Photo: Nina Ross
Meet Pouya Bagheri, a designer and artist living in Braybrook, Melbourne. His roots are in Shiraz, Iran, but after over 8 years in Melbourne, he’s a true Melburnian at heart. He loves designing all kinds of things, and has done so in everything from industrial products, interiors, graphics and games to converting Persian nomadic handicrafts to a beautiful collection of handbags. Or t-shirts. Like the one he’s wearing in the photo which is his own design with a poem in persian calligraphy by Hafez. Nice, right? When he’s not designing indoors, he ventures out to his workshop do make amazing creations out of found objects and recycled materials.
He’s the kind of guy that’s always up for anything – whether it’s hanging out with a bunch of strangers at weird parties, traveling to places you never heard of or simply dance party on a weekday night.
So, Melbourne? What’s so great about it?
It’s a comfortable city and I love the way it’s culturally very colourful and full of beautiful people from everywhere. It is easy to meet people from all around the world, try their food and learn about their culture. To me, that’s the true beauty of Melbourne and if one isn’t taking advantage of that, you don’t fully live in Melbourne.
We live in Braybrook. If I get to say so, west side is the best side! We moved here because we wanted a house, a proper garden and a workshop. With the same money we bought our house for, we would have afforded a shoe box in Toorak. Inner west allowed us to get what we wanted and stay close to the city at the same time.
If you have friends visiting, where would you take them?
You mean apart from eating, drinking, playing and making a bonfire in our backyard? Anywhere but Great Ocean Road! It’s great and all, but we’ve been there 7 times already, so we would take them somewhere else. Hanging Rock for example. The naked rocky mountains looks like the mountains in Shiraz where I grew up. Maybe that’s why I love the place so much.
And around Melbourne itself, I am big fan of Federation Square, Melbourne Art Precinct and Botanical Gardens.
Where to eat, then?
We’ll serve them some Iranian cuisine around the dining table in the kitchen or under our backyard pergola so we can relax, eat and get complimented on being such great cooks.
And if you feel like going out, where would you go?
We’ll see where the night and destiny takes us. I like fun, messy nights and tend to go where my heart takes me. For a good night, just blindly follow me and I’ll drag you on a pub crawl that you’ll surely remember!
But if I have to say, my favourite areas are Fitzroy and some parts of the CBD. The Rooftop Bar at Curtin House is just great. I also like Blue Diamond when they have live jazz and their dance floor is not occupied with furniture.
Mention some of your favourite, don’t-miss places in your neighbourhood.
In terms of good cafes and bars, there is absolutely nothing in Braybrook. It’s a quiet residential area with houses, roads and a few parks. It’s spacious and quiet which is what we like about this neighbourhood.
For running I recommend the track along Maribyrnong river at the north of Braybrook. It’s pretty natural and cool. You might be attacked by magpies during spring, though I guess it’s pretty normal everywhere around Melbourne.
Nearby Yarravile village is gorgeous. There you can find great collections of cafes, restaurants and pubs, browse the bookshop or catch a movie at chic Sun Theatre Cinema. For food, The Cornershop is my favourite.
The downtown near us, Footscray, has a great fresh food market. Their rubbish bin is fresher that what they sell for double the price at Coles!
Footscray will soon be cooler and more alternative than Fitzroy. You just wait and see! The urban texture of central Footscray is cosier that other Melbourne hot spots. And don’t worry about the bullshit rumours about this cool area – people are nice, harmless and humble. No nose ups. It’s footsgreat!
The area has heaps of cool cafés and good restaurants. There is this kind old lady at Awash restaurant who serves you the delicious east african food she cooked for you like a mum. Every now and then comes and check on you to see if you need anything. So caring. And Harambe is so cosy up on the second level with its African fitout. The food is good too!
What’s your absolute favourite place in Australia?
City-wise, Melbourne is definitely the best city. Don’t listen to Sydney-siders, they are just jealous. And country-wise? (Australia wide? – whats a good word for this Stina?) maybe Uluru. I haven’t yet seen it, but I can’t wait to walk on it with bare feet. Although that might be forbidden? Well I love this Aussie saying: It’s always easier to beg for forgiveness than asking for permission…