The Melbourne Quiz

The decision by Fairfax to close its monthly glossy supplement to The Agethe (melbourne) magazine, might signal the end of my ambition to guest appear in its (melbourne) quiz. But there’s always this blog: behold the responses I would’ve given, had I ever been asked, to the (melbourne) quiz.

Adnate grafittiBest thing about Melbourne?
The street art and the cultural life. Oh, and the water. After years of living in countries where it isn’t safe to drink water from the tap, I still get a buzz out of how good the tap water is here.

Worst thing?
Lack of services in the outer suburbs and growth areas.

Best coffee?
I like Duke’s and Cup of Truth in the CBD. In Brunswick, The Lux Foundry.

ThunderboltBest night out recently?
I gave an author talk at the Travellers Bookstore on Smith Street, Collingwood and a few friends came along. Afterwards, we went next door to the back room at the friendly La Niche Café for a delicious dinner and way too much red wine. Someone handed my musician friend Dean Lombard a guitar and the next thing we knew, folks were coming in from the front bar to sing along. A young woman with a voice like Aretha Franklin found the chords she needed Dean to play on her iPhone. Magic!

Who do you barrack for?
The underdog.

Where did you go to school?
That most Melbourne of questions. I went to a Catholic girls’ school where the excellence of the teaching only just made up for the ugliness of the uniform.

Where do you live?
Brunswick, described by my brother Julian as ‘the old Fitzroy and the new Sarajevo’.

W Class TramWho would you most like to sit next to on a tram?
Bruce Springsteen.

Labor or Liberal?
The Greens.

Neil Mitchell or Jon Faine?
Michael Cathcart (Books and Arts Daily on Radio National).

Portsea or Lorne?
Another very Melbourne question. I’ll take the Great Ocean Road (Lorne) over the Millionaires’ Walk (Portsea) any day.

Drop-punt or torpedo?
I’ve always loved that there’s a kick in footy called the ‘drop-punt’. I suspect it is designed to send a subliminal message to fans to steer the hell clear of Punt Road.

Chinese New Year 2013 crowdWhat is Melbourne’s most underrated suburb?
Altona. Five minutes’ walk from the train station, there’s a cool library, the Louis Joel Arts and Community Centre, excellent fish and chips at the Altona Pines Takeaway and a shady park to eat them in — all opposite a great beach.

Melbourne in three words?
My home town.

What about you? How would you answer the (melbourne) quiz?

Don’t know Melbourne? — Tell me about the town where you live.


About Angela Savage

Angela Savage is a Melbourne writer, who has lived and travelled extensively in Asia. She won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript, and the Scarlet Stiletto Award short story award. Her latest novel is, Mother of Pearl, published by Transit Lounge. Angela holds a PhD in Creative Writing, is former CEO of Writers Victoria, and currently works as CEO of Public Libraries Victoria.
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25 Responses to The Melbourne Quiz

  1. Jo says:

    I’m a Melbourne tragic, so would probably find it easier to respond to this quiz than answer one on my own hometown, Sydney.


  2. darkdirk says:

    OK, here we go (and I’m Melbourne born and bred):
    1) Best thing about Melbourne?
    Music scene, food, coffee, water. Shits all over every other city in Australia for those things.

    2) Worst thing?
    I agree with you, the massive suburban sprawl and increased dilution of all kinds of services – transport, community infrastructure, retail precincts, etc. – is a terrible thing and means there’s really two Melbournes. Also, the weather does shit me sometimes.

    3) Best coffee?
    I can’t go past Black Velvet in Exhibition St, conveniently next to my office building’s front door. Also Grace Café in Rose St Fitzroy. Also Pellegrini’s, home of espresso coffee in Australia. But they are just three of many: there’s so much good coffee in Melbourne it’s hard to go wrong for long within 8 km of the CBD

    4) Best night out recently?
    The same one you mentioned Ang. The barman invited me to come back sometime to be the entertainment and I just (drunkenly) said “yeah, sure”. I really should go back and chat to him.

    4) Who do I barrack for?
    I have no interest in football (sacrilege!!!) but as a kid was an obsessive Hawthorn supporter. I’m still happy when they are going well.

    5) Where did I go to school?
    Blackburn High and Melbourne High saw me roughly through my high school years. And I mean roughly. School was not kind to me. My real education came from busking and hanging out with street kids in the Bourke Street Mall after I dropped out of Uni at 18. And PIT (Phillip Institute of Technology, subsequently swallowed by RMIT) tidied up the loose ends sometime after that.

    6) Where do I live?
    Thornbury. The old Preston and the new Northcote. Heaps of people in Melbourne have never even heard of it.

    7) Who would I like to sit next to on a tram?
    Whoever graffitied “Max + GJE” all over the walls backing onto the Belgrave line in the 1970s and 80s

    8) Labor or Liberal?
    Yes, that’s the heart of the problem isn’t it.

    9) Neil Mitchell or Jon Faine?
    I’d like to lock them in an echo chamber and throw away the key.

    10) Portsea or Lorne?

    11) Drop-punt or torpedo?
    Those who know me know I always go for style over performance. So drop-punt.

    12) What is Melbourne’s most underrated suburb?
    Maybe Footscray. Or to get really nerdy, Seddon.

    13) Melbourne in three words?
    See? Told you!


  3. Margot Kinberg says:

    Angela – I love the ‘photos – what a great taste of what Melbourne looks like. Shame they’re closing that supplement but I”m glad you posted your answers here. It gives me a real sense of what the city is like. And you know, I could think of much worse things than sitting on a tram next to Bruce Springsteen….. ;:-)


    • angelasavage says:

      The ‘who would you most like to sit next to’ question is probably the hardest to answer, Margot, seeing as how everything else has parameters and in this case, the sky’s the limit. Funnily enough, I can actually imagine having a conversation with The Boss on a tram…


  4. Jo says:

    For the record, my favourite things about Melbourne are (in no order)- the coffee, the street art, St Kilda Pier, the MCG on a Friday night…anyways, here’s my Sydney edition.


  5. Lucy B says:

    Hi Angela,
    Not sure if you’re aware that we have BNPS in common. So I can ask you these in person at the caf if you really want to get a feel for it!
    Exiting mag editor


    • angelasavage says:

      Haha! Lucy, I did not know we had BNPS in common. The world is such a small place.

      Thanks for the offer of nurturing my fantasy to answer the Melbourne quiz. I am sorry about the demise of the magazine. I always enjoyed it and I’m sorry to see it go.

      I hope you have something fun to do next…


      • Lucy B says:

        Yes! We’ve met at school but not talked work. Crochet I think, re fete. Have been sitting watching The Cup today with Belinda N and hearing about your trivia night shenanigans!

        The magazine has been a great gig and the quiz is one of my favourites. Not sure what I’ll be up to next.

        See you soon!

        PS. I would sit next to Christopher Hitchens on the tram. I would sit very still and take notes. Or maybe Tina Fey.


  6. kathy d. says:

    Great answers! Whatever I know about Melbourne, I learned from this post and Kerry Greenwood’s Corinna Chapman series. i must learn more.
    And I agree with Jo’s remarks about Jayne Keeney’s adventures. When a kindly friend loaned me several books from Oz, I tore into The Dying Beach immediately. No question about it. And I wish I had the next book right now!
    And now to learn more about Sydney, too. The only things I know about that city is the magnificent harbor, opera house, and whatever I’ve read in crime fiction located there.


    • angelasavage says:

      Kathy, I love that your impressions of Melbourne and Sydney have been formed by your reading of crime novels set there. Like my impressions of Edinburgh and Montreal.

      FYI I am making tentative moves towards the next Jayne Keeney…set in Bangkok this time. I am setting myself the challenge of trying to do justice to that glorious city.


  7. Dizzy Castle says:

    This is a great idea.

    indoor play centres melbourne


  8. Sam Shovel says:

    GJE + MAX = Gordon John Ewing and Michael Somebody or Other. 1980s only.


  9. CC says:

    I remember hearing somewhere that MAX and GJE were Scotch boys. Any truth to this?


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