Tag Archives: Avenue Q

10 things to do in Melbourne

As a Sydneysider, I am conditioned to think that Sydney is better than Melbourne. As much as I love Sydney, I still enjoy visiting Melbourne and can appreciate the city for its differences. Be it for a girls weekend, a wedding, a couples retreat, or to visit cousins- I’ve always had a good time in Melbourne-town.

First of all, the shopping in Melbourne is better than Sydney. It has the flagship H & M store, which is bigger than any that I have seen anywhere else and they have the few remaining Mango shops in Australia. Chapel St also has few more different fashion options.

I love shopping in the little laneways like the Block Arcade and the Royal Arcade with Suga- a shop where you can see them roll out and make yummy lollies. My favourite jewellery shop, The Rose Garden on the Walk Arcade, is where I bought all my wedding jewellery and accessories.

The next best thing about Melbourne is the shows. The theatre district near Chinatown always has a great blockbuster like Chicago or Avenue Q, sometimes before they make it to Sydney.

The beautiful National Gallery of Victoria is my top sight seeing pick. I was lucky enough to catch the Degas exhibit last time I was there- one of my favourite artists. The water-featured entry way always gets me straight away and the modern layout is spacious and light.

The Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium is also fantastic. The wonderful Emperor Penguins make it better than Sydney Aquarium, especially as they still have a shark tunnel.

Another good spot is the huge Fitzroy Gardens complete with Captain Cook’s Cottage. Melbourne loves its English style parks, and this one is my top pick.

Melbourne is known for its great restaurants from world class fine dining, to the Italian precinct on Lygon Street and casual laneway dining experiences like the Meatball and Wine Bar and Touche Hombre. All delicious!

It is also renowned for its serious café culture. And I must admit that these Melbourne-ites know how to elevate a café to the next level. My recent top pick is #hash with its signature hot chocolate science experiment served with fairy floss.

My favourite suburb in Melboure is St Kilda. It has the original Luna Park, the famous Esplande Hotel where they filmed The Secret Life of Us, the Beachcomber Café at St Kilda Baths and the weekend markets. I was lucky enough to live and work here for a couple of months and play the local, catching a tram into the office everyday.

With the newly renovated Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and me working on the conference circuit, there was another year that I went to Melbourne a lot. It was good as to discover the adjoining Southbank area with the Crown Casino and Rockpool Bar and Grill, both of which I rate better than their Sydney counterparts.

And of course the DFO is right near the convention centre for any last minute shopping emergencies, like suddenly finding out that you need to attend networking drinks at the Old Melbourne Goal.

And then there’s the tennis. Even this non-sports-lover has to admit that watching the tennis in Melbourne for the weekend was atmospheric; and I didn’t even get bored.

Related posts: Sydney vs Melbourne, 10 things to do in Sydney, Small town vs Big city

New York, 2005, Part 2: Sex and the City style!

It was my 27th birthday, I was in New York and I was determined to do all the New York things I wanted to do.

I started with the International Centre of Photography as I have always had an interest in photography and very much wanted to visit this particular museum while I was here. Part of the exhibit was from the movie Kids which was a bit confronting, but interesting all the same.

The number one thing I wanted to do in New York was go on the Sex and the City tour as it is one of my favourite shows. So I did. We started at the Plaza Hotel near Central Park, went to the Takashimaya shop on 5th avenue which was where the girls had looked at perfumes and visited a Manolo Blanik store of course.

Next up was the Pleasure Chest sex shop, followed by a Magnolia Bakery cupcake (from their sister bakery) in the Abington Square Park playground. The best bit was going to Carrie’s street and apartment and Aiden’s bar Scout (actually called O’Neils in real life) for a cosmopolitan at the end of the tour.

The next best thing I wanted to do was go to the top of the Empire State Building. So I met my friend Phil at the bottom in the big line up for the lifts. The line was so long that we missed the sunset, but got an awesome view of the Chrysler Building and New York City by night instead.

For dinner I wanted my favourite cuisine of Thai. It was much harder to find a Thai restaurant in New York than Sydney, but maybe you just need to know the right people who know where to go.

The next day we took a walk down the Avenue of the Americas and ended up at the Municipal Building where I had a pretzel- very yummy and very New York I am led to believe.

We explored the famous New York Subway system and I found that I had caught a cold from the boat ride under Iguazu Falls and was exhausted after four and a half days of sight-seeing in New York. So I left Phil on his journey to Brooklyn Bridge, got off at 14th Street – Eighth Avenue and wandered through the Chelsea art gallery area to watch a movie in a cinema near Times Square.

It was Memorial Day weekend so Times Square was overflowing with people and there were street dancers performing for the crowd.

When in New York, you must catch a Broadway show. So, that evening Phil and I went to Avenue Q on Broadway with Trekkie monster who swears a lot- very funny.

5 days was definitely not enough in New York and I couldn’t wait to come back to now one of my favourite cities in the world.

Related posts: New York, 2005, Part 1: Taking a bite, Argentina, 2005, Buenos Aires, 2005

By special request…

When I was a teenager, all my friends wanted to go to the Big Day Out and I just wanted to see a Janet Jackson concert.

When I started to go out, I got right into dance music and I had all the Ministry of Sound albums. I danced for hours at the Krafty Kuts show and went to music festivals like Good Vibrations and Harbourlife.

My entire CD collection was stolen while I was at university, which probably doesn’t sound so bad in these days of iTunes technology, but at the time it was devastating. Even after replacing many albums, my collection has never been the same.

Working in grass roots events early on in my career, I found myself driving all day with a packed car to places like Parkes and Gunnedah. My CD’s were my friends on these drives- they would pass the time, keep me awake and exercise my vocal chords.

In melancholy moods I listen to The Cranberries, Portishead or Dido. In more upbeat times I favour Texas, Fat Boy Slim or Black Eyed Peas. I have always liked Sheryl Crow and her wonderful lyrics.

But my all-time favourite band is Garbage. My friend Sarah introduced me to their debut album in 1997 and I have been a fan ever since. After not releasing an album for seven years, “Not Your Kind of People” hit the shelves in 2012 and I was lucky enough to catch their accompanying live show in Sydney.

My mum first took me to a musical when I was younger and I have been addicted to show tickets ever since.

I will go to pretty much anything by Shakespeare and have dragged my husband to The Complete Works of William Shakespeare and Romeo and Juliet.

I love watching the ballet at the Sydney Opera House and have been lucky enough to see The Nutcracker at Christmas time and most recently, Cinderella.

Of course, my obsession with vampires has led me to see more than one show at Dracula’s.

I like to catch a show while travelling and have seen Lady Salsa on the Gold Coast, Cirque Du Soleil in Las Vegas, the Lion King in London and Avenue Q in New York.

Recent musicals that I have enjoyed are Strictly Ballroom for the Spanish dancing, Legally Blonde for American cheese and Priscilla Queen of the Desert for the fabulous costumes.

But my favourite musical so far is Chicago which I saw after a bottle of wine with my bestie on a Melbourne girl’s trip. The question is- was it the wine, the company or the show? Perhaps a combination of all three.

Thanks to all my theatre buddies past and present- you know who you are! I hope you have enjoyed the show as much as I have.

Related posts: I first started writing, Home is where you make it, All Creatures Great and Small