I love it when a new operator sets up business in Fitzroy and knows what they’re doing. No fumbling. No excuses. Stagger Lee’s seems to have achieved this rare status based on my breakfast there last week. Fabulous coffee. Brisk staff who look like they know what they’re doing. And delicious food, in this case soft truffled polenta with poached yolk, pine mushrooms and toast, which was sublime.
Stagger Lee’s appears to have no online presence of its own, but its owners have evidently pushed all the correct PR buttons for its arrival to be widely written about. Unfortunately this means I cannot refer to their menu to ensure I describe my meal accurately. De-brief me and Melbourne patron describe a variety of other items from the menu with relish. The old Endis space has been transformed into something new and very desirable. Welcome to Fitzroy.
I spent the previous weekend in Bendigo, mainly to attend the exhibition ‘Genius and Ambition: The Royal Academy of Arts, London 1768-1918‘ at the Bendigo Art Gallery. The exhibition itself is fantastic, and I will discuss some of the works it contains below. Unfortunately, you have to work to find information about the exhibition. You have to go 3 levels down into the gallery’s website to read about the biggest exhibition the gallery has ever held. Fail.
The most intriguing painting to me was Clio and the Children by Charles Sims (1913 & 1915). Classical in terms of theme and spatial composition but modern in terms of technique, it shows Clio (the muse of history) teaching children. The blood on her scroll was added by the artist to the already completed work after his son died in the first world war. A poignant but somewhat innocent image it transformed into one of immediate horror by this addition.
Clio and the Children by Charles Sims (1913 & 1915), © Royal Academy of Arts, used under the fair dealings provisions of the Copyright Act 1968
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Whoever thought opening a shop full of bourgeois trinkets opposite a public housing estate would work is probably having second thoughts. Ganim’s (which opened in late 2011) closed some months ago and now a new business called Era – Vintage Bride appears soon to open. Here we go again…