Wednesday, September 04, 2013
I heart Hobart
The Australians love a bit of what I call "regional racism," and Tasmania is the favorite object of their scorn. Because it's an island, and perhaps owing in part to its history as a penal colony, the rest of Australia likes to claim that Tasmania is rife with incest and two-headed people. They also imply that there is no culture or anything of interest to do in Tasmania, despite the fact that Hobart has loads of great shops and is a thriving bastion of hipster culture in Australia.
Hugh and his coworker were invited to present at a whiskey event on Saturday night, so we decided to make a big trip of it, with Hugh, his coworker, his coworker's girlfriend, and me flying over on Friday night. We stayed at the self-catered "Apartments on Star," in a 2-bedroom apartment. The apartment was gorgeous and had a view of the water. On Friday night, Hugh and I tried to check out the whiskey bar run by Lark Distillery, but they closed at 10pm. On a Friday. Small towns, eh? To be fair, as we wandered back to the apartment on foot, we passed quite a few raucous bars and pubs, so it's not a completely dead town.
Saturday was a big day, starting with tasty breakfast at the Tricycle Cafe off Salamanca Place. Prior to leaving Melbourne, I had made a short list of shops to check out in Hobart, and I set about checking them off my list, starting with The Maker. They had lots of little wooden craft supplies, decorative papers, homewares, and clothing designed by the woman who runs the shop. I bought some mermaid washi tape!
The Salamanca Market was in full swing, so we wandered through there a bit, then I headed into town to Liverpool St to find The Stash Cupboard. This was a really great yarn store with quite a selection of luxury wools. I bought last season's Pompom Magazine, which I've been meaning to buy but it isn't available in Victoria. I looked for wool for a sweater for Jody, but all the good ones were from a company in Seattle. It didn't feel right to buy wool in Australia that came from Seattle, for someone in Seattle. Right? Plus it was super expensive (because of the high quality). I wished there was more Australian wool available, but I know there aren't many companies making luxury wool in Oz. I tried to go to another yarn store, called the Craft Hive, but alas, it was closed.
I met back up with Hugh and we ambled back toward Salamanca Place. On the way, we stopped in at Store & Co, which was very Anthropologie-esque with pretty stationery, awesome homewares, and a smattering of clothing. They had a vintage tin dollhouse that made my heart skip a beat.
Back at the market, I pulled Hugh into the Tasmanian Woollen Co., which had a small selection of even more luxurious yarns than the last store! Hugh found two skeins of some really gorgeous dark green and blue hand-dyed merino wool. It was so beautiful...and $25 each. I spent a solid 15 minutes trying to decide whether it was worth the expense, whether I'd be able to make a nice scarf out of it, and whether Hugh would actually wear said scarf (he's never worn the one I made him last year that cost me $80.) In the end, it was too beautiful to pass up! We explored the markets some more and chatted to another whiskey distiller who runs a stall at the market. As we were talking, a long procession of zombies passed through the market. It was a pretty impressive turn-out, but the majority of the zombies totally didn't bother to stay in character. There was some very poor shuffling going on, let me tell you.
And I'm gonna leave this post there cuz this is getting quite long! Part 2 tomorrow! Or in a few days...