27 March 2015

How to Order a Coffee in Paris

"Hé Élodie, comment ça va? Are you going to the pâtisserie?  Could you get me some of those delicious bonbons? You know the ones: little and brown with the swirls of chocolat,

11 March 2015

Melbourne Street Art – Pigeon

Melbourne has some amazing street art. I saw this little fella somewhere near the corner of Grattan Street and Bouverie Street in Carlton.

I thought it was real, for a second.

2 March 2015

What the Smurf is going on in the Australian Cabinet?

[First published in The Big Smoke on 5 February 2015, without these images]

When Papa Smurf sunburns, he turns purple.
The Smurfs have infiltrated the Australian government. They’ve morphed their blue skin and white pants into blue ties and white shirts. Have you ever wondered why blue is the chosen the colour of the Liberal party?

The Smurfs are no longer the loveable, creatures that want to spread love and joy. Now they just want to spread Real Solutions. Here are a few of the major players:

Papa Smurf

The Grand Schtroumpf. Leader of the Smurfs. Skilled in magic and alchemy. He used magic to make an economic crisis appear from thin air and asylum seekers disappear. For his next trick, he intends to make climate change disappear. Not actual climate change, just the idea of it. He also repealed the carbon tax and so somehow considers himself the Smurf for Women.

28 February 2015

Melbourne Buskers – MASA (Bucket Drummer)

This guy was on Swanston Street the other day. I watched him for a few minutes before I started recording. I kept watching for a few minutes after I stopped recording. He didn't stop for a break in all that time. Pretty cool.

His name is Kato Masamich. Here's his Facebook and Twitter details.

19 February 2015

Sidney Myer Free Concerts

A few times every year, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) holds free open-air concerts at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. These concerts were first started in 1929 by Sidney Myer, a businessman and philanthropist (and violinist).

16 February 2015

Easter's has come early

There are already chocolate Easter bunnies in the supermarket. Of course, the word "Easter" hasn't been mentioned (officially it's a Giant Sitting Rabbit),  but we all know why they're really there.

By this logic, perhaps I should probably start drinking to celebrate my birthday in 2016.

5 February 2015

10 Reasons You Should Visit Sydney

I went to Sydney a few weeks ago. I'm from Melbourne and I've been to Sydney many times before, but this time I went with an open mind – forgetting all about the silly Melbourne–Sydney rivalry. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Sydney is actually a pretty awesome place. Here are ten reasons you absolutely must go there:

1. Kangaroo balls.

Forget cheap imitations. Head to the The Rocks Markets on weekends and get yourself a real pair. You know, for good luck... and stuff.


8 January 2015

Hot Stormy Day at St Kilda Beach

It was hot yesterday in Melbourne – the temperature rose to 36 degrees – so I went to St Kilda beach in the afternoon. But, as is typical of Melbourne, the weather turned cloudy and rainy. There were big storms in Melbourne's eastern suburbs.

29 October 2014

The most beautiful bookshop in the world

El Ateneo Grand Splendid, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is regarded as one of the world's most beautiful bookshops. The building first opened as a theatre, Teatro Gran Splendid, in 1919 with a seating capacity of 1,050. It was converted to a cinema in 1929, and then into a book (and music) store in 2000.

30 July 2014

No money? No asylum

Somalians displaced by drought queue for refugee registration, in the heat of the sun.
Somalis displaced by drought queue for refugee registration. [DFID/Flickr]

My ancestors were refugees from the Armenian Genocide. Chart is the Armenian word for massacre; it’s also one of the first words Armenian kids learn today. When I was five, my father explained, "In 1915 the Ottomans killed 1.5 million Armenians." He spoke of death marches across the Syrian Desert and systematic killings of women and children—a great