Blindside Gallery. Nicholas Building, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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Curtin House & Nicholas Building

When you've exhausted the drinking dens, subterranean restaurants and witty street art of Melbourne's laneways, what else is there to do but go up?

The city's Curtin House and Nicholas Building have been characterised as vertical laneways, boasting the requisite boutiques, bars and eateries, but both adding distinctly quirky stamps to the scene.

The perfect fit of fine craftsmanship
Nicholas Building is where you go for the perfect fit. The veteran lifts in the Nicholas Building will take you back in time, and deliver you to floor after floor of studios, galleries and curiosities. Find craftspeople making the finest made-to-measure shoes, couture, hats and jewellery. Dig around for collectable buttons, and stumble upon breathtaking kimonos. Check out the surprises in store at Blindside artist-run gallery.

You won't always have access to the busy studios within the Nicholas Building, but schedule in a visit during the regular Open Studio days and plant your peepers on all the tools of the trades.

Raise the roof
Tackle the stairs at Curtin House (often faster than queuing for the lift) and emerge into a scene reminiscent of 1970s New York, with city kids lounging on sultry rooftops. Brave the elements and stop by for a drink, and during summer it's a rite of passage to stick around to watch movies illuminated by Melbourne's skyscrapers.

Working down
Work your way down from the rooftop through the levels of what appears to be a hipster ant colony. Spy on the soldier ants training at the Wing Chun Bing Fa Kung Fu and the drinker ants who swarm Cookie and Toff in Town at any opportunity.

Even ants need to look the part. Spend your hard-earned on threads from Someday and Bul and specialty books from Metropolis.

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Edmund Pearce Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Edmund Pearce

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Cookie, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cookie

Sing loud your praise for Cookie, the Curtin House bar that mixes beer hall with hidden cocktail lounge and palazzo balconies plus terrific Thai food.

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The Toff in Town, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

The Toff in Town

Take to the dimly lit train-carriage booths or Lynch-worthy bandroom. Or take Lindy Hop class. This bar pretty much knows what you need before you do.

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Someday Store, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Someday Store

Stop to look someday through the drawers, cases and hangers filled with exclusive labels, artisinal jewellery, antiquarian books and cultish artworks.

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Mesa Verde, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Mesa Verde

Play your part in this ode to the Latin American cantina and sample a blistering array of tequilas and Mesoamerican-inspired cocktails and bar fare.

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Metropolis Bookstore, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Metropolis Bookstore

Scout the shelves of this reader's oasis to discover rare, niche and hard to find tomes. The quirky selection here offers books to suit any taste.

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