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  • Combi (140 Ormond Rd., Elwood): “They say that the best way to explore a city is by looking at your crush's Instagram account. Okay, no one says that but Combi is an instastalk discovery that has become one of my personal favorites. It's a five-minute walk to the beach, they serve homemade almond milk, and you can't go wrong with a tagline that says, "Oh baby, I like it raw.”  
  • Drunken Barber (119 Smith St., Fitzroy): “Why I love it: I get to quote ‘Saturday Night Fever,’ drink craft beer, argue about how to pronounce the word ‘paella’ while getting the best haircuts of my life from really cool girls.”
  • The Good Copy (27-29 Johnston St., Collingwood): “It's a writing studio, a publishing house, and a shop that sells independently published books, zines, and ‘freelance slippers.’”
  • Heartattack and Vine (329 Lygon St., Carlton): “It's a good bar to go to when I'm too lazy to head to the CBD. The communal curbside benches are perfect for people watching, especially in the summertime. Plus the name reminds me of a line from that Hilary Duff song.”
  • Addict Food & Coffee (240 Johnston St., Fitzroy): “Two words- potato gnocchi.”

11/25/14 Footnotes on Melbourne by Filmmaker Sam Lee

Photography by Sam Lee

A prospering career wasn’t enough to keep Filipino filmmaker Sam Lee away from Melbourne. In the past three years, Lee came out with the critically acclaimed Agos (2011), the Philippines’s first surf documentary, and a string of diverse projects, from a Bond-inspired music video for The Eraserheads to a lesbian-toned viral film for fashion magazine Preview. Still, she couldn’t resist the pull of Australia’s second most populous city. In February, Lee left her native Manila for Melbourne to continue the studies she put on pause in 2009.

With its thriving art realm and many-splendored bar and café culture, the living in Melbourne has been just as fruitful as the learning Lee’s gotten from it. Amid documenting her slick, slack lifestyle through much-liked Instagram posts, Lee shoots and shares spots around a “Second City” that’s stealing first in culture.