Archive for January, 2009

I missed out on the water and ice cream

Did anyone get the water and ice cream from Connex for trying to ride on their trains yesterday? I boarded from Melbourne Central station, so I guess I missed out on the entire giveaway.

Reading the news article on The Age on train cancellations, a spokesperson for Connex said the giveaway was a once off. Does that mean the cancellations and delay was also just a once off, never to occur again, say today?

I can imagine people fainting in the heat. I took the train in the late afternoon. The train wasn’t overly crowded, I was still able to bag a seat. Unfortunately, the ventilation of the carriage was as good as non existence. The further away from the exits, the worse it gets. It wasn’t until I arrived at my destination, did I realise that it was cooler outside the train than inside. The train carriages having been in the heat for the entire day, is just doing a slow cook, heating everything from the inside out. I imagine if I had left an egg in the carriage in the morning, by evening I would have had a hard boiled egg.

So, dear Connex and state government, if you are going to cook all your passengers and residents in the summer heat, please provide some spices and sauces. A free afternoon snack, in addition to a portable fan and an oxygen tank would be greatly appreciated.

I am NOT looking forward to taking the train today.

Victoria Street Lunar Festival

One of the more popular festivals in the City of Yarra is the Lunar New Year Festival located in Richmond. This Sunday from 11AM experience traditional Chinese & Vietnamese food, dancing and art. Victoria St. will be closed between Hoddle and Church Street, so those going to IKEA will need to seek a alternate route. It’s just the start to the festival season with the Australian Open starting Monday and Chinese New Year celebrations in the city next weekend.


Victoria Street Lunar New Year Festival

Victoria Street, Richmond

Sunday Jan 18, 11AM-10PM

PDF link

It was great for the past 2 weeks

The commute to the city was smooth. The train ride back was fantastic! I was able to find a seat from Melbourne Central station all the way back to Watergardens station during peak hours.

But since yesterday, I guess everyone else is back at work. What with the school holidays, shopping for back to school products, tourists, etc, plus the potential heatwave arriving today, the train commute is going to be a nightmare!

Oh well, such is life!

Young lovers caught out on Melbourne’s wheel


Focus On Melbourne _ Waterfront City Opening Spectacular

Focus On Melbourne _ Waterfront City Opening Spectacular

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uploaded by patrik nemes

When Britain’s giant wheel, the London Eye, opened in January 2000 it took until July before the first couple — a pair of 17-year-olds — was caught in the act, sparking tabloid headlines such as “Mile Eye Club”.

The Eye’s operators immediately banned couples from taking trips on their own, but Mr Maybury has ruled out such a ban on the Southern Star.

“There are definitely no plans to stop couples from enjoying flights together at this stage,” he said.

In fact, the wheel’s operators are unlikely to turn anyone away, with visitor numbers already well below anticipated levels.

Projections by the wheel’s owners that 1.5 million people will pay to take a “flight” on the wheel each year now seem ambitious according to one worker. “We’re not as busy as we hoped we’d be,” she said.

Well, no surprises there! Where else to take your fornicating activities but a gravity-defying, enclosed and air-conditioned romp!

However I can’t see many people willing to shell out, if I remember correctly, $29 for 30 minutes of ‘air’ time. Them public relations practitioners must have had their work cut out – sure the young couple gave them an unexpected form of publicity, but with these gloomy times few would pay that much just to have a view of, well not much really. The Docklands area doesn’t have anything terribly scenic or iconic that screams “HEY LOOK HERE!”

Oh well, at least that couple had their ‘customer satisfaction’. Good on them.

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Children of conflict zone jump aboard for Skateistan

But in war-ravaged Kabul, she found that aside from security concerns about a Westerner being out on the streets, its streets were too badly bomb-damaged to lend themselves to gliding along on a skateboard. She had to be content with riding within the security confines of the compound where she lived.

I read with amazement and awe as the magnitude of Sharna Nolan’s achievements slowly transforms the war-ravaged city of Kabul. The humble little four-wheeled mode of transportation – often ridiculed and derided by local governments worldwide for defacing public property and the so called ‘troublesome’ sub-culture that skateboarders bring along – is giving Afghan kids something to look forward to every day. With the internet at our fingertips, few things truely amaze us. Likewise, I don’t find myself easily shocked at cheap attempts to impress, but Sharna’s Skateistan project truly warmed and touched my heart.

The first thing I did was to Google Skateistan, and I found myself compelled to help in any way I could.

I found the donation page and donated $5 to the project via Paypal. It’s not much, but every little bit counts. $5 in Afghanistan’s probably the equivalent of a weekly wage.

What a brave woman. From the streets of Fitzroy to the bomb craters of Kabul. This lady and her partners deserve all the help and support she needs.

This truly is hope working its magic.

Skateistan’s website:

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The dark heart of Melbourne

In the city which ushered in the Espresso Age in Australia, a new culture is taking root with a darker, sweeter and more seductive nature.

The chocolate cafe, selling chocolate hot or cold, dark or white, made with cocoa butter by a skilled chef, is becoming entrenched in the proud Melbourne dining scene.

How true.

Koko Black was still a novelty act in 2004 and I remember visiting their tiny store in the Royal Arcade and staring at those chocolates sold in a jewellery-style glass enclosure. Quite the experience. Back then it was the only Koko Black (as far as I’m concerned) store around.

Within 18 months a string of chocolateur chains sprung up all over the city. Max Brenner is probably the most famous. Then to my surprise, Koko Black opened in coffee-culture Lygon Street. I had no doubt it will do well as it caters to a different market altogether. Unlike *cough* Starbucks *cough*

I do make it a point to purchase Koko Black’s choc mocha every time I head into the CBD. At around $6 a cup, it’s not cheap. If you can afford it, the chocolate infused coffee (a pleasant coconut aftertaste, you gota try it to believe it!) doesn’t disappoint!

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