Sunday, September 05, 2010

Happy Fridays

This Friday Kat and I decided to keep it cheap and go to a few happy hours. On Hardware Lane with in a block of each other we found 3 great spots.

Happiest Budget Happy Hour: La La Land, Hardware Lane
$3 wines, $5 beers. You can lounge around on leather couches or sit in the screened in smokers room. It's almost like smoking indoors is legal again. Busy after work vibe.

Happiest Budget Meal: Coconut House
Cheap and delicious, I had curry chicken and prawns with coconut rice for $8. Especially cheap since our meals were paid with a 20 I found on the ground.

Happiest After Dinner Drink: Horse Bazaar, Little Lonsdale
This bar has a great happy hour as well. Video images constantly scrolling along the wall, DJ blasting rather unfitting but fun late 90's early 2000 hip hop. Quite a cool place with nice bathrooms too!

Happiest Place I would have loved to spend more time: 1000 Bend, Little Lonsdale
Good lord was this place hip. Even though it is supposedly unpretentious I would have fit in a bit better wearing hipster, boho gear rather than my casual friday jeans. However this place was amazing, small little cafe with vintage furniture opens into a gallery serving beer and wine. Would have stayed longer if the bar wasn't 10 people deep. Oh to dream.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Lots of Eating Out!

Unfortunately Kat's partner isn't so keen on going out for breakfast, but fortunately I am. Off to Hardware Societe located on Hardware Lane for poached eggs with smoked salmon and chorizo beans on toast. Cute decor using old English china and distressed wood table.

Breakfast on Saturday: Hardware Societe

One of my first meals here was with Ellen and Tomoko at an old favorite from the last time I was here. Our meal was eaten whilst photos were being taken for a new book called "Funky Melbourne" (or something like that). We ate suckling pork, eggplant in a coconut sauce, a delicious fish and all the accompaniments of a delicious Balinese meal.

Amazing Balinese: Warung Agus

Mid-week after work I try to meet up with Kat to just break up the week a bit. She suggested going to a spicy Sichuan restaurant but since there were only two of us we went to the high profile Mamasita Mexican Restaurant. It isn't your ordinary Mexican with a long queue out the door, intricately cooked traditional foods such as ceviches, tostitas, and tacos. Prices were mid-high, portions were comparatively small, but I ended up full and satisfied by the fresh flavors.

Exquisite Mexican, far from my home: Mamasita

After hauling my tap shoes from the US to the UK to Australia I found a street tap class at Jason Coleman's (judge of Australia's So You Think You Can Dance) Ministry of Dance. The timing was perfect, after work on a Thursday, and location even better, halfway between work and home. Though the setting was one of the most fun, cool and exciting I have seen (large prints on the wall, low lighting, warehouse-like, huge studios, leather sofa waiting area) the class left more to be desired. The famous teacher, who was a member of the cast of Tap Dogs was out injured, so one of his students taught the class (she was approx age 18). It was advertised as an adult open class but the mean age was about 15. I felt out of place and unhappy. So sadly I don't think I will be returning.

Initially exciting but ultimately disappointing dance class: Ministry of Dance
(Wish I had a proper image of the facilities)

First Week Dining Adventures

Ellen has an inherent love of Japan that she just can't shake. Often days around the city with her involve having Japanese food, watching a Japanese film or looking at photos from Japan. It is no surprise that she was very excited to take me to her favorite Japanese restaurant located in the CBD in an alley between Myer Department Store. We had delicious, authentic Bento boxes. Not quite as cheap as my 500yen favorite in Hagi, but for $20 I was stuffed!

Favorite Japanese: Kenzan

Surprisingly Kat was the one to introduce me to Melbourne's own 100yen shop which sells a variety of goods for $3.50 each. Well, maybe not so surprising due to Kat's love of all things kitsch. I was able to get toilet cleaner, make-up pads, and a strainer for my new life here.

Not so 100yen shop: Tokuya

A New Start

So I am back in Melbourne after finishing my Masters Degree in Intercultural Relations. I am doing an internship at a university here and wandering around the city with two old (blogger) friends from Japan. These two friends love showing my around to their favorite restaurants, bars and shops and I would love to show all of you places I have gone. If you are looking for a fantastic dining guide to the city of Melbourne, and you are a local, I am not sure this is the blog for you, as I am an amateur. It is mostly to show friends from around the world the little gems of this city.

First Stop: Section 8

Melbourne is known for it's hidden laneways full of trendy bars, cafes, and restaurants. This bar made out of old container supplies is hidden in Tattersol's Ln in Chinatown. Even in the winter, with the heaters on, it was a great place to get a pre-dinner drink.

Second Stop: Shanghai Dumpling House

After waiting in a queue for 20 minutes our party was seated at Shanghai Dumpling House. The menu lists about 30 different types of dumplings to try as well as other Chinese dishes. Long wait to sit, short to eat, we were gobbling dumplings within 5 minutes of ordering.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Boston- And another year has gone by

Well all the travels of the last post have come and gone and seem like a distant memory. I have since settled in Boston as a grad student. I thought the day that I graduated undergrad would be my final day as a student. But here I am in the educational capital of the world taking on the the role I was so very happy to give up. Student and English teacher. My experience here is a lot less culturally obtuse as my previous experiences but it has still taken some adjusting. Living in the suburbs, having a car, a bed, possessions, more than a couple weeks of clothes. I'm doing this all in the name of international education. My travels have been reduced greatly, although I can't abandon my passport completely. My student loans and left over money from Australia will be taking me on a trip to Rio de Janeiro. I yearn to be on the road but feel comfort with making new friends for longer than a couple of weeks or a month. I am almost certain that after the 2.5 years this degree will take I will be on the road again but constrained by loans and financial obligation. So for now I will leave you with a few images of Boston in the spring.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Moving On

In the event of struggling to find an apartment and interesting job, Ed and I have decided it is time to move on. I feel I have made the most of my time here but extending another month would only mean working admin and labour jobs. We wouldn't be travelling or experiencing anything too new. So on 15 May we are heading halfway around the world, stopping on 3 continents. First stop: Japan!

I will get a chance to visit old friends and students and see all my favourite spots.
Next we will head to Cleveland!

It's about time Ed has met the folks. Then we will head to New Hampshire to work at camp.

A quick stop over in Iceland:

And finally the UK to meet Ed's fam. Maybe I will even stop by my old school and flat while I am there.

Lot's of things to be excited about.

I would Root for you!

First of all I would like to mention a big vocabulary difference. In Melbourne Aussie Rules Football is VERY popular. Matches are sold out and everyone has a team they support. Rather than asking someone what team the root for (as root means to have sex with someone) they say "barrack" for them. I guess rooting for Collingwood would be quite a painful event.

Also, the world bogan is similar to "hillbilly" or someone that isn't exactly politically correct. Let's see if we can spot a bogan...

Oh yeah, that'll do!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Pictures from my birthday celebration a few weeks ago. (Thanks Noemie!)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

New Camera, New Photos

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Stolen Generation

Sometime being in a country so culturally similar to my own I just let cultural differences run over me like water. I have witnessed a few acts of history both big and small since coming to this part of the world. Before we left for NZ a new Prime Minister was elected in Australia. Kevin Rudd is his name and he seemed very popular amongst people of my generation. It reminds when Bush was relected almost 4 years ago and he seemed to be very unpopular, but I guess I was talking to the wrong people. That and I was in a foreign country around people from various countries and if they could vote I think that election would have turned out differently. When Rudd was elected he promised that he would make a speach apologizing to the Aboriginal people for the Stolen Generation. The Parliament would order people to go to the bush and collect children, separate them from their families and force them to live these alternate lives of Christian faith. Rudd's speach was very heartfelt and honest. Not full of excuses just apologies. I think it is safe to assume there are people in this country (and maybe even my country) thinking "Why does he have to apologize. He/this generation didn't commit the heinous acts, we should blame older generations". This process only perpetuates hate and unpeaceful acts. To this Rudd made a remark "We get to bear the blessings of our older generations so it is only fair that we should bear the burdens as well". It was a great speach and I commend him for doing this, as I don't think the leader of my home country would even think of making such an apology to anyone.

Various news articles of the apology.
This one has a video clip.,25197,23202607-12377,00.html

A few other things that we have go to see first hand are a few deaths. The death of Sir Edmund Hillary when we were in NZ. We woke up one morning, turned the radio on and every radio station was dedicated to making a tribute to this fine, honest man. I was grateful to get to hear about Sir Ed from his fellow countrymen. Another sad one was Heath Ledger. It is a shame being a celebrity and dying young, they media doesn't properly celebrate your life. They just want to dig out all the dirt and explanations. May they both rest in peace.