Thursday, June 25, 2009

Melbourne Icon – The Queen Victoria Market

The Queen Victoria Market is situated on the northern edge of the central business district covering the area between Elizabeth St and Peel St and has been in operation for over 130 years.

It ‘s within walking distance from where I work in the city, though I generally catch the free city circle tram part of the way to save time. I’ve been patronising the Queen Vic for over 40 years it being a market where you can buy practically anything. It’s huge and is the place to buy cheap fruit and vegetables. In the past we used to shop there every week for our weekly food needs. These days, I only venture down there if I want something specific like inexpensive seafood, but I always find it a fine place for wandering around. As a great part of the market is out of doors, it has a liveliness and vibrancy that is missing from food plazas or big supermarkets.

Primarily it is known for its huge range of fruit and vegetables, meat, poultry and seafood. There is also a large deli section with a glorious selection of cheeses, processed and cured meat, olives, pickles, mustard, dairy products like fresh butter (in huge slabs) and yoghurt, bread, cakes and pastries and more.

There are also stalls selling clothing and footwear. It used to be where you went to buy a leather jacket at a good price. I remember buying vintage 20s and 30s crepe dresses there in the early 1970s. In those days you could feed yourself for a week on very little if you shopped at the market.

I went down there today at lunchtime to buy some prawns, so I took my camera to capture a small portion of it.

The main entrance on Elizabeth Street.

Detail of entrance decoration

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One of the fruit and vegetable sheds

Cheap mandarins, pineapples and strawberries

This Andean pan pipe band has been busking outside the market for decades. There is always an admiring crowd standing round and listening to them and you can hear why – it’s enervating music.

You can buy cut flowers too…

…and coffee and tea (with window reflecting the shops opposite)

It’s even got an appropriate piece of public art.

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1 comment:

aliholli said...

colourful, colourful, colourful...Love those tea pots (being a tea addict)... and ALI BABA... I was called that a lot as a kid!