Disclaimer: I was asked to be a part of the Christmas edition of “Market Life”—a quarterly magazine put out by the Queen Vic Markets in Melbourne. I wasn’t paid for my time or gifted any of the items I “chose”.
I love me a decent spot of faux shopping. I was recently asked to galavant about the Queen Vic Markets and choose a bunch of presents for a variety of peeps for the Christmas edition of “Market Life” (issue 17). I didn’t buy any of the gifts I chose at the time and they weren’t bought for me—although Husbando is now hitting me up for that Uscha leather bag for his Christmas Kitty.
I love the Vic Markets—I adore the fruit and veg sheds and I could live in the European style delicatessen (though I’m not sure about sharing my bed with a stinky gorgonzola). Truth be known, I’ve mostly been seduced to the markets by the hot jam donut van (that sh*t is good) and I’ve struggled with buying gifts in the sheds. The stalls tend to lean toward “Made in China” products, but there are some real “Australia-made” gems in there (handcrafted wooden cheese boards and immaculately detailed fairy costumes to name a couple). The last item I bought at the sheds at the Vic Markets was a leather jacket in 2000, which I still wear to this day, although, *cough*, the buttons don’t do up around my 2-baby-girth anymore.
I’d forgotten how much of a goldmine the Vic Markets were. As well as being a fabulous place to pick up unique and eclectic gifts, it also has such a wonderful sense of community—if a little chaotic times. It is such a reflection of Melbourne culture—diverse, idiosyncratic and energetic.
I particularly loved the precincts that surround the sheds, such as String Bean Alley. The stalls there house brilliant locally crafted gifts that blew my brain, not my bank—Uscha, Intone photography (a man after my own celluloid heart) and Dumpy Designs to name but a few. I struggled to “choose” anything specific for the mag, as I just wanted to take entire stalls home.
Which, I’m guessing, was the markets strategy all along.
Or buy the Herald Sun today, Thursday 28th November, for the print edition.