Friday, April 22, 2011

Touristy Beach Towns, Dentists, More Changes, and Coffee Palaces

1. Lured back to Twitter.  This time for Tom Felton.  I read a page of his Tweets.  He was in Australia.   I'm not sure why.  I thought that was cool though.  Rupert Grint talked about wanting to go to Australia someday in the Deathly Hallows golf game video.  He said he was scared of the spiders. That made me smile, because I used to be like that.  I WANTED to go to Australia, but I was scared of the deadly animals and the long flight.

I'm pretty much over the deadly animal thing. I'll never get over that long flight.

2. Realized that I can occasionally read Twitter without having to actually sign in, participate, and get addicted. It doesn't have to be an all or nothing thing.

3. Questioned whether Port Fairy would be too touristy because of what Bernadette said on my blog Facebook Page.  She suggested we look off the tourist map to find good places.

Tim reminded me of a good way to figure out how touristy a place is.  Look at where the visitors are coming from.  If the town gets a lot of international tourists, it's probably very touristy. If the town gets mostly domestic tourists, it's probably less touristy. If the town gets very little tourists from anywhere, it's probably not touristy at all.

Fort Worth doesn't get a lot of international tourists, as far as I know.  I don't think it gets that many domestic tourists either.   So if someone wanted to visit America and see an area that wasn't very touristy, they might enjoy Fort Worth.  Personally, I think it's pretty boring. I'd prefer NYC which is very touristy.

Yesterday, upon Bernadette's suggestion, I want on Tripadvisor for Port Fairy.  I wanted to see reviews of the actual town, but instead just got reviews of a particular hotel.   I'll try looking again today.  Anyway, there was a mix of tourists.  Most seemed to be Australian, but there were also quite a few British tourists, and a few Americans, Canadians, and Asians as well.   So it's probably a fairly touristy town.  I don't know if we'll mind so much though.

Of course, Tripadvisor isn't a full proof way of judging the type of tourists who visit a place.   It's more an indication of who visits and then takes the time to write reviews. Still, I think it probably can provide some amount of insight.

4. Read Trip Advisor comments about Port Fairy.  From what people are saying, it doesn't seem to be overly touristy. I think it will be fine for us. 

5. Read reviews of a Bed and Breakfast in Port Fairy. There's a lot of reviews written by international people, so maybe it is touristy.  Oh well.   That's okay. We'll probably still have fun.

6. Spent more time looking at Trip Advisor, and concluded that most places around the Great Ocean Road area are going to have a fair amount of tourists.   I think there will be more tourists there than you'd find on the south or central coast of New South Wales. But there will be less tourists than what you'd find around Cairns.  

7. Read article that shows I'd fit in well with Australian adults.  Forty percent of Australians don't go to the dentist for regular appointments.  I haven't been to the dentist in a few years. I hate visiting the dentist.  The only reason I went a few years ago is I had a pain in my tooth, and I was paranoid about having a cavity.  I went to the dentist, and it turned out that tooth was fine. I had a cavity in another tooth.

The dentist was awful.   He talked about me as if I wasn't there...like medical professionals so often do.   He was very critical about my mouth—in a way that was very insulting.  He made me feel very ugly.

A few years before that dental appointment, I went to my parent's beloved dentist.   He asked me multiple times if I wanted to get rid of the stain on my front teeth.  Heaven forbid I don't have an absolutely perfect mouth.   Heaven forbid I don't line the dentist's pockets with more money.

Yes, I could have a mouth full of cavities right now.  If the dentist checked my teeth, he could find these cavities and save my life.  I could also have an ovary full of tumors I don't know about. I could have a brain tumor.  Who knows what could go wrong with my body? I should probably wake up each morning and spend the day getting medical tests just in case something is there.

I like this counter-argument editorial about dentists.  It talks about the dark side of dentistry and questions the validity of having frequent check ups.

Anyway, I personally think dentists should stop using guilt and fear tactics to encourage more patients to visit.  How about being more polite, welcoming, honest and scrupulous when patients DO appear?  Then those patients might keep returning.   

8. Realized that we will NOT be going to Port Fairy, but not because of the level of tourism in the town.   The week we planned to go is when they're having a huge festival.    I had looked at it a few days ago, and figured we'd be fine because the festival wasn't happening on the exact days we had planned to go.   But I was in the midst of exercising, and started thinking, wait a minute.   People might not go for the festival only.   They might spend extra days—maybe even a week or two.  

So yeah.  Already I have to change my beloved plans.   I was thinking of switching over to Warrnambool, but it's only thirty minutes away from Port Fairy.  I'm guessing some of the attendees are going to spill over to Warrnambool.   

9. Struggled to revise the plans. And I'm still struggling.

This is a pain.

I'm thinking of Port Campbell.  From Halls Gap, we don't have to do to much of The Great Ocean Road.  It's about 1.5 hours from Port Fairy so we probably won't get too much spill over from the Folk Festival.

I guess we'll be seeing the Twelve Apostles after all.  And here I talked myself out of it. Now I'll have to build up my excitement again.  

10. Looked at a Melbourne architecture website. I like the Olderfleet Building in Melbourne. It's on Collins Street.  Are we likely to go there?  

Well, it's near the aquarium.  We might pass by it.

The architect for the building was a guy named William Pitt.  Apparently, he's responsible for a lot of Melbourne buildings, including the Princess Theatre.

Lord Wiki says he was born in Melbourne; and he grew up in St. Kilda.  

11. Sickened to hear about the Federal Hotel and Coffee Palace being demolished.   This was another William Pitt building.   It's gorgeous!   And it's gone. The architecture site says the location of the former building is now occupied by a car park and concrete office building.  That's sad.

12. Consulted Lord Wiki about the Coffee Palace.  It turns out it's not the name of just one building.   It's a type of building.  Australia has many of these coffee houses.   They started out as hotels that didn't serve alcohol.   This was for the temperance movement which, for Australia, began in the 1930's.  Lord Wiki says at first moderation was pushed instead of abstinence.  But later people started pushing for abstinence.

I'm looking at Lord Wiki's list of coffee palaces. It looks like most of them were built in the 1880's, so I guess that's when the abstinence plan was popular. 

Fortunately, some coffee palaces are still standing.   It's interesting to see how they're being used now.  Some are apartment buildings.  Some are hotels...the bar type, I think, not the sleepover type.    One in St. Kilda has been turned into a hostel.   Another has been turned into a school.

13. Looked at the Coffee Palace Backpackers site.   The building they show is the same one Lord Wiki mentioned.  I can't see anything about the buildings history on the site.   It's a shame they don't talk about it.   Or maybe Lord Wiki got it wrong?  Maybe the building's new, and they just modeled it off of an old coffee house.

14. Looked at Kilbreda College's website.  This is the school that occupies a former coffee house.  

15. Looked at 555 Collins Street on Google Maps.   This is where the Federal Hotel and Coffee Palace used to be.  The new building really is ugly.

Sometimes old things are destroyed, and something better is put in its place. This is not one of those cases.