I got my hair cut at Dr Follicles today, and had a coffee from Birdman Eating, which I have earlier written about. The Bird Man has got his liquor licence up and running nicely, and has a drinks and tapas thing happening of an evening — though he was kind of distancing himself from the ‘tapas’ concept (despite the menu saying ‘Evening Tapas’) in favour of the small meals to share concept. You can have green beans for $7.50, zucchini and fetta fritters for $8, grilled ox tongue with beetroot, capers and horseradish for $11.50, shanks for $14.50, crispy duck for $16.50 or go the hack with a sliced hunk of steak covered with a piquant salsa for $28.50. This guy’s saucy: I love the attitude associated with ‘Black pudding with eggplant kusundi and leek croquettes.’ I’m going there for drinks one night, because he’s also dishing up Milawa Gold Washed Rind cheese with apple jelly, and hot cinnamon doughnuts with chocolate sauce. My coffee was truly memorably good, which either means Matt Preston, who also gave the Bird Man a great review in today’s Age, was wrong, or the Bird Man has taken the critcism to heart.
The Age reported yesterday that the median Abbotsford property sale price — that is the middle number when all the sales results are lined up in chronological order — was 12.7% higher in the first three months of this year compared with the last three months of last year. But there were fewer than 30 sales results in the line of numbers, and the data are therefore implicitly not statistically reliable. The median was $575,000 in the first 3 months of this year, compared with the median for the whole of Melbourne of $380,000, and the median for houses within 10 km of the city of $566,000 (that figure is up 15% on a year ago, compared with the whole of Melbourne figure which is up only 5.3%). Richmond and Collingwood were also up about 10%, but Fitzroy — also with fewer than 30 sales — and Clifton Hill were down about 5%. The median sale prices in the last 3 months were: Continue reading “Abbotsford house prices go up”
St. Kilda is the most densely populated suburb in Victoria, Australia’s most densely populated state (ACT aside). Only Coogee, Bronte and Bondi, West Sydney and North Sydney are more densely populated. But parts of Fitzroy and Collingwood are more densely populated still according to KPMG partner and population analyst Bernard Salt.
Victoria’s population hit 5 million recently, of whom 3.7 million lived in Melbourne as at June 2006, compared with 4.3 million in Sydney. Sydney only caught up with Melbourne’s size at federation, but Salt suggests Melbourne may overtake Sydney, the growth rate of which is less than Melbourne’s.
The Age has helpfully identified “10 of the best” — I like the modesty of these words in a best of list — inventive cheap eats. Southern Richmond’s Pearl gets an honourable mention for $16 eggs on toast (keep it real, Cheap Eats), but I have to admit it’s one of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to, and you can go there for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a drink. Then the Builder’s Arms on Gertrude Street Fitzroy comes in at number 3 for a $14 “3 mint pea soup with smoked paprika butter with steamed prawns” which sounds rather good. And Replete just down from MLC in Hawthorn, but metres away from being Kew, gets another gong at #6 for $12.50 ricotta hotcakes with lemon curd and strawberries. Thanks to Flickr’s Spin Spin for the photo of an uncommonly unpopulated image of the Builder’s Arms.
What are festivals coming to in this city? The Swedish Fair at the Swedish Church is what you might call a good festival, and the festivals out in the sticks which are genuine community celebrations by Buddhists, Hindus, Tibetans and Whathaveyous are beaut. But so many festivals are just so crud: the Lygon St Fiesta, the Antipodes Festival, and to a lesser extent, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year Festival which was on yesterday. A festival is not a row of shops allowed to sell their things at outside tables, a stage with a band, and an Ikea van with some vaguely pan-Asian decorated kitchen. Am I being too harsh? Mine was a short visit. What do other people think? Continue reading “Victoria St Vietnamese Lunar New Year Festival”
Ronald Ryan, the last man executed in Australia, was a Richmond man, or at least that’s where his family lived at the time of his execution. Carlton man Barry Dickins wrote a play about the execution which occurred 40 years ago on Saturday. The outstanding Abbotsford publication Eureka Street, has an article by Jesuit prison reform advocate Father Peter Norden this week. There is to be a little gathering outside the gates of former-Pentridge-prison-future-New-York-style-loft-style- apartments on Saturday mo(u)rning.
Van Nguyen, executed in Singapore almost 14 months ago, was also a Richmond boy in the sense that he went to the parish school of St. Ignatius, where the bells tolled 25 times, once for each year of his life following his death by State homicide. That church is also where a memorial service for Ronald Ryan will be held later on Saturday. Thanks to the talented Philip Anthonie R. Cruz of Manila for the amazing image.
It has been a mountain goat day. The Mountain Goats were drinking Mountain Goat at The Corner this evening, a pleasure the punters were denied, Mountain Goat’s founders were on The 7.30 Report calling for a moratorium on excise on microbrewed beer, their Richmond brewery presumably held their weekly Goatage tonight, where the brewery turns into a pub, and John Darnielle — theconstant member of the ensembles which have over time performed as “the Mountain Goats” — sang about magpies in Richmond to an adoring goddam piercingly screaming crowd, a big crowd, and brought him and his little frantic guitar and vocals sometimes duet sometimes trio within the rubric of this little newspaper. Snap by husband of Bonsai Butterfly from Georgia, in Montana, with thanks. Continue reading “Mountain Goats (The)”