Good morning.  Time to update this thing.

We’ve done quite a bit since my last post, so I’m going to try to keep this as concise as possible.  Like any good writer, I think I’m supposed to begin with a thesis statement, which should establish some purpose and direction.  So, here goes.

Melbourne is the best city I have ever been to.

Now, here’s where I’m supposed to elaborate.

Melbourne is the best city I have ever been to.  I really do say this with complete honesty and objectivity; it has nothing to do with the fact that it is “my city” for the next few months.  It is better than New York, better than Montreal, better than Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Madrid and Rome.  And although bittersweet, it has an edge on Philadelphia as well.  I think I would describe Melbourne as having the diversity and “hustle and bustle” (I don’t really like this term but meh, couldn’t find a better one) of New York City, the cleanliness and sharpness of Montreal, and the vivacity and color of Chicago.  My fancy vocabulary probably doesn’t quite do Melbourne justice, but since I’ve heard that pictures speak 1,000 words or something similar, I’m gonna give that a shot.I’ve actually started to run quite a bit.  Generally, I’ll just run towards the city center, which can probably be best marked by Flinders Street Station about 3.5km away (I’m supposed to start using the metric system, right?).  Below is a map, and some things I might pass along the way.

Choosing William Street, I’ll pretty quickly run into Flagstaff Gardens, shown here:

Taking Swanston Street, which is a bit busier, I would pass by the following:


Finally, we arrive at Flinders Street, which borders the Yarra River.  Here are some shots of the train station, and the adjacent Federation Square, which is where the Australian Open matches were shown on that big LCD.

Heading east down the Yarra, passing by the Melbourne Aquarium (supposedly amazing) Crown Casino (fantastic atmosphere, packs the same over-the-top awesomeness of a Fleisher bar mitzvah), and a ton of riverside restaurants and bars, we get to the real pictures.  The Skyline.  The Big Show.  Melbourne, Australia.

So yes, it is in fact rather pleasant here.  Moving on…the people.

Melburnians, as predicted, are extremely friendly.  For example, we asked a local for directions the other day while searching for a bar showing the Super Bowl.  The man said that he was unsure about where we should go, but upon overhearing that I believed we were walking towards Bourke Street, he chased us down (maybe 25 feet, or 8 meters ugh) and politely informed me that we were heading in the wrong direction.  This very kind, helpful attitude is pretty universal in Australia.  Incredibly welcoming.

I started with personality traits, because beauty of course lies within, but allow me to progress to the exterior.

Australian girls are attractive.  My.  god. It’s utterly absurd walking down the street and just seeing these girls everywhere.  Furthermore, the sheer fact that they are Australian, chirpin’ in their make-your-heart-melt accent, boosts their stock through the roof.

I kind of like it here.

We’ve actually had a bunch of great nights out already, and even a little road trip, but I’d like to finish discussing some more elementary truths about the city before I elaborate.

The architecture here is really cool. It is all very modern, and can probably be best characterized by a crisp, rectangular geometry. Here are some examples:

Sorry to tease with beach pictures.  Hope you are all enjoying the snow.

Next, food.  The food is fantastic, as in most great cities.  However, there is one particularly exciting development: sushi.  There is sushi literally everywhere.  Most noticeably, there are several sushi chains, which serve what I’ll call above-average supermarket quality sushi, which is certainly acceptable.  It’s all rather cheap too, maybe like $3 AUD for a 6-piece roll.  In addition, my nerdy sushi research tells me that there are excellent sushi restaurants in large numbers, but I haven’t tried any out yet.

The last thing I’ll discuss is the beach.  The most popular beach in Melbourne is St. Kilda, which is widely regarded by Australians as a “piece of shit” beach.  I dunno, I guess you can decide?

The reason we went was for St. Kilda Festival, which is a week long music festival.  St. Kilda is an extremely young, progressive area, with a ton of hipster liberals and what my rookie-self believes to be a beautiful beach.  As fate would have it, we stumble upon the “gay pride” faction of the festival, which was expectedly colorful.  Here are Alex and Jeff mingling with the locals:

Definitely see myself coming to St. Kilda quite often, but possibly to find a bit more of a heterosexual crowd.  We’ll see though.

This is getting long. Unfortunately for those aiming to live vicariously through my stories (Maria Lodge), this blog only takes place between the hours of 12pm and 8pm. There’s a bunch of stories I’ve been forced to leave out, but feel free to send me a charming e-mail ( if you’d like to hear some.

Like I said, we took a lil’ roadie to the Great Ocean Road, but I’ll leave that for the next update though. Here’s a teaser pic for good measure:

Not bad really.

Here’s where I sign off.  Kind of pissed I’m missing this snowstorm, but it’s warm and sunny here so no real complaints.

Miss and love you all,


P.S. The goon wine sucks. I’m going to search for a shady Korean market with affordable beer today.