Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Project: Make Kath Cry

I know the suburb where Kath lived when she lived in greater Melbourne and it is a long way away from her present abode in Geneva. I could pinpoint her location even better if I back read her blog, but that would look like I cared too much and maybe a bit stalker like. Kath seems to have settled into Swiss life, but of course there must be moments of nostalgia. I thought if I took and posted some photos of her suburb, then I might make her cry. Aren't I the kindest person?

That was the plan but it didn't quite work out like that. In fact the day was full of surprises. Flemington is the 'burb, but looking at maps, I am not sure where the Flemington shops proper are. The project was put on hold. But while studying maps I noticed the suburb known as Travencore, with its streets named after places in India. That's interesting.

My eyes stray across to Royal Park. Ah, the Trin Warren Tam-Boore wetlands. From memory, Melbourne City Council takes water from here to use on our public gardens, or did so in the drought. I might go and see them.

Ah, a shopping plaza at Newmarket. I vaguely recall the Newmarket area, but I couldn't visualise the shops along Racecourse Road. I could get the train to Newmarket, take a look around, and then catch the tram to Royal Park and have a look at the wetlands. Sounds like a plan.

The train only took ten minutes to get there, once I remembered to look for the Cragieburn train and not the Broadmeadows train. So Cross Station, North Melbourne, Flemington and then Newmarket. I noticed for the first time that the viaduct between Flinders Street Station and Southern Cross Station is actually two separate viaducts, one quite old and made of bricks and metal and the other newer and made of concrete.

The Newmarket station exit leads directly to the shopping centre, but it was only a supermarket and a few shops. I bought a pie from the bakery and sat on a seat near a playground and the station to eat it. As I sat down and ate my pie I checked on my phone maps exactly where the wetlands were in Royal Park. Damn, they are not shown on the phone version of Google Maps or Whereis. Maybe I can locate them from memory. Right a tram to Royal Park, and as I approached Racecourse Road, one sailed by. Damn. Twelve minutes perhaps till the next one. I turned in the direction of the departing tram and look, under the rail bridge, there are local shops for local people on other side. Goody. Old shops mostly, with stylish architecture. The Douta Galla Hotel is grand looking. I was scratching my head at Doutta Galla. I could remember it is or was the name of an electorate. Hmm, bit interesting. Where did the name Jika Jika come from? I walked along a bit and decided I would miss the next tram and have coffee instead. I backtracked back to the corner near the rail bridge and I had a surprising experience.

Would you think you would get the best cafe latte you have ever had in your life in Newmarket? Verb Cafe is on the corner of Racecourse Road and Pin Oak Crescent. Verb can contact me via my blog eddress for my life time supply of cups of coffee. It looked like a pretty interesting place to eat too. Hmmm, its proper address is Flemington. Perhaps Newmarket is one of the non real places. Maybe I am in Kath's territory. Maybe she has partaken of what Verb has to offer. Maybe the Woolworths supermarket was her local, where she shopped.

Right, onto the tram to Royal Park. I'd better make a part two as I seem to have become rather verbose.

The resplendent Doutta Galla Hotel.

The DG pub again, as I leisurely sipped a cup of the fine coffee at Verb Cafe.


  1. Oh Andrew, you wonderful DIAMOND of a man! LOVE Verb's coffee and visited the 'Dout' for a meal occasionally but it was very loud.

    As you'll have discovered, Racecourse Road is a pretty shabby 'ol precinct which isn't helped by the huge volume of traffic that roars along it + the derros who like to drink under the railway bridge.

    Newmarket Safeway looks fairly ordinary too but was a decent place to shop. Most of the checkout chicks knew me and used to comment on what chocolates I was buying and which were my recommendations. (Unfortunately when A Current Affair filmed me doing chocolate reviews, Safeway weren't keen on being 'revealed', so we went to the Ascot Market on Mt Alexander Road instead.

    Next time you're there and you fancy some Asian food, keep walking up the side street from Verb (Pin Oak) and have a feast at Chef Lagenda.

    *sniffle sniffle* I may not have been born in Flemington but first living there with Love Chunks in 1994 and returning in 2008 to buy a house (which we will NEVER sell), it feels like home. Shabby with hints of grandeur and loads of character - home.

  2. I was going to say do not make Kath cry but she has been here already.
    My friend used to live in Mulgrave street and when I got the tram there to see her one time I was the only paleface.

  3. So nice of you to give Kath these fresh memories, Andrew. You're a good friend. And the bonus is that you discovered great coffee!

  4. Lived in Racecourse Road a few doors up from the Crosby Shoe Factory on the corner when i was a wee tacker in the 60's and went Boundary Road State School :-).

  5. Kath, I liked the local shops. Plenty of character. The traffic did not worry me, but then it was late morning and not peak time. No derros were encountered in the research for this post. Safeway, as in most places now, is Woolworths. I noticed a couple of Asian restaurants in the side street. You last sentence sums it up well. It is a place for people, a village.

    Ann, I didn't really noticed most people, except for a couple of heavily garbed muslim women.

    I did find good coffee River, and I was surprised but probably shouldn't have been.

  6. Very familiar to you then Windsmoke. Well, much will have changed I guess.

  7. Hey Andrew,

    Alice from Whereis (and a former Parkville resident) here. You can find Royal Park on Whereis here:

    Btw, make sure you check out Laksa King on Pin Oak Crescent, Flemington. People come from all sides of Melbourne for their famous seafood curry laksa. Delish!!

    Alice from Whereis.

  8. That hotel used to be known by another name, I used to go every Sunday night. I think it was Sundays. All those nights out have made my memory quite hazy.

  9. Thanks Alice, indeed Royal Park does show on Whereis on my phone, but the wetlands don't. I saw them on the Melways. Btw, I do like Whereis. I think I noticed Laksa King.

  10. Fen, Geebung Polo Club? I thought the only Geebung was in Riversdale Road.

  11. Fen it was the Sydney Liars' Club when we first lived there in 1994