USAIN Bolt's life changed in 9.63 seconds when winning the 100 metres at the Olympics, and so did the life of his cousin, Erica Myers-Davis. As fund-raising manager for the Prahran Mission, she has never been more popular as individuals and companies bombard her with phone calls and emails about meeting the world's fastest man in the world when he comes to Australia, possibly next month. Those with extreme wishful thinking who don't get the answer they're after have even become abusive. The mission's ''great receptionist'' has had to screen all of Erica's calls, making life more hectic at the charity. ''It's one thing people are excited,'' Erica said, ''but the receptionist can't help everyone.'' Bolt's visit hasn't been confirmed but the AFL has been in touch with his cousin about him appearing at the 'G for that one day in September. ''I don't think Usain realised, when he said on international TV that he's coming to Australia, the effect it would have,'' she said. The sprinter usually holidays on a Caribbean island but wanted to return to Oz after having a blast the last time. That's before he was a global sensation and was able to promote Puma sports gear at Chadstone without mass hysteria. Erica moonlights as ''DJ Lady Erica'' around the club scene and plans to take her cousin for a boogie. Crowds permitting.
Green is the word for Grollo
WORKERS … united … the CFMEU ones who will never be defeated at the $1.2 billion Myer Emporium site won't be inviting Daniel Grollo to their end-of-year barbecue but the construction giant is being patted on the back elsewhere. The architecture TV series Sacred Spaces on Channel 31 features a Grocon building in Dandenong, the Government Services Office, that used timber salvaged from the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. In the October 3 episode, Hassell architects associate Robin Deutschmann discusses how the timber was used. When the building opened, Grollo said: ''It's a great building for us, not only because of its sustainability features but because of the contribution it has made to the urban renewal of Dandenong." The Myer Emporium will re-energise Lonsdale Street, if the day ever comes.
Now it's a Calombaris souvlaki bar
THERE is no end to the appetite of effervescent chef George Calombaris to accumulate restaurants but this time he's going down the casual path by opening a souvlaki bar and bottle shop. A spot in Collingwood off Smith Street is where the MasterChef judge will open Jimmy Grants - a name that's rhyming slang for immigrants. ''Everyone is doing a hamburger shop,'' he said, with pumped fist. ''I'm going to do my heritage.'' As a youngster, Calombaris devoured souvlakis at Lonsdale Street institution Stalactites, the genesis for his dream of owning his own souvlaki bar, and the juicy lamb will be on the rotisserie ready for the first customer in November or December. Calombaris is also expanding his family, with fiancee Natalie Tricarico expecting their second child, a sibling for infant James, due in January. Calombaris has been in South Africa for the Durban good food and wine show, saying the Channel 10 cooking show was so popular that he needed two body guards.
Making a pointe of more ballet
ACCLAIMED Russian choreographer Boris Eifman missed the opening night of the Eifman Ballet's Anna Karenina at the Regent Theatre because he had to jet back to the homeland to receive an award from President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin for services to the arts. The gong is grandly known as the Order for the Merit of the Fatherland, one of the recipients being crooner Joseph Kobzon, who's known as Russia's Frank Sinatra. Eifman's 45-member troupe has tonight off but more ballet is on the agenda, this time as audience members. They are off to rest their legs and expand their minds by seeing the Australian Ballet's Icons at the Arts Centre. Then they limber up for their performance of Tchaikovsky on Wednesday.