Panama Dining Room

I do like the Panama Dining Room on Smith St. Used to be a pool hall, when the floor below was a Latin Band venue — The Stage — which used to go off, and where I had some of my best evenings. Now The Age is onto it, and here’s their review. In fact, they like it so much they reviewed it again. It has that up 2 flights of stairs, you have to know about it excellence, but unlike so many such places, it is an expansive place once you get up there. There is a free pool table, and apparently on Sundays they have table tennis. They only got a sign recently. This one will be with us for a long time, like Spleen, and The Lounge, and 20 Myers Place. The photo of the Room’s bar is by Ben Richards, one of the Crumpler crew whose HQ is not so far away from the Room. Here are some more of his lovely Room photos: Continue reading “Panama Dining Room”


I couldn’t make the Collingwood Historical Society‘s annual walk yesterday, a damn shame since it was specifically about the industrial history of Abbotsford. Perhaps someone can provide me with some tidbits they learnt. The very first Abbotsford blogger, Bruce, went, and shared a smidgen on his blog.

The Lord sprayed sunshine and chirping birds on the annual fair of the Convent’s Rudolph Steiner school, Sophia Mundi (pictured). The junior school is in the Convent’s grounds, while the senior school remains in the Nicholson St building where I had been to previous fairs. It was a good fair, and suggested a well-run school. I took a look at the kindergarten on Abbotsford St a hop skip and a jump away, too. It’s called Little Sophia Rudolph Steiner Kindergarten, and also looked good. Some good friends of mine had a Steiner education. Steiner invented biodynamic agriculture, which holds the phases of the moon as important to when to grow things, anthroposophic medicine, and Waldorf education. He was also an architect, artist, and writer who presented more lectures than Justice Michael Kirby. There are 1,000 Steiner schools around the world. Rudolph thought the Germans were pretty special, and was influenced by Goethe. My hopelessly ignorant suspicion is that though Rudolph may have been pretty cool at the time (he died in 1925) thoughtless adherence to his more curious views today may be inadvisable. The feeling I got from the school was that they had probably embraced the good and moved with the times. The location is of course to die for, and the downsides — I postulate that eurythmy may be a downside — must be seen in the context of the upsides, like access to the Convent and the Yarra and the Children’s Farm.

Best new website this century? Melbourne bike paths plotted on Google world

Now this is what I call a great inovation: Bikely.  It plots bike paths, and users’ favourite on-road bike routes, on a street directory, and lets you look at the map in three views: standard street directory, Google world satellite imagery, or the latter with key roads superimposed (‘hybrid view’). Check out the 10 km loop taking in the Yarra Boulevard here, for example, and the instructions here.  All Abbotsford routes here.  The first hyperlink in this post are to all Victorian routes — 1616 of them. It also has running routes, which must also be walking routes.  It will be interesting to see whether it is possible to put links to Flickr images in the instructions. Maybe one day I’ll finish this blog’s first ever post, and plot the King Walk from the Carringbush to Dights Falls on the site as a running route. The beautiful photo is courtesy of A J Shcroetlin of Colorado.  Leave a comment if you think this site is as great as I do.