fastfood/foodcourt prices in oz

May 17th, 2004, 05:42 AM
  #21  
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Hey Alan,

I suppose you're right (again!). Guess we'll be spending all our time elsewhere and will only be back at the hotel to freshen up and sleep.

Thanks for that very interesting bit of trivia. Now I can tell everyone that I'm staying where Old Blue Eyes stayed 3 decades ago!! I do so like Sinatra myself. There's nobody else quite like him, with his perfect timing and phrasing. In fact, I like all the Brat Pack and just bought their box set of CDs! Wish they were still alive and performing! The closest I've seen (and had the chance to meet!)is Tony Bennett (10 years ago!) and he was (and still is) simply wonderful. Nobody makes music like they used to in those days. And no, I'm not that old! Still on the better side of 40!
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May 17th, 2004, 01:56 PM
  #22  
 
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Hi, again!

Just to add a tiny bit to the above (since you mentioned the name 'Old Blue Eyes')... "Old Blue Eyes" was pretty much a brand new name for Frank back in 1974, having only been coined a couple of years prior... the Australian Press used to always refer to him as "Cranky Frankie". But when the Unions all went out on strike in protest about his comment, the heaslines gleefully announced "Old Blue Eyes is Black!" It really gave these unions, many of which were communist-dominated, joy to think that they might be able to "bring down" the ultimate capitalist, which, I guess, was a fairly good description of Frank, with his enormous entourage of buddies, most of whom looked and sounded like Hollywood's idea of the mafia.

The only time I ever set foot in the Boulevard was during this whole saga. Taking my courage in both hands, I went up to the desk and asked which floor the Sinatra party was on (expecting to be told "don't be ridiculous"), and the desk clerk, probably sick of the Yanks AND the reporters, simply muttered "twenty-one" and went back to his reading! So up I went in the elevator, wondering how I'd know which room on Floor Twenty-one to got to (I hadn't been game to ask). Well, I needn't have worried. As the door of the elevator opened, the whole floor was swarming with mafia-like men, and I only took two steps before somebody stopped me and asked me what I thought I was doing. I showed my autograph book and record cover, and waited to be bumped off on the spot. Well, the guy took both and disappeared into one of the rooms, and a few minutes later out he came with everything duly autographed (no, he didn't do it himself, I promise!) However, I never did see the great man himself.... I guess I could have pushed that a bit further, but I was starting to feel grateful that I was going to get out of there in one piece! I'm sure Frank's friends are all great guys, but they don't exactly look like scoutmasters!
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May 17th, 2004, 02:51 PM
  #23  
 
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Hi again tayls. I worked for a few years in Westfield Towers which is the office block connected to the Boulevarde hotel. We often drank in the bar ( Duck and Bucket) and had lunch on top floor buffet.If you get a room facing north you will have a lovely harbour view.The hotel is within walking distance of the city as well as the Museum as Alan mentioned and also Hyde Park, St Mary's Cathedral, indoor swimming pool and Kings Cross.You mentioned earlier the buffet at the casino...I have not eaten there but friends go regularly and say it is excellent value.Have a great holiday!
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May 17th, 2004, 07:52 PM
  #24  
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Hi again,

Thanks PeterAlan, you're most reassuring. I was a bit worried over the distance to walk to and from attractions and public transportation 'cos of my 9yr old son and my 50 yr old sister, who's not in the fittest condition! From the map I have of Sydney, it seemed a bit too far to walk and too near for a cab! I did email the hotel to ask them if there was a bus stop nearby but I have yet to hear from them. I saw the pictures on the hotel's websites and the views look stunning. I will take Prue's warning and suggestion (bless her)and ask for higher rooms.

Haha, Alan! Your one and only visit to Boulevard sounds very thrilling indeed! How absolutely courageous of you to brave the lion's den all by yourself! I wouldn't have dared to myself - not with Frank's reputation of being connected to the mob, and especially when there was such bad publicity going on! What an experience that must have been.
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May 17th, 2004, 09:47 PM
  #25  
 
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tayls,
There is a bus stop directly opposite the Boulevard going in to the CBD and another going out to the Eastern Suburbs right at the front door of the hotel.
I am sure you will have a great stay there - but you will see when you arrive that I am not exaggerating about being right in the centre of a very large construction sight.
The walk to the CBD is very much uphill for the first couple of blocks, but once you reach Hyde Park it will be easier going.
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May 17th, 2004, 10:40 PM
  #26  
 
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Crown Casino in Melbourne has a food court plus I think they do buffet lunch and dinner. Further along Southbank, there is another food court, plus lots of restaurants. There is another good food court in the basement of the Australia Arcade which runs between Collins and Bourke Street.
The clubs we all refer to are the football clubs, bowling clubs, retired servicement's association clubs, surf clubs etc. They rely fairly heavily on the poker machines to make a profit and often have cheap meals to entice people. You don't pay anything to enter but need to sign in as a temporary member. Children are allowed into the eating areas, but not allowed into the gambling areas but there is often a children's entertainment area with TV etc.
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May 18th, 2004, 01:19 AM
  #27  
 
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Great story alan !!
Do you still have the signed stuff?
bet its great sentimental and probably financial value now.
You got any more stories of your exploits. You really should write a book.

Muck
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May 18th, 2004, 04:54 AM
  #28  
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Thanks Prue. You're the answer to my prayers! I kept looking for bus stop signs around the hotel in all the sydney maps I found but to no avail. I will definitely ask for a higher floor room ... maybe Alan's famous (infamous?!) 21st floor!

Marg, thanks for the food info in Melbourne! We've been so caught up with Sydney all this while.

Quick question to all: Is Bondi Beach worth a visit? It takes almost an hour to get there by bus. How about Fox Studios? I hear they no longer do backlot tours (I thoroughly enjoyed the one in Universal Studios!).

PS: Alan, I agree with Muck. You tell an interesting tale.
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May 18th, 2004, 05:54 AM
  #29  
 
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Hi, tayls!

It doesn't take an hour to get to Bondi Beach by bus... from the Boulevard you could walk up to King's Cross Station (five minutes), hop the train to Bondi Junction (two stops, six minutes) and right at the station is the bus terminal, where the bus to Bondi Beach takes no more than ten minutes. But, to tell the truth, it isn''t even worth that much of your time. The beach itself is nice -- but not significantly better than half a dozen others in Sydney, including Manly and Coogee -- but the area around the beach is, frankly, past its prime... as often happens when a place becomes a high-profile tourist area. And that bus trip is, well, uninteresting. A better idea is to take the ferry to Manly and walk along the Manly Corso to the Ocean Beach. Manly is a much nicer area, and the trip out and back on the ferry -- past the Opera House and the Bridge, and all the way up the harbour -- is something you would want to do even if there was no beach at the end of it.

Fox studios? Forget it. Even when they had the backlot tours I heard nothing but negative comments about it (even though I never took the tour and can't speak from experience). But without the tour it's just a shopping village with a couple of theatres attached. There are probably interesting things happening on one of the sound stages or in the recording studio, but you're not going to get into either of them. This is definitely one site to cross off your list. Luna Park might be a worthwhile substitute -- a kind of Coney Island just near the Bridge, it reopened after a long closure just a couple of weks ago. I don't know what they have there now, but in the good old days it had something for all ages. If nothing else, it will give you a good view of the harbour as you stroll around!

One more food tip... the food court on the corner of George St and Bathurst, almost opposite the Town Hall. At around 5 p.m. one of the booths sells all its Turkish pide for $3 each.

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May 18th, 2004, 12:57 PM
  #30  
 
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I have to say that Fox studios without the backlot tour is probably not worth going to. In fact as Alan said without it there is not much left. However we took the tour when we visited Oz for the first time Oz in 2001, it was quite interesting and the moment we walked into the huge auditorium, me with my big blue glamorgan cricket hat, red face shorts nobbly knees sandals and socks, I was destined for trouble. The cast of the show concocted a story and I was the fall guy and asked to go on stage. All I can say was the family were hoping the ground would swallow them up when I entered into two and a half minutes of the Green Green Grass of Home live in front of about 400 people.
It was a good laugh and a fond memory that we always talk about even now.
However I believe this show is no longer happening there. I guess my singing was the final nail in the coffin..lol

Muck
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May 18th, 2004, 01:14 PM
  #31  
 
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It's a small world... those "negative comments" I mentioned above were mainly about this knobbly-kneed Welsh guy who kept breaking into song with "The Green, Green Grass of Home"... only the way I heard it, it was at least seven-and-a-half minutes!
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May 18th, 2004, 03:16 PM
  #32  
 
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Hi tayls!I am a Bondi boy so I have to jump a little to its defence. I must say Alan is probably right re Manly v Bondi. A ferry trip across the harbour to Manly and then the place itself will be a nice experience for you.However since you are so close I would recommend if you have time to do a quick visit to Bondi too if you have a nice day.Bondi is a peculiar place (I love living here)in that it is very trendy and there are some upmarket restaurants etc at the beach but at the same time parts are looking very tired.It really is a Summer place to see at its best but over to you.Forget Fox Studios..it is a far cry from Universal Studios..there is nothing to see..a truly depressing ghost town!
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May 18th, 2004, 03:16 PM
  #33  
 
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tayls,
One other suggestion for your time in Sydney would be a visit to Hyde Park Barracks - these are not often mentioned on this Forum but I think they are very interesting and give a great insight into early Australian history.
You will find them in Macquarie Street which as you will see on your map is a major street running down to Circular Quay/Opera House from Hyde Park - they are on the right hand side of the street at the very top - adjacent to the State Government. From there you have an easy downhill walk to the Quay etc!
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May 18th, 2004, 06:38 PM
  #34  
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LOL! You guys are a laugh a minute. Green2 Grass of Home indeed. Are you Welsh, Muck? Did you do the Tom Jones version then?!

Great advice everyone. I will give Fox and Bondi a skip (sorry, PeterAlan) since I have not a lot of time to spare in Sydney. Want to make every minute worthwhile. Maybe I'll do Manly if the kids yammer for a beach. Or maybe I should please the adults instead - drop by at the barracks (it looks quite near to our hotel, Prue?) and then head to the Birkenhead outlets for some retail therapy ... after all, we should be enjoying a fair bit of savings from eating at your suggested foodcourts and clubs??!!!
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May 18th, 2004, 09:19 PM
  #35  
 
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tayls,
The Barracks aren't very far from the hotel - if you head up towards the CBD you will see a large building on your left which is the Museum, then to the right and you see St. Mary's Cathedral - either walk past there or cut through the Park and you will be in Macquarie Street.
I think your 9 year old will enjoy the Barracks as it is very true to life as it was in convict times.
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May 18th, 2004, 11:17 PM
  #36  
 
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I like Bondi. It's an interesting place, far more so than Manly. You can see everything there, all shapes and colours and sizes,and the restaurants are interesting. Manly is more the beautiful people.

One of my favourite restaurants is at North Bondi, Seans Panaroma, although this will probably be outside your budget It's usually outside mine.

Manly is slightly out of favour with me since the time I got caight in a rip in the surf, and ended up (fortunately, thanks to helpful people) in intensive care at Manly Hospital. I haven't looked at it quite so favourably since!

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May 18th, 2004, 11:29 PM
  #37  
 
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Hi Tayls, have just got on to your request re Melbourne.
The Casino has a few buffet's. the cheapest being King...around $10.
Sante Buffet arount $14..
Conservatory $32.lunch 0r $45 Sunday lunch prices. $45.Dinner. $32 Breakfast.
Margo's which is on the gaming floor (no under 18 allowed ) has great breakfast weekdays & buffet weekends not sure of price but very very cheap!

The clubs in Victoria are not as cheap to eat in as N.S.W,

If you are into buying cans of soft drink think about getting them by the box at the supermarket...Coca Cola will then become 50cents a can. Bottled water also is soooo much cheaper this way. All hotels/motels usually have small refridges in them.

Fish & Chip shops in the country usually give you good value for your $ in chips compared to buying Mac's.
Family feast at Kintucky 10 pieces of chicken chips & 2 sides usually $26.
A lot cheaper to buy a couple of chickens with chips at a Chicken shop.

Buy a cheap plunger & take it every where (we do) so at least you start the day with a great coffee.
Where are you staying in Melbourne ?
Enjoy
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May 19th, 2004, 12:43 AM
  #38  
 
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Yes its true I am Welsh, I did the GGGof Home in Tom style, during the day people were coming up to me in the shops in fox and asking if I was the guy who sang, and would you believe they congratulated me on my voice./...lol they must be used to a pretty low standard thats all I can say. But the best was this. We were in a line for the Titanic ride which incidently was interesting and an elderley couple came up and she hugged me...she said she had emmigrated to NZ 40 years ago from Swansea which is 3o mins from Cardiff where I live, she still gets terribly homesick and my singing had made her really emotional and she started crying ..oh my god was it because it reminded her of home or was I really that bad.
She thanked me for singing, as apparently it made her day and was the highlight of her day at Fox, there you go if thats the best fox can offer you had better stay away..lol!
(Eat your heart out Sinatra..lol)

Muck
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May 19th, 2004, 05:30 AM
  #39  
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You're a real sport you are, Muck! Looks like you were MegaStar for a day, knobbly knees not withstanding! They should have signed you up on the spot! gt;

Thanks for the Melbourne info, AussiJo. The buffets at Crown sound good and appear to be very reasonably priced - about what buffets cost in Vegas casinos! I'll be sure to check one (or more!) of those out when we visit Flinders St Station and Southgate. As for coffee, my husband and I can't start a day without it so I always carry a plunger when we travel - even though most hotels offer coffee/tea making facilities these days. We'll be staying at Bayview on the Park, opposite Albert Park on Queens Rd. Quite near to St Kilda and its many restaurants and bakeries (or so the guide books tell me!) Again, we got it through my sis' time share so I'm not complaining!

Sorry to hear about your experience in Manly, Margo. Thank God you survived it. I doubt we'll venture into the sea -too cold in the winter!

Overall, the cost of living in Oz seems pretty decent, which is most reassuring. Think we can have a "ripper" of a time there (did I get that figure of speech right, ozzies?)without overstretching our budget at all. We'll probably save on most meals and splurge out on at least one good one per city. Quite possibly on seafood meals 'cos I LOVE them - and I hear Sydney and Melbourne serve up some really good ones.

Thanks again, everyone.
Hugs, tayls
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May 19th, 2004, 03:33 PM
  #40  
 
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Mucky - wish I had been at Fox Studios that day! Perhaps they should hire you as a permanent fixture?

Tavis - if you are looking for retail therapy - whilst you are in Melbourne, get on the tram along Flinders Street to Bridge Street, Richmond. It will only take about 10 minutes. It is full of factory outlets and you can shop until you drop.

Don't forget to check out the cake shops in Acland Street, St Kilda.
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