The Best of Melbourne

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Last week a mate asked for a list of a few favourite bars we had in Melbourne. Here is what I sent her:

The City
E55 - the basement bar on Elizabeth St with the comfy couches and loud music

Section 8 - also known as the container bar. When we first went there they didn't have a roof, just umbrellas on a string. Now they've gone all fancy and put up a roof/verandah

Hairy Canary - A bit fancy, but the tapas is amazing. You can also just get a drink here.

Double Happiness (cocktails in photo are from here). The photos on the website look terrible but this is one of our favourite bars. Better photo here Nick said you have to have a lychee martini.

Next door - through the wooden door (no sign, never knew it's name till now) New Gold Mountain This place is cool and everyone thinks that you are great for knowing where it is.

If fake lawn, garden furniture and waiters in tennis outfits is your thing than Madame Brussels is for you Jugs of Pimms and Singapore slings, perfect for a late afternoon beverage. The food is overpriced and terrible, but cocktail jugs are great.

Hells Kitchen - in Centre Place, which I always thought was Degraves Lane. Good food and cheap drinks. No mobile phone reception.

While on Degraves Lane go to the underground passageway to Flinders Street Station. I love the pink and black tiles, but there is also a gallery space, second hand shops and most often a good busker

Outre Gallery I think their shag exhibition is still on Make sure you have cash as you'll want to buy stuff and they ship worldwide.

If gallery looking is your thing then start at the end of Flinders Lane and make your way back to Elizabeth Street, looking at all the galleries along the way. 45 Downstairs is great There is also a gallery on street level at 45.

Hosier Lane (between Flinders Lane & Flinder St) has the best city street art. It is where all the tourists go to view street art. The backstreets of Fitzroy also have good street art.
Tim Burton exhibition at acmi -

Marios – good coffee, no soy and they delight in looking down on you when you ask for soy.

Damask – great Lebanese food

The Black Cat is my favourite Brunswick Street bar $5 house wine

The Gorman and Mimco outlets are on Bridge Road, Richmond. I'd shop on Brunswick street if you have time. Also the Nova cinema on Lygon Street (walking distance from Brunswick St) has $6 movies on Mondays, if you're careful you can make at least three in one day.
With the short time you have I wouldn’t bother with DFO at Spencer Street. Generally a whole lot of shit. Time vs benefit comes out long on time and short on benefit.

Smith Street
Lost & Found – you will want to furnish your house with everything here

Cavellero – great wine, food and staff with beards plus they only use records for their sound system – yep Melbourne hipsters

Peko Peko – best Japanese food

Gertrude Street is also good.

Enjoy Melbourne!

Picture: New Gold Mountain

Street Art Sunday

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sydney Road, Brunswick circa 2008

that voice

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

‘In the end it’s what feels right to you. Not what your mother told you. Not what some actress told you. Not what anybody else told you, but the still, small voice'

Meryl Streep


Saturday, August 21, 2010

In 14 days we're moving to Canada via two months in Europe! Our house is currently a bomb with boxes everywhere. I've never been good at throwing things out, especially clothes. I always think that I'll want to wear that piece next summer etc. But now my questions are 'do I want to take this to Canada?' or 'do I want to come back to this item of clothing in two years time?' It's surprisingly easy to throw out clothes when faced with the possibility of returning to them two years from now and thinking 'why on earth did I keep this?'

At the moment I have my system:
One box for sending to Canada
One box for keeping in Australia
One box for throwing out
The biggest box by far, overflowing in fact, is the throwing out box!

Nicker Crescent

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My house is on the corner of Nicker Crescent and Pedler Avenue. When I first moved in there was confusion as to whether the address was Nicker Crescent or Pedler Avenue. I've always thought that Pedler Avenue sounds better, until I came across biographical details about Lizzie Nicker. She was one tough cookie, ahead of her time.

Born in 1871 Lizzie was originally from outback QLD where she had left her husband due to bigamy. She took her two daughters to her sister’s sheep property. There Lizzie worked as a shearer. Lizzie was 157cm tall and always wore a hat, white gloves, petticoats, stockings and carried a parasol.

When work in that area died down, Lizzie left her younger daughter with her sister and brother-in-law and moved to a different district. There she gained experience as a bush nurse and midwife and she met Sam Nicker.

After collecting Lizzie’s younger daughter, they headed to Port Pirie in South Australia for work and onto Quorn. While they were in Quorn they heard of gold discovery at Arltunga and so Sam headed to Arltunga. At that time Lizzie was pregnant with their first child and it was thought best that she stay in Quorn to have the baby and travel to Arltunga after the birth.

Lizzie gave birth to a baby boy and she and the children joined Sam at Arltunga in 1903. The family first lived in a tent and then the miners helped by building a chimney and walls around the tent. Lizzie had bought with her seeds, chickens and a milking cow. She established a successful veggie garden at Arltunga. Whilst at Arltunga Lizzie’s second son was born.

The family began looking for a spot to built a homestead and found a spot on the Hale River between the Arltunga and Winneke mines. This property was named ‘The Garden’ after the garden that Lizzie established here. Lizzie gave birth to another son in 1908 at The Gardens.

Lizzie was known for her nursing and midwife skills. She tended patients at the mines and was often called to Stuart (now known as Alice Springs) 100km to the south-west to nurse patients and attend births. Stuart was the closest town to buy supplies and was where they collected their mail. At the homestead Lizzie was helped by an Aboriginal couple, Billy and Clara. Billy and Clara were often tended the homestead when Lizzie went to town for supplies. One such time, in 1910, Lizzie and the children travelled by horse and buggy to Stuart and they had barely reached the government well in the centre of town when they had to pitch a tent for Lizzie to give birth in! She gave birth to a girl, Margaret.

As visits to town became more frequent they leased a house and eventually moved to town. Sam found it hard to find work and bought a lease north of town at Ryan’s Well. He stocked it with sheep and the family moved there in 1914. There they built a homestead, Glen Maggie, after their daughter Margaret. They stayed at Glen Maggie until 1928 when Sam suffered from a stroke. Lizzie died of a heart attack in 1951.

It must have been so tough living in the Territory in those days. The heat, the files, lack of water, giving birth more than 2000km from the nearest hospital (no hospital in Alice Springs in those days). I am proud that my street has been named after a tough pioneering woman (though am pretty sure it was in honour of her husband, but I'm going to claim it for Lizzie).


Brown, S 2002 Legends of the Red Heart. Central QLD Uni Press, Rockhampton

Street Art Sunday - Election Edition

Sunday, August 15, 2010

As seen in Alice Springs around the last Federal Election


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I often have trouble getting out of bed in the mornings. Once I'm up I'm fine and annoyingly sunny, but it's the getting up that's hard to do. This song by Sally Seltmann was playing on Triple J the other morning and it has become my new theme song. It's about getting over a breakup but the chorus is about getting out of bed:

Get yourself up, get yourself up
Get yourself out of bed
This is a new day
This is a new day
This is a new day today

Snapping your fingers
Tapping your toes
You are humming a tune
You know, you know
This is a new day
This is a new day
This is a new day today

How could I not get up with that tune running through my head?

Election time

Saturday, August 7, 2010

It is election time in Australia. Thank goodness our campaigns aren't anywhere near as long as the American ones. I'm already sick of seeing glamed up photos of Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott's grin.

The Greens recently nominated their candidates for the electorate that I'm in, Lingiari. For the House of Representatives they've nominated Barbara Shaw and for the Senate, Warren H Williams. Both are Aboriginal. Both will be campaigning against the Federal Intervention (and suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act)and the Uranium mine.

Country Liberals are also running an Aboriginal candidate for the House of Representatives, Leo Abbott. Labor have held this seat since it was created in 2001, with Warren Snowdon in the Senate. Lingiari was named after Vincent Lingiari, a Gurindji man, who lead the Wave Hill walk off in 1966 after the station owner refused to pay Lingiari and his co workers wages. The strike started over wages but quickly lead to the Gurindji demanding their land back. The start of the Land Rights Movement. The strike lasted seven years, but ended with the return of Wave Hill Station to the Gurindji.

You may not know that Australia has only ever had two indigenous people elected to Federal Parliament in over 100 years.

In Tuesday's Centralian Advocate there was a letter to the editor complaining about the nominations and decrying that Aboriginal candidates will only be interested in Aboriginal issues and won't be truly representative of the rest of the people. Um, what about all the white parliamentarians? Do they truly represent Aboriginal people? If you think that a white candidate can represent Aboriginal people, then an Aboriginal candidate can represent white people as well. It's about time Aboriginal people held seats in Federal Parliament.

More here


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

It got to lunchtime today before I realised I'd left my wallet at home. Luckily I had half a big turkish bread sandwich in the fridge from yesterday, but what about my lunchtime coffee? I did without, complained on facebook and then at 2:00pm my lovely colleague shouted me a coffee! I'm a lucky woman.

What's made you happy today?

Street Art Sunday

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Words to ponder on this Territory long weekend
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