White Night Festival

Over the weekend, Melbourne city closed off all its roads downtown and hosted an all night arts festival. It began Saturday evening at 7:00pm and lasted until Sunday morning at 7:00am. The event highlighted art, light installations, music and performances – all exhibited throughout the streets of Melbourne.

Several people advised us that the largest crowds would be out earlier making it almost impossible to get around. The bulk of the city comes out for this event and feels a bit like a massive block party. With this in mind, we set a plan with a couple mates to trek out after midnight. Admittedly, this was quite a feat – we are now old and starting a night out at midnight is not something we looked forward to doing.

Thankfully, our friends had worked out a route across the entire city so we could get a glimpse of several exhibits in an orderly fashion. We actually did quite well staying out until about 4:00am when we all agreed that we had sufficiently experienced what the festival had to offer.

The Alice in Wonderland theme came up more than once and the light projections on many of the city buildings were impressive. We were definitely pleased about our decision to venture out later in the night as the crowds died down and made the exploration much more manageable. Undoubtedly, a fair number of attendees were just out to be out partying but you really have to give credit to a city that celebrates arts to this magnitude and the organization it takes to put on such a huge event.

Disclaimer: a couple of the pics were borrowed from online sources to show how big the crowds were earlier in the evening.

Coming up this week… Ben’s parents are visiting! They will be touching down on Friday morning so there will be lots of family posting to look forward to!

Feast and Fashion: Mussels and Gaultier

Some of our Aussie friends have taken notice that I genuinely enjoy cooking and recently the requests have started coming forth. There was some debate as to the first selected meal – a few of the blokes wanted Southern Fried Chicken and the ladies wanted mussels – so the only fair thing was to put it to a vote. This past weekend, mussels and pasta won out.

On Saturday evening, our friends brought over 4 kilos of mussels and plenty of wine to please the cook. I made a version of mussels provencal (mussels in a white wine broth) as well as a pasta dish – a small feast that would please any mussel fan!

It was our original intention to take the meal down to the private dining area in our building but it seems we couldn’t be bothered once the prepared food started coming out of the kitchen. I couldn’t even get the mussel eaters off the floor of our apartment and onto the couch for the first course! I suppose I should just take it as a compliment if the food is good enough that people will eat it sitting on the floor without a table!?

Before any of the cooking and eating began, we actually spent a couple hours testing out the cinema room with our Wii console. Nothing brings out a little “healthy” competition among couples than some Nintendoland games. It’s a good test for those about to get married – sort of like creative couple counseling…or maybe the counseling is what’s needed after playing. We resumed the games post-dinner in our apartment but it’s not quite the same after projecting it in a theater room.


On Sunday, Ben took care of some things around the house while I spent a little time at the National Gallery of Victoria. For the past couple months, they have been showing The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit and I’ve been wanting to go since it opened – not that anything has been preventing me aside from simple absent-mindedness. Sunday was the last day before the exhibit shipped off to Paris, so I got in right under the wire.

The exhibit was great, just crowded – serves me right for leaving it to the last minute and having to go on a Sunday. The details and materials in the clothes were stunning and everything was set up in a very interesting manner. Several of the mannequins had pre-recorded faces projected onto them which spoke or sang and admittedly were a little creepy but certainly added an interesting sensory experience.

I’m not sure how many different countries the exhibit will be touring but if you find it in your city and you are a fan of fashion and couture, I’d recommend it. It was wild seeing the garments that were worn by varying celebrities for certain iconic moments and getting a glimpse into what the creative inspirations were for them – like Madonna’s famous cone bras.

Just Desserts

This post doesn’t particularly have anything to do with Australia other than the fact that we live here and, as in the states, we enjoy hosting friends now and then. On Saturday evening, Ben and I invited several friends over for a ‘Just Desserts’ party.

As children, we’re taught to finish our vegetables and finish all our homework and do all the chores that are supposed to shape us into responsible people. All these tasks come before treats and rewards such as desserts. Well, now we’re adults and while that comes with much larger burdens, one of the upsides is that if we want to have desserts for dinner, then so be it!

I baked several desserts including pumpkin cheesecake, triple chocolate mousse cake, linzer cookies, lemon tart and brownies. One of the guests also brought over a delicious creation of her own while others contributed the night’s beverages. Cake was had by all and by the end of the evening everyone was glowing from the sugar high (the wine may have contributed too).

Hope your weekends were just as sweet! … and that everyone enjoyed the Superbowl (Yo Gabba Gabba looking back up dancers and Missy Elliot guest spot – what’s not to love?).