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dinner at Mr Ottorino on Johnston St

Mr Ottorino, where The Commoner used to be on Johnston St, is a new Sicilian restaurant with a long menu and an amazing wine list. There are many smallish plates to share and this makes ordering difficult. You start with an amuse bouche...Show More Summary

detritus of the twentieth century

Some remnants of late twentieth century digital infrastructure dumped on Greeves St on the corner of a laneway behind the Black Cat. Everything in the box is now in your phone. … This post was first published on Fitzroyalty. © Brian Ward.

This Week in Port Phillip 1841? 1-7 June 1841

THE ‘DIGNITY’ BALL Are you all on the edges of your seats, waiting for the Dignity Ball scheduled for 4th June? Well, you’ll need to wait another week because it was rescheduled from Friday 4th to Tuesday 8th June at … Continue reading ?

Movie: Sherpa

Beautifully filmed, this documentary tells in real time the avalanche of 18 April 2014 that took the lives of sixteen sherpas and prompted their refusal to climb Chomolungma, the mother god of Earth that we know as Mt Everest. Big … Continue reading ?

This Week in Port Phillip 1841: May 24-31

“Melbourne” the Port Phillip Gazette announced grandly at one stage “boils over like a bush cauldron with the scum of fierce disputes.”  Of course, the Port Phillip Herald was often completely complicit in adding to the fire of disputes, but … Continue reading ?

fuck art

It’s a relief when an aberrant member of the subhuman tagger underclass opts for a moment of honesty and doesn’t claim to be an artist or have anything to do with art. Anyone with a brain can see they are indifferent or actively hostile to art, as they often ruin it with their barely literate scrawls.… This post was first published on Fitzroyalty. © Brian Ward.

good riddance to toxic fumes

For an asthmatic, walking past Frances Pilley on Brunswick St is like being a postie stepping towards a barking dog while trying to deliver the mail. It’s an attack waiting to happen. I sometimes literally cross the road to avoid the toxic stench of its perfumed products, which I can smell from a block away.… This post was first published on Fitzroyalty. © Brian Ward.

Missing in Action

Oh dear, my blog is falling apart.  I haven’t written a ‘This Week in Port Phillip 1841’ entry in weeks; I have half-finished reviews languishing in the ‘drafts’ folder for so long that I can barely remember the book and … Continue reading ?

‘From Rice to Riches’ by Jane Hutcheon

2003, 355 p It’s odd how companionable one comes to feel with an ABC foreign correspondent who has been chatting to you from the television over many years. ‘Jane Hutcheon, ABC, Beijing’ sounds very familiar, as does ‘Barbara Miller, ABC, … Continue reading ?

St David Dairy expands

St David Dairy has expanded into the next-door former premises of providore Simon Johnson on the corner of St David and Kent streets. We can expect a shopfront offering more than the current range of milk served from a window. One day...Show More Summary

Movie: Labyrinth of Lies

I went to see this (just before it ended, as usual) largely on the strength of the positive review in received in The Age. I was a bit disappointed.  Based on the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials, it is set in 1958 … Continue reading ?

‘The Arsonist’ by Sue Miller

2014, 304 p. Sue Miller and Anne Tyler are my comfort food reads.  I must confess to occasionally confusing the two authors and their works, but I happily grab either of their new books when I see them on the … Continue reading ?

An interesting dedication

There’s been talk over the last couple of weeks about Malcolm Turnbull’s personal story. I was interested to see the dedication in his mother Carol Lansbury’s book Arcady in Australia, published in 1970 after she had married John Salmon in … Continue reading ?

punching bag

This image captures my exact thoughts about the fitness industrial complex. … This post was first published on Fitzroyalty. © Brian Ward.

go to Babka

The locals are revolting. Someone has spray painted ‘go to Babka’ on the Young St side wall of Lune croissanterie. While I have nothing against Lune, and admire the methodical and professional way they go about business, which is one of the reasons for their success, I also find the queues annoying and absurd.… This post was first published on Fitzroyalty. © Brian Ward.

dinner at the new Rose hotel

A decade ago I was a regular at the Rose hotel, but times and tastes change. They used to do a good kangaroo steak. Recent concerns about the sale of the venue, the opening of a fancy upstairs bar, then another change of operators, made...Show More Summary

This Week in Port Phillip in 1841: May 16-23 1841

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are warned that the following post contains names and images of deceased persons. There are three indigenous deaths that were mentioned in the news this week, each demonstrating a different aspect of frontier … Continue reading ?

satisfying my char kuey teow cravings

Yummi Yummi Chinese is a charmingly dishevelled little cheap and cheerful place on Sydney Rd in Brunswick. For $12.50 they do good char kuey teow and you get bonus chicken and sweet corn soup. Just what you need on a cold day.… This post was first published on Fitzroyalty. © Brian Ward.

Urban Crafter opening soon on Brunswick St

In the place of the very brief tenant the Book Grocer, a new business called Urban Crafter is about to open. It sounds like a Thread Den style place but with a broader craft remit. … This post was first published on Fitzroyalty. © Brian Ward.

Exhibition: Somewhere in France

Baillieu Library’s current exhibition ‘Somewhere in France: Australians on the Western Front’ is on show until 26 June 2016. Our commemorative attention has been directed towards the Western front this year,  now that the Gallipoli commemorative caravan has moved on. … Continue reading ?

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