Archive for the 'Farewell Melbourne' Category

fav melbourne haunts

10, March 2009

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There’s a lot I’ll miss about Melbourne. Out of all the places I’ve lived it has to be my favourite.

Melbourne at Night

I’ll miss Melbourne’s public art

GrafittiGiant Purse

Three Business Men

Silver StonesDog

laneways and alleyways …

Degraves StAlleyway

trams

TramVictoria Markets

Vic MarketsVic Markets - Swords

and it’s love of a good festival or a street protest.

Melbourne Laneway FestivalStreet Protest

So I thought I would take a moment to recount some of my favourite Melbourne haunts.

Minotaur

MinotaurMinotaur was literally just around the corner for me and I had a weekly ritually of popping in every Thursday to check out the new comics and graphic novels that came in that week. I’m a sucker for pop culture and would love nothing better than browsing through their great array of books, toys, action figures and DVD’s.

Mag Nation

Mag NationReading in Mag Nation

A bit further down the block is Mag Nation – a one stop shop for every magazine imaginable. I use to buy my Wired, Creative Screenwriting and Sci Fi Now mag’s here. It’s equally great for a coffee and wi-fi. In traditional Melbourne fashion they’re very welcoming and actually encourage people to browse, sit and read to their heart’s content.

il Solito Posto

il Solito PostoThis was one of my absolutely favourite places to eat out. Up the Paris end of Collins Street it has a great cozy atmosphere with a real traditional Italian sensibility. They have a great wine list, which is worth the visit alone. On a Friday TJ and I use to pop in after work, have a drink at the bar while we waited for a table and then debrief about the week over some fresh pasta.

Reader’s Feast

Readers FeastA book lover’s haunt if ever there was one. Like any good bookstore it’s downstairs and right in the night of the city off Swanston Street. Reader’s Feast is another one of my favourite placse to browse on a rainy Melbourne Sunday afternoon. Warm and friendly they’ll order in any book you need and membership is well worth it for the discount vouchers.

Cafe e Torta

Cafe el TortaI use to love having pouched eggs on ham, cheese and tomato for breakfast here and chicken bliss focaccia for lunch; usually with a long macchiato or blood orange juice. The menu doesn’t change very much but that’s because it’s pretty damn perfect the way it is. If you really want to treat yourself, have their lemon tart with a hot chocolate.

Riverland

RiverlandTj and I had our farewell Melbourne drinks here, which is along the River Walk beneath Fed Square and St Kilda Road Bridge. The menu consists of a handful of things, most of which is done on the BBQ, but the real reason to go here is to relax by the river with a beer. Mind you it’s best to go during one of Melbourne’s warmer months. The story I’ve heard about Riverland is that the owner took out the lease on the boat sheds that Riverland is based in years ago, before Federation Square was built, for next to nothing. And then when the time was right, and after paying a pittance in rent, he open Riverland on what is now prime real estate below the huge tourist hub that is Fed Square.

Dumplings, Sushi & Teriyaki Don

SushiAside from China Town there are plenty of little Sushi bars, Dumpling houses and cheap Asian joints to be found everywhere in the city. Across the road from where we lived was an Oriental Tea House which we use to call our dinning room because we loved eating out there. If you do go to an there make sure you save room for their custard buns – served hot and fresh nothing beats them. The best Teriyaki Don I found was in Richmond at Mr Sushi on Bridge Road. As for Sushi almost anywhere in Melbourne is good for Sushi. Now that I’m in London I realise how lucky we were to have all this at our finger tips and for next to nothing.

Tazio Pizza

TazioLike Ladro pizza in Collingwood, Tazio serve a perfect thin crust pizza. Fairly new to Melbourne, it’s already proven very popular with the after work crowd. I use to love going there after the movies at Kino Dendy. One of the last times I was there, I turned up late mid week with a group of mates and they still took us in, fed us and happily waited until we were the last to leave. They couldn’t have been nicer and for that I can’t talk them up enough.

Laurent Boulangerie Patisserie

LaurentPastry is one of my true weaknesses. I can’t resist a good chocolate almond croissant. Nothing beats real French pastry from France (I’ve been to Paris to check) but Laurent comes pretty close. It’s a bit costly but worth it from a treat on a Sunday morning when you feel like something decadent.

La Luna

La Luna
This is one of the best places in Melbourne to get steak. Head chef Adrian Richardson has a real passion for his restaurant and it’s infectious. Every time we’ve been there he’s always remembered us and come over to say hello. The staff are some of the best I’ve seen; friendly and quick without being stuffy or overbearing. One time Adrian took us for a tour of his meat locker/cold room – a much better experience than it sounds. He explained how he knew where all his meat came from and showed us all the different cuts that were being cured, hung and aged. La Luna is the place that taught me to appreciate a good rare steak and when it comes to steak, I haven’t found better in Melbourne.

Glick’s Bakery

Glicks

There’s not many places you can get fresh Bagels in Melbourne so I was very excited to find Glick’s, which specialises in it. When I was writing from home I would pop over to Glick’s in the morning and pick up some fresh bagels for breakfast or lunch. They have several shops in and around Melbourne and are well worth the visit.

Kino Dendy

Kino DendyI don’t think this is part of the Dendy family anymore but it’s still a great cinema. It’s a lovely art-house cinema where you can get premium choc-tops and a glass of wine with your movie. I’ve seen some great small films here along with some real pretension rubbish but the experience has always been same; excellent.

Grand Hyatt City Gym

gymThis was my regular gym and a damn good one. It’s a fully fledged gym with every machine you could need; plenty of bikes, cross-trainers and walkers. It has a great friendly un-intimidating vibe. I’ll miss my yoga teacher, Astrid, who would put me through my paces every Monday night plus Ray and the rest of the staff who were always on hand to help out when I didn’t know what I was doing.

Buskers

BuskerStreet Artist

Like any city, Melbourne has a great array of buskers. You can find them working the crowds in Bourke St Mall or the late night punters on a Friday and Saturday night.

Drumming BuskerBusker

It’s hard leaving somewhere you love but I’m looking forward to discovering a whole new bunch of favourite haunts here in London. If you know of any, let me know.

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a life disassembled – part 2

2, March 2009

This is a follow up to my previous post, a life slowly disassembling, about my experience of seeing all my things slowly disappear as I prepared to leave Melbourne. You can also check out my post, the flight and the familiar but new, to read what happened on my 20 odd hour flight and my reaction to seeing my new home, London, for the first time.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

It’s strange and liberating at the same time to have your life reduced to two bags and a couple of boxes. It makes you realise just how much you don’t need.

That’s not to say I’m now going to adopt the gypsy lifestyle and roam the countryside with only what I can carry on my back. I like my stuff. I’ve spend the better part of eight years amassing it but I’m kinda happy living a sparse simple life at the moment. It makes you focus on what is really important … like a finding a job, somewhere to live and things to eat.

Check back with me in a couple of months though and I’m sure to be going stir crazy, ready to start the eight year process of amassing all new stuff again.

*** *** ***

In the meantime, here is where some of my old stuff has gone. As more photos roll in I’ll add them to this memorial post.

It’s surprising how easily something so familiar can look so at home in a new setting. Like it’s always belonged there.

Like my mortar and pestle.

Mortar and Pestle

And my whisk.

Whisk

*** *** ***

Some of my stuff has been split up every which way. My telly, foxtel box and entertainment unit ended up here.

TV & Entertainment Unit

While my DVD player went here.

DVD Player

And my DVD’s here.

DVD's

*** *** ***

It’s been good seeing my stuff already being enjoyed. Like my chopping block trolley.

chopping Block

The must sought after bean bag.

Bean BagAnd my nifty little computer desk.

Computer Desk

*** *** ***

A large portion my stuff went to charity, which is always a nice thing to do even if you’re not moving. I find every six months or so is a good time to do a clean out and a donation run to the local charity bin.

Squidgee and Donation Stuff

*** *** ***

One of my prized possessions was my bed, which now has a new home.

Bed

My partner, TJ, and I looked everywhere for a simple bed frame. It’s harder than you think. Eventually we found this one and even though it didn’t come in the colour we wanted we bought it anyway and gave it a quick sanding and a stain and bob’s your uncle we had the beautiful dark brown bed frame we always wanted.

Our mattress as well equally carefully chosen for it’s incredible comfort and support. You can never under estimate the value of a good mattress.

As our bed’s new owners can no doubt attest to.

Bed's new Owners

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thank you

11, February 2009

I’m at the airport waiting to board the plane to London and am overwhelmed by everyone’s messages of love and support.

Thank you to my friends. None of who said this was a crazy idea and for…

Your wishes:

Wishing upgrades on you both and if no upgrades available may you get the aisle seats with plenty of leg room, and hours and hours of sleep!!!

Your tips:

Read the Evening Standard on a Friday, log on to DigitalSpy often, get a MINI A-Z so you’re not carting a brick around with you, don’t live in Zone 1 (nowhere to get groceries on a weekend apart from the markets), visit Borough market on a Saturday morning, sit in Borders on a rainy afternoon – they never know how long you’ve read Morebeen there, go to the Belgian Beer Cafe in Covent Garden on a Sunday, walk between tube stops in zone 1 – its quicker than getting on and off, stay clear of Hampsted Heath at night – you might get picked up, leave everywhere at 12:07 so you catch the last tube home.

Your understanding:

You must be feeling all kinds of things, I imagine – excitement, glee, nervousness, uncertainty, perhaps some trepidation. Maybe a little sorrow? And probably some exhaustion.  It’s great that you’ve got each other to lean on for support and empathy … opportunities will come your way, I’m certain.  I look forward to hearing/reading about your triumphs and adventures.

And your special messages of hope (like this one from my Japanese friend):

Big time isn’t it hey?
You sound your motivation and your decision … all put together, looking to new direction where you can achieve things you could ever imagine you could do in the new land. Yeah you are going to discover a lot of things that make you grow up for sure.
Hey man, lets cross our fingers for the bright future!!

Thank you to my extended family. No matter when or where I’ve been in my life I’ve always felt welcomed with open arms and a part of the family. Thank you for taking me in when I needed somewhere to stay, for feeding me when I needed a good meal and for not telling the parents what I got up to when they weren’t looking.

Thank you to my brother, my sister-in-law and my little nephew. The three of you are such seasoned travellers and have been a wonderful source of enthusiasm and inspiration. Thank you for safe guarding my most precious of possessions – photo albums, childhood memories, family heirlooms and seven years of tax receipts.

And finally, thank you to mum and dad. You both came to Australia with next to nothing seeking a new life, so you know what I’m about to going through. You always instilled in me to do what I loved and to embrace travel and adventure. Thank you for missing us already and yet still encouraging us to go.

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a life slowly disassembling

12, January 2009

I’m here waiting in Melbourne before the big move to London and got to thinking, this is quite unlike any other move I’ve ever experienced. I’ve moved house countless times and interstate three times now but this will be the first time I’ve moved internationally.

Moving is usually a mad rush. First it’s the two to three day window to get everything frantically packed up into boxes and shipped off to your new place as you scrub walls, clean out the bathroom grout and wonder if those scratches on the floor were there all along.

Then it’s a matter of frantically unpacking at your new place and trying to make it feel like home, with your “stuff” (the one constant in your life) occupying this new space like strangers at a party and making you wonder, “What’s that doing here?” or “Who brought that?”

This move is much different. I don’t have a set date yet. Probably mid February. I think.

I’m taking very little and so gifting a lot of my stuff to friends and family. If they can come pick it up they can have it has been the policy. And it’s been working well. But the result has been that the stuff I have been living with for the past eight-odd years is slowing disappearing.

This is where my two red chairs used to be.

red-chairs1

This is where they are now.
red-chairs-21

This is where my CD’s used to be.

cds12

This is where they are now.

cds-2

This is where my books used to be.

bookshelves1

This is where they are now.

books2

This is where my whisk, bean bag and mortar & pestle all used to be.

whisk1 beanbag1 mortor-and-pestle1

It’s like my life is slowly being disassembled.

I’m excited at the prospect of assembling a new life in London, it’s a chance to reinvent myself to a degree, but I am a hopeless hoarder (I’m getting better) and a sucker for nostalgia (hoarders love to reminisce) so letting go of my old Melbourne life is going to be hard. I have wonderful memories here and it’s a place that truly feels like home.

So, if you’re one of the lucky people to have received something of mine I’d love a photo of it in it’s new home. I’ll post follow ups to this entry showing where my stuff has progressively gone and continue to blog as I get closer and closer to moving over to London and my new life.

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