Interesting Parking in Collingwood

Saw this BMW “parked” in the median strip in Otter Street, Collingwood today. Somehow they managed to park it without damaging the bottom of the car. Stolen car, creative parking or a hipster art exhibit?

The Pacific debuts in US: Melbourne Scenes

The Pacific was partially shot in Australia and more importantly Melbourne about 2 years ago. The mini-series focuses on the US forces battle in WWII against the Japanese. The first two episodes follow a group of marines at home preparing to go to war and a battle defending  Guadalcanal from the Japanese. Don’t worry, no spoilers in this post.

The third episode of the series focuses on the US soldiers R&R time in Australia, in particular the warm welcome by Australians especially the young women. As many may remember the crew of The Pacific took over many places in Melbourne including Flinders Street station and parts of Carlton North.

Screenshots from The Pacific

Screenshots from The Pacific

Screenshots from The Pacific
A couple of scenes from what I believe is VISY Park Victoria Park.

Screenshots from The Pacific

Screenshots from The Pacific

Flinders Street Station

Screenshots from The Pacific

Transformed Rathdowne Street

Rathdowne Street, Carlton North

Screenshots from The Pacific

Outside La Porchetta, Rathdowne Street, Carlton North

Screenshots from The Pacific

Screenshots from The Pacific


745 Rathdowne Street

Screenshots from The Pacific


Image taken from Google Maps

The Railway Hotel, South Melbourne

Screenshots from The Pacific

The newspaper in the background says “Heavy Penalties Needed for Tyre Thieves”. Apparently, there was a bit of tyre theft going on in Melbourne in the 1940’s as explained in an article from The Argus here and also here.

See more screencaps here.

The Pacific debuts in Australia on Channel 7 later in the year.

Some photos from the 1950s of Melbourne

Two great pictures of Melbourne for your Friday afternoon courtesy of Arcade Gazette. The first picture of Flinders Street station appears to be taken at its 100 year anniversary.  Its kind of reminiscent of the Magic Kingdom at Disneyworld/Disneyland.

The second was again taken in the 1950’s featuring a view of Bourke Street with Parliament in the background.  I was surprised to see a double decker bus featured in this picture but it seems that they were quite popular all over Australia at that time period. Yet another adopted British icon.

Moomba Parade 2010

Celebrity Chefs

The rain stopped and the sun was out for this years Moomba parade. After the ferocious weather Melbourne has been experiencing, a sunny day for even only an hour was  a treat for all. Crowds were consistent to previous years, perhaps a little less with the unpredictable weather. I always tell myself to view the festival from the west side of Swanston street and always forget. If you are viewing the festival, Collins and Swanston St, on the western side seems to be the prime position.

This year, they simplified the line up, with an emphasis on themes: arts, sports, food.  Celebrities were abound with celebrity chefs Guy Grossi and Shane Delia. Hosting duties were up to Coxy,  Rebecca Madden & Matthew Richardson.  At one point, they left the microphone near Richo on and you could hear the experienced presenters giving Richo a few pointers.  Another pleasant surprise was seeing Lou Richards.  Not a bad parade and the weather held out until about 20 minutes after the parade finished.

<a href=”” title=”Celebrity Chefs by neilmelbournemetblogs, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”500″ height=”375″ alt=”Celebrity Chefs” /></a>

The King and Queen of Moomba Presenters at Moomba The Art Centre Float Moomba Lou Richards Turks

View the rest at Flickr

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8 Mile Creek NY: Aussie Food Overseas

A friend living in New York recently dined at an Australian themed restaurant  called the 8 Mile Creek restaurant and sent me the above picture.  According to their website, they’ve been in business for over 10 years sourcing out the best of Australian wine and food for NY.  Lamb and barramundi sound great but had to laugh at the “Lygon Street” spaghetti.

Outback Steakhouse, a multinational chain of Australian themed restaurants that has locations in Australia (Australians looking for Australian themed food?), takes the cake with their Kookaburra wings and Chocolate Thunder from Down Under. Maybe they should make their Melbourne steak a huge steak with influences of Asian and Greek spices.

Shocolate: Another chocolatier hits Melbourne

Shocolate Chocolatiers

I first spotted something being built at the back of the old Fitzroy GPO last month. Google provided no information to what Shocolate was other than bad spellers of chocolate. I had to have a try after Brian from Fitzroyalty declared it as “possibly the best hot chocolate of my life” and MelbourneHotorNot’s Joyce declaring it HOT.

What is Shocolate?

It’s best described as a cross between Koko Black and Brunetti. They offer both hot and cold chocolate based drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), individual chocolates, and pastries/cake type desserts. Where they differ from Max Brenner and Koko Black, for now anyway, is the lack of hot desserts.

The story which I hopefully have right, is that the Greek owner and a French chef decided to set up shop at the Fitzroy location. They were due to open in March but due to some delays were only able to open last month. Just like the other chocolatiers around Melbourne, they are looking to expand into other areas.

On my 2 visits, I’ve tried the Iced Hot Shocolate, Iced Mocha Shocolate, a chocolate ball with orange inside ( pictured above), an Exotic tart which resembled a Lemon Meringue pie, and a Mocha Tart (pictured below). All of them were top notch.  Some of their hand chocolates pack some unique flavours and the day I was there I tried the Vegemite Chocolate, which to someone who doesn’t really like Vegemite, found it to be quite nice.

Shocolate Chocolatiers

Staff are extremely friendly and they all seem to have European accents. I don’t doubt that this place will be around for a while especially as they have a fantastic location right in the heart of Fitzroy. The only downfall for me is their lack of website. Seriously, just stick a PDF of your menu up there instead of having a website that says Under Construction?

Shocolate Chocolatiers

Johnston & Brunswick Street, Fitzroy (Next to 120 Bar)

Cleanest Apartment in Brunswick?

apartmentCan we all agree that Melbourne real estate agents are the scum of the earth?  Some would say that lawyers are scum but at least lawyers have years of education under their belt.

Usually when one is advertising an apartment for rent, an agent might point out it’s location, size, or perhaps some features. You would also think that they would check their spelling or possibly even grammar.  Nope.

The Cleanest Appartment In Brunswick…….All New!
$305 p.w.
One too look at, this totally refurbished 1st floor two bedroom apartment. This property offers a large & sunfilled north facing lounge with balcony, a brand new kitchen with electric cooking facilities, two double size bedrooms with b.i.r’s, and a large brand new bathroom with internal laundry facilities. Other features include brand new window coverings, new carpets (to be layed still), large balcony & off street parking for one (1) car. Located one block from the Sydney Road tram & walking distance to the Moreland Train station, local shops, parks & gardens. Be quick this one will not last !

How many errors did you spot? Cleanest Apartment in Brunswick

The Cleanest Appartment In Brunswick…….All New!

$305 p.w.

One too look at, this totally refurbished 1st floor two bedroom apartment. This property offers a large & sunfilled north facing lounge with balcony, a brand new kitchen with electric cooking facilities, two double size bedrooms with b.i.r’s, and a large brand new bathroom with internal laundry facilities. Other features include brand new window coverings, new carpets (to be layed still), large balcony & off street parking for one (1) car. Located one block from the Sydney Road tram & walking distance to the Moreland Train station, local shops, parks & gardens. Be quick this one will not last !

Google Maps adds Traffic Information

trafficmapGoogle Maps has just activated real time traffic information to its maps. Information is taken from Intelematics, which you may recognise as the company behind the SUNA live GPS system that provides real time traffic information to GPS units through a discrete FM radio signal.

The breadth of coverage around Melbourne is staggering and Google plans to further expand traffic information by transmitting anonymous speed readings from those using the mobile version of the Google Maps Application.

traffichistoryAnother smart feature of Google’s traffic information is being able to look at historical information.  Say you want directions from Clifton Hill to St. Kilda around 5PM on a Saturday. The route usually would take you down Punt Road but potentially if historical information is smart it would tell you that Saturday afternoons along Hoddle Street are a nightmare because of footy traffic. Google has perhaps seen the success of it’s Flu Trends product in predicting likely occurance of traffic.

It’s amazing to think it that only three years ago, Google added the ability to actually look up an address on its maps and now we have real time traffic data.

Google Maps via [Official Google Australia Blog]

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Facebook Car

Friend Request?

Friend Request?

We’ve seen the Google car but I didn’t think the Facebook car would be an old Kia.  Seriously, unless this is a company car, who pays money for a vanity plate with Facebk on it?

Picture via @arcadegazette

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10.1% Unaccounted Water

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Lonsdale Street Water Main Break/ Photo by Lantrix

Last week I received my water bill. City West Water always send some interesting material with our usual bills.  Their own reported figures show that they are very good at fixing water problems quickly. One of the more interesting figures on their fact sheet is the unaccounted water percentage.  10.1% of Melbourne’s water supply seems to be unaccounted for.  Is this a normal figure? Surely it isn’t common to have  huge water main breaks such as today’s incident on Lonsdale Street?

Wikipedia reports unaccounted water or non-revenue water as water that is lost due to leaks or metering inaccuracies. While I thought 10% was big, China is an appalling 52%.  While it’s easy to criticize Victoria’s lack of forward thinking with it’s dams and desalination plant, at least we have good water infrastructure in place to retain most of our water.

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Rickrolled in Melbourne



It’s one thing to get rickrolled on the Internet but out in the public? From Overheard in Melbourne:

A MAN and a LADY are strolling toward shops when emerges a CAR, bright red, pop-up headlights, high speed, absolute disregard for pedestrians. MAN dodges out of way as CAR speeds by without a care, windows wound down, stereo up loud, blaring Rick Astley.

LADY: …I think we just got rickrolled.

You are not safe anywhere.

Overheard in Melbourne: Rickrolled

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Costco costly: Price Comparison

Melbourne's Costco I haven’t been to the Melbourne Costco yet and based on what I’ve read online, I don’t think I ever will.  Don’t get me wrong, Costco is a great idea and whenever I am in the US, I try visiting there partly out of curiosity and partly to get a large quantity of US only products to bring home. But for a country with very little buying power, general isolation from the world, and the fairly good prices of local markets and Aldi, I don’t see the savvy shopper saving money.

Here’s why.

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Brief Updates from MBHQ

You’ve no doubt by now noticed that the sites got a bit of a re-design and some things got changed around last week. We wanted to highlight two changes to make sure everyone knows what changed.

The first and biggest is COMMENTS! Registration is no longer required to post a comment on any post. Of course if you already have an account you can still login to ensure your comments are attributed to you, but those who don’t can now post a comment without any long term commitment. Also, on the right you can see some of the recent comments so you’ll always know what the active discussions are. This was the most requested thing we’ve heard from people since our last redesign and we’re excited to see where it leads.

The next change is also something that was heavily requested, and that is a change to the ADS on the sites. You’ll immediately notice fewer of them, but what might not be as obvious is those smaller square ones to the right are specific to this city only and are being sold for a flat rate for a period of time rather than a confusing CPM/traffic/network model. Depending on the city, these range from $7-$175 for a full week. If you purchase one, during that time your ad will be the only one in that spot and will show on every page. We set these up both to make it easier for smaller local businesses to get their ads on our site, and also to help us bring in ads that relate better to our local audiences. Also, keeping these sites online is expensive and every little bit helps.

There are a bunch of other things we changed but we’ll leave those to you to investigate and take advantage of. Hope you like it, and we look forward to seeing you in the comments!!

The folks at MBHQ

Beware of Mullets


Club Wah caught this typo on The Age’s website last week.  Not only was it in the by-line but the error was also repeated in the article.

Happy Melbourne Day


Melbourne's flags waving. Photo:

This Sunday, 174 years ago, Melbourne was founded. What better way then to celebrate Melbourne by visiting some of it’s attractions on the cheap. Although the deals are not as sweet as previous years, a 2 for 1 deal is a good excuse to take a look at some of the attractions you have been meaning to see.

2 for 1 offers on the following:

Melbourne Aquarium
Eureka Skydeck
Melbourne River Cruises
Old Melbourne Gaol
Australian Racing Museum
Australian Centre for the Moving Image
Chinese Museum Bridge of Memories Exhibition
City Museum at Old Treasury Melbourne
Cooks’ Cottage
Melbourne Golden Mile Guided Walk
Melbourne Aquarium
Old Melbourne Gaol

50% off:

Queen Victoria Market Tour
Rialto Tower Observation Deck

and a free swim at the City Baths. I would guess the deals this year aren’t as good previous years because Melbourne Day falls on a Sunday this year, assumingly the busiest day for most of these attractions. Maybe going next year on a Monday might mean less crowds and better deals. Melbourne Day

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