Skip to main content

Puff Piece

Melbourne is supposed to be a foodies' paradise, but what would be open on Good Friday?

We walk along the south bank of the Yarra from our hotel until the Princes Bridge. Past the casino and the celebrity chef restaurants that exist outside our price range.

Crossing the Yarra, we head to Federation Square where the Moon exhibition is on display in the Atrium. By exhibition, I mean an inflated realistic Moon suspended from the ceiling with some electronic soundtrack.

We cross the road near the remarkable Forum and walk down graffited Hosier Lane with all the other tourists taking selfies with the art. Back down to Swanston Street where the other two buy sushi from a chain store for their brunch. I save my stomach for later.

The chain stores disappear to be reached by interesting Asian eateries. We turn left at Little Lonsdale Street and keep walking until we reach where I was looking for: Puff House, hidden next to an Asian grocery.

Oh, the light and flaky pastry of the chicken curry puff! The sweet and crumbly pork pies. So good!

We turn left again at Elizabeth Street. So many shops I recognise from decades ago, so many new. 

At the bottom of Bourke Street Mall, we catch the tram to Docklands City, our first family ride in a tram for a long time. 

Docklands City is mostly closed. We walk through to the troubled and now permanently closed Melbourne Star giant ferris wheel. A few restaurants are open. But where are here for the Imaginaria.

The Imaginaria is a darkened inflated tent with various interactive lightshow displays and projections. There are beanbags to relax and enjoy some exhibits, others involve climbing and jumping. It's not big, but it is both soothing and, sometimes, a little disturbing in a good way. We really enjoy it. 

We walk back through the Docklands to our hotel. Many shops and restaurants in the Docklands are closed. Not just for the Good Friday holiday, but judging by the unread letters on the floor, for good. 

The Docklands were once the working port of Melbourne. Some converted warehouses remain, old train tracks in the paved path. Most buildings are modern apartment towers and offices, some architecture interesting, others rather awful. 

Blue and white North Melbourne Kangaroos and red and blue Western Bulldogs AFL fans stream towards Marvel Stadium for the night's game. 

We return to our room to find our room uncleaned due to number of check-ins on Good Friday and possibly staff off due to covid. Hope they feel better soon and can take the rest they need. That's more important than a clean room. 

Alex is hungry again, so after a short rest we head back out, catching the free tram back to Bourke Street Mall. Wandering around through Hardware Lane, where the one restaurant we want to dine at is booked out and Little Lonsdale where another is closed, we somehow find ourselves back at Puff House. 

We chilli burn our lips on tasty har mee noodles and takeaway yet more curry puffs and a pork pie. They really are great. 

Heading back via trams and legs, Alex is still hungry and we buy him pizza at the Crown Casino food court, crowded with punters determined to lose. 

We walked almost nine kilometres today, according to our phones, and passed plenty of places whose food we want to try. Maybe we will over the next couple of days! 


Popular posts from this blog

Ho Chi Minh to Hoi An

The easy way to get to Hoi An from Ho Chi Minh City is to fly to Danang then go via car for the final leg. Then there's my way. We had to wake at 5.30 am to get ready for a 6.15 departure from the hotel. A hotel car took us the few kilometres to the domestic terminal at the airport, where we checked into our Vietnam Airlines flight to the central Vietnam city of Hue. The airport was nothing flash, but it seemed functional. Alex had sandwiches (refused banh mi) for breakfast, then we went to the gate. Our blue Airbus A321 was parked at a remote stand, which necessitated a packed shuttle bus ride. It was nice to be aboard a full service airline again, even if the service was just a cup of water. We took off over the hazy skies of Ho Chi Minh City and for most of the smooth flight were cruising over a carpet of cloud. We descended over mountains poking their heads through the cloud, across lakes and paddy fields and over the beach. It was lovely scenery.

A lazy day at the beach

It's 2am and somebody is still setting fireworks off on the beach in front of the hotel. I can't see the explosions as I have the window shuttered, but I can still hear them. I've wanted to have a lazy day and today was the closest I got. I woke up in the night from a very sad dream. Dreams follow crazy paths, but this one resolved itself as so. An entity had been causing disruption of computer systems around the world. It turned out that this entity had emerged from the computer networks and had been struggling to gain access to more computing power so that it could live. The entity had taken on the persona of a woman. The protagonist who had "defeated" the entity discovered that it was alive, spoke to it. Ultimately fell in love with her. But his prior actions would lead to its death. As a gift to her he downloaded his memories so that she could experience life even as she died. I know it sounds like a pulpy sf or technopunk plot, but dreams are about feelings,

The Carlingford Line

We close the year and the decade with a local adventure to mark the closure of a railway line. On the January 5, 2020, the Carlingford Line from Clyde will close to be partially replaced by the Parramatta Light Rail. This is Sydney's quietest line, a single track branch for most of its length from the industrial centre of Clyde to the northwestern suburb of Carlingford. According to Wikipedia, power supply and signalling issues mean that only a single four car train can utilise the line at a time. Newer Sydney trains run in fixed eight car configurations. This will be the first and last time I traverse the Carlingford Line in its current configuration. The weather of the day is certainly appropriate for an ending, the brown smoke haze lending an apocalyptic air to proceedings. I drive to Padstow and catch the T8 line to Central, followed by the T1 towards Parramatta and Penrith. The historic homes of the Inner West give way to industrial complexes, rail storage yards and t