Do a modern version of "the block", a century-old form of cruising Melbourne's arcades that to this day takes in cutting-edge artwork, independent fashion, imported music and stunning design.
Arcades with history
These days you're not walking endlessly around Block and Royal arcades, unlike your forebears who were trying to escape the prying eyes of their elders. You may still start at Block Arcade, which links Collins Street and Little Collins streets via a glass canopied, mosaic floored laneway. Slaver over the cake displays at Hopetoun Tearooms, stylish accessories at Mimco, rollicking tunes at Basement Discs and al fresco eating options.
Cross over to Royal Arcade, nodding to the giant statues of Gog and Magog and set yourself up with babushkas, boardgames, bling and super style from Marais and Somewhere.
Embarking on new "block"
Your new-fangled "block" doesn't end there. Cover your tracks back over Collins Street and head for Cathedral Arcade, with the dome, stained glass and leadlighting that the name suggests. Browse the wares at Limedrop and ride the historic lifts up to the Nicholas Building ateliers, studios and galleries.
Slip beneath Degraves Street to Campbell Arcade and be surprised by the latest offering from the Platform Artist Group, one of Melbourne's oldest artist-run initiatives that gives commuters something to smile about. Also proffering reasons to smile is Cup of Truth and its seriously excellent coffee; indie fashion at Cats Meow and Corky Saint Clair; big beats at Wax Museum Records; and Sticky zine world, which almost defies description.
With all the cafes, bars and restaurants scattered around "the block", you can maintain your energy levels, and do it all again.