pain or all of the above.
While not every person in this world is in a position to be able to work and I can’t begin to fathom the myriad of scenarios that has led each of our country’s homeless people to be on the street, I don’t believe throwing loose change at someone’s cap, cup or raggedy t-shirt solves any problems or should relieve us from the guilt of seeing our fellow man roughing it on the street.
An hour or two later, my shopping almost complete, I walk past shaggy green cap guy out in the open outside a disused Italian restaurant exchanging his “earnings” with a shady-looking character carrying a small, dark sports bag, not 30 metres from where he’d been begging for change earlier. When I lock eyes with shaggy green cap guy while passing by, he looks at me with anger, aggression and suspicion as if he hadn’t even remembered speaking with me.. and perhaps he didn’t.
I’ve traveled and lived across the world for many years and seen some of the most awful things, not just in 2nd and 3rd world countries, but 1st world countries also. I’ve also seen the most unabashed joy from people in far away places who have very little. I like to keep it positive and Australia is a country where I feel so few inhabitants appreciate just how lucky we are. I am frustrated daily by the lack of thought, understanding and compassion of humans towards our fellow man.
Whether it be through domestic violence, mental illness, family breakdown, a shortage of affordable housing, unemployment or drug and alcohol abuse, there are thousands upon thousands of homeless people in Australia and it’s not going away. The easiest thing for those of us with our health and a job to do is to keep on walking by.. to turn a blind eye, but if enough of us make an effort to help our fellow man in whatever capacity we deem fit, through seeking a better understanding, financial or voluntary support, then surely that small contribution can help make the world a better place for us all to live in.
All I ask of each of you reading this is that each and every day, do one thing positive for someone else (preferably a stranger), just because you can. Say hello to the peeps behind the deli at the supermarket or the checkout chick with the glum expression at the checkout.. ask them how their day’s going.. chances are they’d rather be elsewhere.. offer the homeless guy a sandwich or even hold the door open for someone who arrives at the same time as you.
It’s amazing how a simple act of kindness for a stranger can make your own day.
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There’s nothing better than a cheeky pint at The Esplanade Hotel as the sun goes down over Port Phillip Bay.
Whenever I think about St Kilda & St Kilda Beach, I get a warm fuzzy feeling about one of Melbourne, no Australia’s premier live music venues, The Espy, and the iconic summer street party that is St Kilda Festival Sunday.
Every year the streets of Melbourne’s bayside suburb are blocked off in preparation for 300,000 – 400,000 people flocking to it’s precinct for 9 days of culture & entertainment. The pinnacle of the event, Festival Sunday, features 8 stages, countless busking performers, open-air cafes, street markets with all sorts of trinkets and restaurants/cafes boasting a delightful array of delicacies from around the world.
As always last Sunday was an amazing day with blue skies and temperatures hitting the mid-thirties (that’s 95 Fahrenheit for all my USA friends), tempered by cool breezes blowing in off Port Phillip Bay. I started the day with Kingswood playing the main stage by the beach on St Kilda foreshore. Smashed a few cheeky ales in the new temporary bar area on the hill and checked out the latest killer tunes by this Melbourne rock band who have been in Nashville recording with Jack White’s producer, Vance Powell (also Arctic Monkeys, Kings of Leon).
Not wanting to be fenced in all day, myself and my buddy Nick took an American friend along St Kilda Esplanade to show her the iconic sights like the Luna Park, the Palais Theatre, McDonalds, Grey St.. oh wait.. take a few pictures and telling her tales of St Kilda’s history (and our own drunken exploits) before wandering back to The Espy for a drink. Back in 2009, I held my 1st of ever Hot & Delicious event at The Esplanade Hotel’s Gershwin Room, so it holds special memories for me and I love this joint, but $10 cover charge.. where was the music??
After a few cheeky jugs of Bulmers, we were craving the open air and sunshine, so we cruised outside and down along Fitzroy St where we sat in one of St Kilda’s many outdoor eateries, soaked up more cold refreshment, afternoon rays and long chats putting the world to right.
A small part of felt like I should have seen more of the live indie Australian music that St Kilda Festival is known for, but in reality for me this day is all about going with the flow and soaking up what is one of the most fantastic events on the Australian summer calendar…
St Kilda Festival Sunday you complete me.. I feel free.. I feel happy!
Article by Dan Wilkinson. Images of St Kilda Festival vibe captured by fantastic Hot & Delicious shooter, Nikki Williams. Probably the best & most complete St Kilda Festival Sunday gallery that you’ll see.
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Sunrise and sunset are easily my favourite time of day. I’ve been shooting #skyporn since before #skyporn was invented.
There’s simply nothing quite like walking along a deserted beach as the sun rises to recharge, reset and put things into perspective. The same goes for sunset.
Back in my Dubai days when I was traveling the world serving chicken or beef as Emirates Airline cabin crew, the 3-bedroom bachelor pad I shared with 2 of my best mates had 4-5 balconies, most of which faced west.
I kid you not, every single day that I wasn’t jet-setting around the globe, getting hammered at the pub or at rugby training with the boys in 35+ degree heat, I’d be on my White Building balcony watching the sun go down. I lived in that Sheikh Zayed Road apartment (#Club203 for the regular party-goers :D) for 5 years and must have taken hundreds of photos with my old Nikon F60 SLR on that window to the world. Cheeky beers, tunes crankin’, chillin’ solo or with friends complete with peach, purple skies during the call to prayer with a mosque silhouette. Perfection.
I became addicted to those long moments of inspiration, so much so that I named a song after it ‘Endorphins’ and a rather significant factor in selecting my new Melbourne apartment recently, was that it had a 10th floor west-facing balcony. Air balloons, birds in flight, aircraft coming in to land at Melbourne International Airport.. I’ve only been here 3 weeks now, but almost daily I soak up nature’s little slice of heaven with and without iPhone camera at the ready.
I don’t know who invented the #skyporn hashtag, but I can tell you the 1st time I heard it and you had me at sunset..
Sun rises over a secluded beach near Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road in Australia
Pretty lady.. sundown Melbourne-town #magic#Melbourne #beautiful ❤️
Beauty is Everywhere
Melbourne.. beautiful ❤ #love #skyporn #melbourne#hotndelicious #mornporn
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