Riding on a car-free Yarra Boulevard

With thousands of lycra clad fittos (and some notsofittos), I twirled through a few laps of Yarra Boulevard on 12 March when Bicycle Victoria blocked it off to cars (the next “cyclovia” is on 28 May 2006: 4 km of Sydney Road in Brunswick for 6 hours). It is one of the world’s few events where the coffee is free but water costs. It was all good. There were free muffins, and an Oxfam stall where these wonderful bags made fruit juice packs were for sale. I wonder if everyone else was as ignorant as me about Yarra Boulevard. Did you know that by going to the river end of Gipps St, following the bridge across the Yarra, and continuing up the path straight ahead, you reach Yarra Boulevard, and can then ride along an undulating and winding riverside bushland boulevard which starts nowhere in particular, ends nowhere, and is seemingly only used by late model Mercedes? Continue reading “Riding on a car-free Yarra Boulevard”

Breakfast at the Collingwood Children’s Farm

Long have I waited before posting about the Collingwood Children’s Farm. Meanwhile, a Farm Flickr group has been created. The first post about Abbotsford’s most precious and wonderful asset was supposed to be fittingly splendid. Well, it’s going to be mundane, just eggs and coffee. For the missing Abbotsford breakfastry is upon us, and in a glorious way that the sniffy author of The Breakfast Blog would probably loathe. His readers seem to think that Collingwood is a “Northern suburb” and Abbotsford rates not a review, while Collingwood rates only two, for Gluttony and Cafe Rosamond which latter I must confess I am now curious about.

The missing breakfastry is the Collingwood Children’s Farm Cafe, open Tuesday to Saturday 9.30 to 4.30 during school holidays and “Wednesday to Sunday otherwise”. Continue reading “Breakfast at the Collingwood Children’s Farm”

A day of unhealthy eating on Johnston St: Bomb, Ilk Bar, Kooshi

Yesterday my curiosity about this place prompted me to detour from my otherwise rigidly fixed route to work on my bike, in my suit. It doesn’t exactly leap out at you when driving past as the missing breakfastry of Abbotsford, and even after peering through this window last Sunday when it was closed, its true nature did not reveal itself, but Bomb Cafe & Bar, as I have discovered it is known (229 Johnston St, not far from the corner of Hoddle St, 9486 0699) is a great spot. Like so many long thin places on Johnston St, a small front section gives onto a middle room and then a magnificent back yard graced by a large peppercorn tree. The hot breakfast menu looked promising, the people behind the coffee machines engaging, but I had a pastry with custard and raspberries with my coffee. Steak, red wine, and salad followed by cheese and walnuts at Vue de Monde didn’t really help at lunch. Continue reading “A day of unhealthy eating on Johnston St: Bomb, Ilk Bar, Kooshi”

Sean D: photographer laureate of Fitzroy and the world of coffee

At Books for Cooks last weekend, I bought a Sean D photocard of a 1950s Gaggia coffee machine, a beautiful thing. Anyone who’s spent a bit of time wandering down Brunswick St of a weekend has probably bumped into Sean, his card table, and his photocards. He takes beautiful photos of coffee and cafes (and other things), and his website has pages devoted to Indian Coffee Houses and Cuban Cafe Culture. Blogging makes you google your day’s events, and I googled Sean D only to learn that he has these twin plans: to cycle from Oslo to Cape Town, and to walk 3700 km from Prague to Santiago de Compostella, the great pilgrimmage mecca for European Catholics. He is an eccentric, and a likeable one, and one whose grand amibitions I am delighted to finance in a minimal and occasional way.