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Alan K | all galleries >> Melbourne >> Miscellaneous Melbourne (Gallery) > 6955 The Hill Of Content
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03-APR-2010 AKMC

6955 The Hill Of Content

Bourke St, Melbourne, VIC

Melbourne sells itself on being Australia's cultural city, and stores such as this would be one manifestation of that.

The Hill Of Content is a discerning (their word) bookstore established by A H Spencer in 1922 in the hill section (hence the first part of the name) of Bourke Street. The store's website claims that it was then a disreputable area often inhabited by gangsters. Possibly. I'm not a Melbourne historian but while this may have been a run down area at the time I suspect that it's too close to Parliament House to have been quite as lawless as all that. Parliamentarians will tend to ensure their own safety at least, and had there really been the risk of a stray gangster bullet pressure would undoubtedly have been brought to bear on the forces of Laura Norder. Still, it's a nice story, the bookstore being one of the culture-bringers to the area.

It's claimed that the name came to Spencer as he was walking through Fitzroy Gardens looking at the trees. It's still not clear to me whether he meant content as in "that which is contained", or "contentment", though if he was in a park looking at trees I probably lean toward the latter interpretation.

The tables and chairs in front of it don't belong to the bookstore for this is a pure bookstore, not a bookstore/café. They belong to the next door Grossi Florentino restaurant which I must try (assuming that my food poisoning bout hasn't put me off dining in Melbourne forever) the next time I'm down there. It's not cheap, but has a very tempting looking menu.

Canon EOS 40D ,Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
1/15s f/8.0 at 35.0mm iso200 full exif

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