Like an excited kid on Christmas morning, I woke an hour before my alarm was due to go off to get up for the #brickstameet.
As I began the two-hour trek to Melbourne, my excitement waned and was replaced with an unease.
What if no one turned up? What if the only ones there were the four of us? Sure, it would be great to catch up with the guys again. We’ve worked together on Lego events and don’t get to hang out nearly as much as we should. But today wasn’t just about four mates hanging out.
My concerns were echoed by the others as we met up early for a coffee and pre-match rev up.
Our unease was short lived. As we made our way to the designated meeting place (picture some slow-motion action with George Baker Selection’s Little Green Bag playing in the background), there were already a few waiting for us. In the next fifteen minutes, those few multiplied and by the time we were scheduled to begin the tour, our numbers had swelled to around thirty. Thirty!
I hear the clang, someone cleaning the street
Morning sun drying out my feet
Gerling – In The City
The day began with a guided tour of familiar stomping ground for us, Federation Square. We’d been here before. We were here for the Xmas at Fed Square event with the largest Lego Christmas Tree in the southern hemisphere. We co-ordinated and produced the Lego photography, stop motion films and Christmas postcards sent by Lego photographers from around the world that were displayed on the big screen last year. We’d even had a guided tour before.
The first official photography stop was the Pop Up Patch after a tour of the catacombs below Federation Square. This urban veggie garden is made up of over 140 do-it-yourself plots housed in individual recycled apple crates, the majority of which are leased to the public. It was here that I realised we’d done good. As AFOLs, KFOLs, parents and Lego photography virgins alike began spreading out amongst the strawberries and Bok Choy, it was the reassurance I needed. The day was off to an exciting start.
Next stop on the tour was a short walk from the Patch; Melbourne’s iconic pedestrian laneway covered in graffiti and art installations Hosier Lane. This hotspot for visitors to the city with its ever-changing graffiti was the perfect location for us Lego photographers to blend in. With tourists snapping the colourful artworks, we went unnoticed as we sat down, selected minifigures, setup and shot. Well, relatively unnoticed.
It was amongst the graffiti covered walls that I experienced my first highlight of the day; a KFOL proudly flying the flag for Lego photography when asked by a passer-by what he was doing? Upon seeing the kid being questioned I instinctively felt, as a co-host of the #brickstameet and an adult(?), that I needed to swoop in to help the kid out. But, I needn’t have worried. The kid confidently and proudly explained who we were and what we were doing.
Shortly after this exchange as I made my way up Hosier Lane towards the meeting point to head to the next location, highlight number two happened. Possibly the youngest attendee, and undoubtedly a future Lego photography star, was deftly positioning Lego against brightly coloured walls enveloping a metal grate and chain. I watched him, set up and shoot photos, as his Dad proudly looked on.
The quintessential Melbourne lane way Presgrave Place was the next location. This somewhat secret oasis within the towering cityscape was taken over by the group, spreading out over the length of it’s cobbled lane, making the most of all the wonderful art installations that adorn the bricked walls and the classic urban backdrops. Cue highlight number three.
Jay from Jay’s Brick Blog interviewed one of the KFOLs in attendance about his thoughts of the day as his Dad captured the interview on his phone. The sheer excitement of the kid and the absolute pride of his Dad were tangible. Some knucklehead might’ve even called him a ‘rock star’ as he walked past him post interview!
Our day concluded, after a short walk through Melbourne’s café lined lanes, in the main pedestrian thoroughfare and heart of the city, Bourke Street Mall. Here we witnessed Lego photographers sprawled over the tram tracks taking shots, all under the lookout of newly acquired friends and sentries, for shoppers with their heads buried in their phones and trams with their driver’s finger poised on the button to ‘ding’ the bell at their impatience for such shenanigans!
Oh, it’s such a perfect day
I’m glad I spent it with you
Lou Reed – Perfect Day
It really was a perfect day.
There is already talk of the next #brickstameet. Ideas for potential locations have been offered. Plans are afoot.
Thanks you to everyone who turned up and made the day a success. Thanks to @cheepjokes for all his hard work scouting the perfect locations for the day. Thanks to Jay’s Brick Blog and I’m Rick James Bricks for kindly donating prizes for attendees and our “photo of the day” winner.