Australiana

Some short observations from my recent trip:

Only in the same sense as Captain Renault could you possibly be shocked (shocked!) by what Bancroft drops into his pants.

The 90th percentile quality coffee in Melbourne (random mall coffee) is at (approximately) the level of the 10th percentile coffee in Chicago. While there’s plenty of good coffee in Chicago, you don’t want into a random cafe and expect to get something drinkable. You also don’t expect any random place to have a top of the line Marzocco machines. But if you want a few recommendations in the neighbourhood of either Lygon street or near the state library, I can suggest Market Lane/Pool House/Seven Seeds/Vincent the Dog/The League of Honest Coffee/Vertue of the Coffee Drink to get you started. Expert tip at US hipster cafes: order a magic (3/4 flat white with double ristretto), then look unimpressed when they don’t know what you are talking about.

More Coffee!More Coffee!Even More Coffee!

While you’re near the state library, stop off in the reading room for some speed chess (victory is mine!)

Australia has a lot of long beaches, and I don’t mean long in the sense of fractal dimension greater than one. I mean in the sense of having several miles of pristine beach to yourself:

Beach

Fight terrorism with philosophy! (and concrete bollards):

Chicago Philosophy

I always assumed that A’Beckett St was named after the turbulent priest. Not So! Apparently it is named after the first chief justice of Victoria. Upon learning this, I checked out the origins of the other street names in Melbourne’s CBD. Four of the North-South (ish) streets in order include (at some point) King-William-Queen-Elizabeth, and it is “common knowledge” that these streets are so named in pairs. Also false! William is named for King William IV, and Queen for Queen Adelaide, but King is named for Philip Gidley King, the governor of NSW from 1800-1806, and Elizabeth was “possibly” named for the wife of another Governor of NSW, Richard Bourke. (I did of course know that Bourke St (named after the guv) was not named after Burke, the explorer who (with Wills) became famous for his ludicrous incompetence.

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One Response to Australiana

  1. ME says:

    The several miles of beach to oneself is one of the things I miss.

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