Borsch, Vodka, Tears and Graffiti

Hello! It’s Wednesday morning AEST and we’re finally getting used to the time difference. Despite the jet lag we’ve powered through and actually done quite a few things already! I’m running a little behind so I’ll break up our experiences into blog post vignettes.

July 6, 2018 – July 7, 2018

The day after we arrived was my Dad’s birthday. We delayed celebrations until Saturday so that my family could come together and celebrate. My extraordinarily talented Mum baked a continental cake and cannolis filled with a secret family custard recipe.

And for our meal we ordered pizzas from DiCaprio’s (who have totally upped their game since I left my negative review 10 years ago haha).

We were a super full house. My parents, grandparents, brothers, their fiancé and girlfriends, Addam, G and I made up 13 people.

Constable T Bear of the Victoria Police – Dad’s birthday gift From Robert & Mel

Borsch, Vodka and Tears

Later that evening I met up with Erin for a bridal party get together. I’ll be her matron of honour. We ate at Borsch Vodka and Tears, a Polish restaurant on Chapel Street, who serve the most delicious food and drinks. I’m not exactly sure where the name of the restaurant comes from, of course they serve borsch and vodka, but the tears part escapes me. I certainly had tears of happiness after I ate here.

The idea of BV&T is to order a number of sharing plates to split amongst your group. I couldn’t fault one dish – it was that good – but if I had to pick my favorite I’d say the Pierogi (Polish Dumplings) were the best. You also must have a drink from their extensive vodka cocktail menu. Unfortunately I don’t know which drink I had, because I asked the waiter for his recommendation on something sweet, but it was blue and it went way too fast.

If you’re vegan this is actually an awesome restaurant to visit because they have an incredible selection of vegan dishes including dessert!

Hosier Lane

While I was out drinking and eating my way through Poland, Addam and Geneviette hit the streets of Melbourne to see some famous graffiti art. Jet lagged as they were I can’t believe how far they walked from Crown Casino (parking is affordable) to the main part of the city.

I wasn’t with them and Addam rarely has time to sit and write about his experiences, but from second-hand information, they had a fun time taking photos and exploring. Geneviette was the one to choose this visit this spot after reading about it in her Melbourne travel book. I have vague memories going taking photos against these graffiti lanes when I was in one of my cousin’s bridal parties as a child.

A Short History of Hosier Lane

Hosier Lane is situated between Swanston Street and Russell Street, in the heart of downtown Melbourne. Although famous today for its graffiti art, back in the 1920s it was a place of business and commerce. According to EMelbourne Hosier Lane was occupied by an organ manufacturer (pianos, not bodily organs), a warehouse for a men’s clothing company, and a costume manufacturer.

Most cities frown upon graffiti but the City of Melbourne makes an exception in approved locations. The artwork on the walls near 1 Hosier Lane and 3-5 Hosier Lane have been approved by the City of Melbourne as registered street artwork.

I don’t believe Addam and G visited Degraves Street, the other famous location for street art in Melbourne, so I’ll need to take them there.

Soaking in City Life After Being In The Countryside

It’s been fun exploring Melbourne through new eyes again. Addam has visited so many times now that he’s basically a boring local. The last time Geneviette was here she was 8-years-old and shuffled from place-to-place in preparation for our wedding. It was also an awkward time because it was between Christmas and New Year, when Melbourne slows down and everything is closed.

As a 12-year-old (but really she seems so much older than that) she can tell us what she wants to see, has opinions and will remember highlights from this trip for the rest of her life. (Although I hope she will want to visit again in the future.)

I’m fairly certain just in this one night she was surrounded by more people than the population of her American hometown. It’s a bit overwhelming, even for me, to go from quiet Northwest Arkansas, to the hustle and bustle of a major metropolis.

Both Chapel Street and Melbourne CBD were packed with thousands of people so it was no surprise that Addam and Geneviette couldn’t grab dinner anywhere. Erin had to prebook our table at Borsch, Vodka & Tears and even then they kicked us out after 2 hours. Addam told me they simply drove home and grabbed some Macca’s (Australian for McDonald’s).

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