Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Hopetoun Hotel

I don't get to gigs very often these days, but if I have a hankering for some live music, the Hoey is a likely pick.

It's always good value - you can see a good Australian band on a Fri or Sat night for around $10.

It's also small in a good way. Old bands can play an intimate gig, while new bands can get a slot too.

It's also nicely located in the heart of the inner city, surrounded by the yuppieland that is Surry Hills, which means good food and ease of access. I like that it's not slick- there is no "backstage" to speak of, meaning you can usually rub shoulders with great musicians while sipping a Cooper's. It's also a good place to avoid the overly pretentious crowd you might find at places like Oxford Art Factory or Spectrum.

Coming up at the Hopetoun in August - I Heart Hiroshima, the Bats and Laura Jean.

The Hopetoun Hotel
416 Bourke St
Surry Hills

Turkish Gozleme

I'm going to add this to the list of things I love about Sydney, although I have no idea if it's unique (I suspect not).

It's my favourite meal of all time: gozleme. You know - the moist doughy turnover with spinach, mince and cheese, handmade by Turkish mamas?

I had my first gozleme at Glebe markets in late highschool. Now they're everywhere - in a good way. You can get them at most marketstalls, and also at the foodcourt at Birkenhead Point. What makes a good gozleme is the even distribution of filling, not overcooked and not too oily. It totally whoops other market food.

Do you like gozleme?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

hot or not?

I have to confess I totally judge a book by its cover. What about you?

I just read on the New York Times book blog that Penguin are soon to release a new set of covers for their classics including Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights. They're almost Tim Burton-esque with their angular, scrawny looking characters.

What do you think? Like/dislike?

FBI radio

I couldn't write about our city without flying the flag for Sydney independent radio.

Admittedly, I'm a bit more of an AM listener these days, but if I'm after good music, FBI is the place to go.

FBI 94.5FM is an independent music station with specific genre programming. Some of my favourite shows are "In the Pines" (Tuesdays 9 - 11pm) , "Unputdownable" (Wednesdays 9 - 11pm) and "Weekend Lunch" (Saturdays 12 - 3pm).

Its only downfall is its tendency to be way too pretentious, but I guess that comes with the territory.

I should also give a nod to 2SER 107.3FM, where I started out in community broadcasting - but they're more a talk based station.

Big Brekky

I've posted about this before, but I can't write about Sydney's best things to see/do if I don't include breakfast at Big Brekky in Stanmore.

It's a real treat, with campos coffee, and unexpectedly beautiful, yet simple food. My favourite is the Nim's eggs, which are poached, and come with tomato, bacon, homemade banana chutney and pesto.

It's unassuming from the outside, but once inside, the homely wooden floorboards and central communal table win you over.

It changed owners not long ago, but I still reckon it's the bomb (with sometimes slow and not great service).

336 Stanmore Rd
Petersham NSW

(02) 9569 8588

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Eat Green Design

Having raved about Melbourne's thriving design scene, I should say Sydney is doing its best to follow suit.
From this Saturday, the annual Sydney Design Festival starts at the Powerhouse Museum, featuring Eat Green Design, a "unique creative platform and temporary restaurant".

By the sounds of things, meals and talks will be consumed in tihe specially constucted sustainable space. It's not cheap at $66 for breakfast and $110 for dinner! But there will be free talks from designers every day.

From the website:

The Eat Green Design installation is designed and purpose-built by award-winning architect Hannah Tribe of Tribe Studio, Surry Hills, and demonstrates best practice principles in sustainable architecture and interior design.

Sounds kind of cool...
*Photo: Apple&Bee wooden handle clutch, featured at Eat Green Design.

Crazy in Love

Antony and the Johnsons have done a cover of Beyonce's Crazy in Love . It's beautiful and melancholy.

What a song to choose to cover! You must click the link and watch him in action...

Cook's River precinct

Inspired by Soph R's response to my melbourne list below, I'm going to do a series on things to see/do/eat in Sydney.

Today, I'm featuring the Cook's River precinct.

Last weekend, I wanted to go for a walk, but didn't want the hoards of dogs and people that crowd the glebe foreshore and the Iron Cove bay run.

I remembered driving past Cook's River, near Earlwood and thinking how pleasant it looked. I also remembered there was also a chocolate shop/cafe that had been recommended to me nearby - an extra incentive.
So I drove down Illawarra Street, which takes you from Marrickville down to the River. It was a beautiful winter afternoon, the sun coming through the trees, and throwing light onto the water.
Apparently the river sometimes smells, but no such offence on this fine day. Also, there was just the right amount of activity going on, without it feeling like a theme park. There were people cycling, fishing, walking and playing soccer, but also sections of the track when I was the only in sight.
The area has quite a rich history, but is a little underappreciated because of its proximity to the flight path (it's really close to Tempe). The locals know it's a treasure though, enhanced by the local Adora Chocolate shop on Homer Street. After my walk, I enthusiastically went to the cafe, hoping to get a steaming hot chocolate... only to find I had less than $2 in my wallett! Sheepishly I had to walk away empty handed, but I will definitely be going back sometime.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I wish I lived in Melbourne

It just seems to be 10 times more awesome than Sydney.
For example, the journal that's publishing a poem of mine this winter is in Melbourne, and they held the edition launch party there this week (obviously couldn't attend..). It just seems there are heaps more poetry/writing journals/writers/poets down there.
Also, Melbourne is hosting an awesome design festival this week, State of Design, which has been featured on one of my favourite blogs, the Design Files by you guessed it - a Melbournian (Lucy).
They also have all the fun bands, like The Triangles. And cool bars and cafes in laneways where you don't feel like you're going to get beat up.
They're also laid back enough to let an amazing eco designer turn Federation Square into a sustainable cafe over Summer where you get your coffee in a jam jar and your muffin on some old cardboard.
They also have distinct weather - rain and sunshine and an actual winter, and less humidity.
I quit sydney!
(Ok not really...)

New Wardrobe

Wow I just washed some clothes that have been in my washing basket for OVER A YEAR. I know I know, disgusting... but they're mostly jumpers that I couldn't be bothered washing straight away at the end of last winter.

Anyway, it's like having a whole new wardrobe! exciting times.

Look out for all my "new" jumpers!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Have a listen

My friends Al (vox, bass), Jono (keys, vox) and Kerryn (melody bells/triangle/cute percussion) are in a fun indie pop band called Caxton, and they've submitted a few songs to Triple J's unearthed.

They're shamelessly hoping some people will have a listen and give them a review.

So, as a friend and a fan I think you should have a listen here to I Could Go For Weeks, even just to hear a cool time signature, and melody bells (around the 3min mark)...

This is Al. Her love for bubblewrap alone should have you clicking that link, but the crazy eyes help too.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


the pleasures of
a bed, warm and soft
are like the pleasures of
the perfect egg
oozing a sunny lake
onto the plate
a grape exploding
on your tongue
the silence of thought
in a hot bath


Been quiet here again lately. My bad. But now I've done a few posts in a row so booyah.

Cat at twilight

silent addiction

I am hopelessly addicted to Masterchef. Anyone else? Over the series I've missed quite a few episodes, but in these last weeks I've been glued. I so wanted Justine to win, but last night she went after messing up the crazy 9 layers of chocolate/biscuit/apple/caramel mousse. I was really happy that she was offered a job by Matt Moran.

Who do you think will win? I suspect probably Chris or Poh. I don't really mind now that Justine's gone, but I like the idea of Chris' beer house.


The sky has just turned the best of colours. The clouds are a frosty peach and the sky lilac. I love it when that happens.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Chucker or keeper?

On the theme of cleaning.... what do you do with your stuff?

When I say stuff, I mean concert tickets, cards from people, souvenirs and things from special places?

I usually keep them in shoeboxes, and hardly ever look at them. But I like to know they're there. I wonder how long I can keep this up though... it makes no sense to carry loads of shoeboxes around with you. But I just can't part with my 'stuff'.


I normally vehemently disagree with the adage that the tidiness of your bedroom is a reflection of your mental state. But considering my room is the cleanest its been all year and I've just had three weeks holiday, I guess I ought to take note.

(waiting for the room to return to its normal state of mayhem........)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I had a disturbing moment of self-reflection today... do you ever have those?

Since finishing The Service of Clouds by Delia Falconer on the train home from Orange last week, I've been reading Youth by JM Coetzee. I've not been very enthralled by it, and I'm pushing on out of a desire to do the book justice. It occurred to me while reading this afternoon the reason I'm not enjoying it is that it's not providing any form of escape.

It's the story of a recent university graduate, who dreams of being an artist (in particular, a poet), and moves from his homeland (South Africa) to London in search of inspiration. He ends up landing a boring job at IBM. He whines a lot about being unlucky in love, his parents and his unfulfilled artistic aspirations. He is socially awkward, and ends up in weird static relationships. He's hallmarked by his insecurities, and constant self-doubt. He puts no faith in others and sees the world like a stage unfit for his desires.

The disturbing part is that I realised the story provides no escape for me, because I'm too much like the protagonist! Ok so i'm not working for IBM, and i'm not pining after love with a wild woman, but basically the whole 'repressed artist with little talent living a boring life in metropolitan city and whinging about their lack of opportunity' is me all over! Argh trust Coetzee to author such a piercing portrayal of the 20-something psyche.

How terrible... both that I'm just like this unloveable character, and that I need to 'escape' to enjoy a book!

eek better keep reading to learn my fate.