Archive for December, 2007

Summer Salute

With the summer weather descending on us, are people doing more of the summer salute? You know, the wave of the hand, right, left, to swipe at the flies!

and more shopping for Christmas!

Since Darren has stated the obvious, I should say there will be more people visiting the city as well as all the surrounding shopping malls to do all their Christmas shopping. Most department stores are trading until late for most of this week and will start their 24 hour trading spree on the 2 days prior to Christmas.

The city, Chadstone and Highpoint are going to be crowded! Think about finding a carpark!

So, one tiny little bit of advice … lots and lots of patience. Patience to find a carpark, patience while paying for items, patience while waiting in line to view the Myer Christmas window display, patience while waiting to board a train, tram or bus while all around you are people rushing to get their shopping done.

Christmas in the City

Melbourne seems pre-occupied with images of angels. Maybe it draws inspiration from the seagulls.A little over a week to Christmas, guys. Here are the happenings through the city ’til then:

Santa Post Box
ends 18 December ’07
Hurry and address your mail to Santa (North Pole 9999), and drop them off the special post box at the City Square.

Carols in the Cathedral
19 December ’07 – 20 December ’07
The Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir will be performing at St Paul’s Cathedral. Bookings required and tickets sell out fast. For bookings, call 9419 1582 or email tickets@rmp.org.au

Waterfront City Twilight Market
23 December ’07
The last day to get youself some unique Australian-designed, Australian-made gifts at the twilight markets in the Docklands.

Federation Square Giant Advent Calendar
ends December 24 ’07
A light show every evening at 9pm, with a finale performance at 11.45pm on 24 December. Also drop by for the festive carolling in and about the Square.

QV Christmas in the Square
ends 24 December ’07, 8.30pm until 11pm daily
Help create a light show that involves you walking through the Square after dusk.

Brass on the Grass
24 December ’07, 7.15pm
Brass ensemble playing Christmas music at the Podium level adjacent to the Southbank Retail Precinct (in front of St Johns Southgate).

Carols by Candlelight
24 December ’07, 9pm
In the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, as the iconic event turns 70. Featuring contemporary and traditional performers. Bookings required and tickets generally cost under $80. Call 1300 136 166 or for more information visit www.theartscentre.net.au

Boxing Day Test Live Site at Federation Square
26 December ’07 – 28 December ’07
“The Australian summer tradition of cricket on the beach and in the backyard is coming to the city as Federation Square is transformed with picket fences, Hills Hoists, rubbish bin stumps and a 2.5 meter, 15 tonne sand sculpture during the 3 mobile Boxing Day Test Match in December.”

Crown’s Christmas Spectacular
ends 6 January ’08, every half hour, 10am until midnight
Catch the circus carnival as it rolls down the Atrium at Crown with its cast of Santa and his reindeers, and various other antics.

Moonlight Cinema

Tonight kicks off Melbourne’s Moonlight Cinema season. ” Nissan Moonlight Cinema is an open air cinema screening latest release, contemporary, cult and classic movies on the sweeping lawns of the lush Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.” You can take a picnic, a bottle of wine or whatever. I would recommend bringing something to sit on such as a bean bag although you can rent bean bags when you are there. Their website is quite impressive as it displays the temperature next to the upcoming movies.

Also in the outdoor films genre is the Rooftop Cinema located atop the roof in 252 Swanston Street. The Rooftop Cinema tend to play older movies instead of the fairly new releases the Moonlight Cinema show. Both are great places to watch movies and to have a drink.

Moonlight Cinema

Royal Botanic Gardens,Melbourne
$14
link

Rooftop Cinema

252 Swanston St., Melbourne
$20.30
link

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Pictures from the set of The Pacific

OK, nothing too exciting happens in Carlton North so when they transform parts of it into a film set, everyone gets excited. On the way to work, I took some pictures from the set of The Pacific.

Part of the set of "The Pacific" shot in Rathdowne Street An old car and a horse and carriage on the set of "The Pacific"

They transformed Rathdowne Street to look like post WWII Melbourne. The guy with the white hat on is an actor playing a policeman.
Director and crew outside The Fruit Shed, Rathdowne Street Part of the set of "The Pacific" shot in Rathdowne Street
The scene took place outside The Fruit Shed. Soldiers and women in 1940s attire were filmed picking out fruit. In the picture to the left, you can see Director Tim Van Patten.

An old style phone A covered Telstra phone booth

An old style phone booth that was set up and on the right covering up a new style phone booth.

I managed to get a small video before my camera battery died. The set is open and they will let you walk through and tell you nicely when to get out of the shot. Definitely worth a look.

More Flickr Pictures
Youtube: Before the fruit scene

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The Pacific shooting in Carlton North

UPDATE: Pictures from the shoot here.

Carlton North, the Hollywood of down under? In the past few years, there have been some big films shot in the area. Ghost Rider was partially shot in the Melbourne Cemetery and upcoming TV show Canal Road was filmed at a couple of houses in Drummond St. When I came home from work on Thursday I knew there was something amiss when 25 trucks were parked in various places between Rathdowne and Drummond St.

They are currently shooting the Tom Hanks / Steven Spielberg WWII mini series called The Pacific. The particular scene they are filming in Carlton North is apparently the story of the American soldiers R&R time after the war. Many came over here and “met” some of Melbourne’s Greek and Italian women. On Thursday, they were filming in a laneway off Fenwick St. The crews have come back today and according to sources they will be filming on Wednesday/Thursday Tuesday/Wednesday to shoot a scene on Rathdowne St, possibly at La Porchetta.

Coincidentally, a friend of mine has been playing one of the soldiers in movie and has been enjoying the long hours (12 hour days) of filming in Port Douglas (QLD). His pictures below.

Take a walk over to Carlton North on Wednesday Tuesday and catch some of the action.

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tramTracker Online

I never understood Yarra Tram’s tramTracker service. tramTracker is a service in which you send an SMS with your tram stop number and in return you receive real time information on the arrival of the next tram. The problem is that if you are at the tram stop then it doesn’t matter if the tram is coming in 2 or 10 minutes.

Now it appears they have put this service online for everyone to use. Type in your Tracker Stop ID which you can lookup on the site, then select the tram number. The arrival times of the next three trams are displayed. Seems like a great service and will be great on those cold winter days. Now if only they had this on the very unpredictable buses.

Yarra Trams [via Whirlpool]

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Betting it All

Michael is a 24-year-old guy from Sydney who is coming down to Melbourne this weekend to play his hand in the casino. So what’s the big deal?

According to the description on his blog, “I am going to sell everything I own, and then bet all the money I have in one baccarat hand”. After selling all of his worldly possessions, he is left with $24,000 to lose at the Crown. This is not the first time that someone has done something like this. In 2004, 32-year-old Ashley Revell sold all of his possessions including his clothes which amounted to $135,000. With a camera crew following him, he put all of his money on red in a game of roulette and WON.

As for Michael, he is choosing a game with better odds, not selling his clothes, and well after this experience is going to Uni. Not as much drama as Revell but still will be interesting to see how he does.

Betting it All
[via Digg]
SA Forum

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21 Days to Christmas … Lasoo your shopping?

3 more weeks to Christmas and I have yet to do any of my shopping. Hunting out gifts is not a matter of walking into a shop and picking up the first item that catches my fancy. I need to look, to feel, to consider, and of course, to hunt out the bargains.

Normally, I love my junk mail around this time of the year. Tons and tons of paper, wasted to the environmental cause, just to entice people to buy. Not this year. I have a new tool, Lasoo. I can search through catalogues from my area as well as search for items and do price comparisons. Now, isn’t that just handy for a lazy person like me?

Green Santa

Ever heard of the Green Santa? No, not a jealous Santa, but an environmentally friendly Santa.

According to their website, the Green Santa was created to promote environmental concerns over climate change and to urge people to consider the environment when purchasing Christmas gifts. The Green Santa is in Federation Square this week to promote his environmental causes. There will be children singing Christmas Carols on stage for the entire week.

So, check them out!

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