A letter to my Guilty Pleasure

To my Guilty Pleasure.

I know I shouldn’t, that if I were to tell another about our sordid affair they would scoff and ask me questions I have no answer too. And yet I can’t stop. No matter how ridiculous your plotline, how unconvincing the dialogue I keep coming back every time.

Maybe it’s the nostalgia, maybe I’m chasing the abundance of feeling that all teenageers experience. The overblown anguish, the hope of more, the explosion of love (Imagined or not). Some say these aren’t real, I would say it is more real than the numbness adults convince themselves is normal. To escape the inevitable; the heartache, the emptiness of loss or the end we all face.

Real enough that authors continue to capture in fiction, and producers continue to create in television. In all of which I find you, late at night, under my blankets, in the corners of the internet my sisters lead me to.

Away from the judgement of people who claim it is not worth anything. But I digress, it is perhaps one of the most worthwhile things. It is worth the feelings we have all forgotten; of our first crush, the first kiss and our first dream. All of which seems unattainable and lost. But which we can find if we only choose to look, immortalised in teen fiction.

A glimpse of more

The train slows down slightly, offering up the splendor outside its window. A fascinating landscape, filled with other peoples nostalgia and peeping history. A single street tapers down to a busy city, you can just glimpse people running around completing their errands The rain doesn’t even seem to bother them. Why should it, the sky is a constant downpour of romantic sentiment. Is this what you want? The street seems to widen, to invite; think what you could achieve here it whispers. You could thrive in this whimsical life you suppose, stuck in a constant daydream. Imagine what creative juice would come out of here, no wonder the greatest scholars found their muse in this dreary city.

But what of adventure? What of sunshine? How could you truly survive when the need for sun infiltrates your mind? The carriage is almost empty now; the guards are looking at you expectantly as you stand with your hand on your luggage. “What’s the next stop after this?” You ask out of curiosity. The answer surprises you, giving the guards an apologetic smile you sit back down. Perhaps the next stop will have the answer.

Delaware Space Beer

Delaware Space BeerJust when you thought Oktoberfest couldn’t get any better than a long weekend booze marathon and foreign beer, NASA finds a way to top it.

Not one to be outdone by normal German beer, the company behind NASA’s Apollo spacesuits and a Delaware brewerry have added moon dust to their beer. They’ve given it the appropriately galactic name of ‘Celeste-jewel-ale’, and you can buy it (on tap) at the Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats restaurant.

What does space beer taste like? It’s creators have described it as having “notes of doughy malt, toasted bread, subtle caramel and a light herbal bitterness”.

Dogfish Head enlisted the help of contractors ILC Dover, the guys behind the lunar spacesuits worn by the Apollo astronauts on the moon. They were able to track down the lunar meteorites for the beer as well as provide space-age beer coolers, or koozies. We’re a little impressed.

Unfortunately, as meteorites don’t come around every day, this beer is limited time only. “ILC is making sure this is the best-protected beer on the planet with koozies made from the same material as their spacesuits,” the restaurant wrote on its website.

The koozies are protected against fire damage, friction and tearing, and are insulated to keep the beer at a comfortable temperature.

Wipe your drool and start planning your trip to Delaware. It’s limited time only, and let’s face it, it’s space beer. What wouldn’t you do to try it out?

Published on Urban Society / 08 October, 2013

Manly Salt House

SH3Eat.
Drink.
Dance.
Repeat.

Forget stumbling all over town to find all the best things in life, at Manly Salt House you can get all three in one night – with that warm, balmy summer air, instantly transporting you to *Happy Place*.

Renovated to feel warm yet open, this dual space offers service practically on the beach, without the unsavoury sand. Previously U-turn, which you might remember for that U shaped bar that swallowed up the place, the new owners have pushed the bar right back and renovated the impressive space with natural woods, tiles and a few stone facades.

SH1

Here at Manly Salt House you start downstairs, where you can split a platter of marinated king prawns, oregano & paprika dusted lamb and char grilled vegetables ribbons. Or be greedy and order a market fish, wrapped in banana leaf and served with ginger and lemon relish, all to yourself. Hey, no judgement…

Next, grab your still-standing cronies and head upstairs where you can book a booth, order a wine or three and get. up. on. the floor. They’re soon to offer table service, so you can start channelling your inner Celeb Bali Escape vibe now.

SH7

Head up another level to cool off under the stars beneath the retracting roof. Order the Sunset Blvd, served proud in a champagne glass with fresh strawberry, vanilla, vodka and a touch of lavender, then recline and radiate in your endless-summer-bliss.

Salt heals all wounds, after all…

Website: Manly Salt House

Published on Urban Society / 15 October, 2013

Tatler, Darlinghurst

DSC_8330-1Tatler, Sydney’s original small bar, reopened its doors last week to play host to the ARIA week shenanigans.

Sydney boys Brendan Watson and Tim Clark reclaimed the venue and have been hard at work refurnishing it to reflect the smooth and sophisticated tone of Sydney’s elite. The original sandstone foundations remain, but everything else is brand new: remodelled bars, handpicked furnishings, skeletons dancing on the ceiling… Stumble down the stairs of Tatler and take in the old world furniture and new world values.

Live music takes the form of jazz and soul, while DJs spin remixed 50s classics from decks on an 18th century writing desk. It’s a tantalising combination that won’t let you stop dancing until the walls sweat.

Not your thing? Don’t worry, grab some company and take the party to the outside where you can enjoy city views and fresh breezes.

Tatler

When you get thirsty flag down one of the many waitresses who will bring you a refreshing margarita in a mason jar (what else?). And you wont be able to stop at one, soon your recycled stone top table will be looking like you raided all the best hipster bars in the city. Our other favourite is the Clover Club (pictured, above right), a smooth and refreshing combination of Bombay gin and raspberries. Summer in a sip gulp.

When you’re sufficiently tippled, pick up some of the white cards provided (with a Hemingway quote of course) and let your inspiration, or drunken rantings, flow.

But don’t forget to soak some of that tequila up with a choice of mouthwatering jaffles. Ask for the mushroom filled jaffle with three types of melt-in-your-mouth mushrooms and the smoothest cheese. You’ll be set for the night.

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Get your culture fix here as well: a rotating gallery with works from MCLEMOI. Up first is Tyler Shields: think plenty of red lips and half naked attractive people. Who said a gallery couldn’t come with cocktails?

Last week Tatler was a melting point for the who’s who of the music industry. Judging by the smiles on satisfied customer’s faces, they’ll be coming back again and again.

Stop in, drop by, or settle in for the summer. You won’t want to be anywhere else.
Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 6pm – late
For more info: Visit the Tatler website

Published on Urban Society / 03 December, 2013

Walk on Water at Lake Baikal

Baikal.adventure.walk_.on_.water_Hey there, you big nomad.

What if we were to tell you there’s a frozen lake the size of Belgium that would take you four days to walk across?

Fascinating enough to quench that wanderlust?

This is something to go on every thrill-seeker/Insta-bragger’s bucket list. If the frozen lake isn’t quite enough to pull you across the line, theres the ancient Buddhist communities (“I really connected with the locals, man.”) and adrenaline filled dogsled rides.

But first you’ll have to experience it all.
In Siberia.

Yes, Siberia. Don’t let it’s chills-inducing name put you off – where else except in sub-zero temperatures can you walk across a picturesque frozen lake?. It’s one of the oldest, deepest and largest lakes in the world, not to mention one of the most beautiful. Nothing like the freezing crisp mountain air to make you feel aliiiiiive.

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Included as part of the UNESCO World Heritage List, Lake Baikal features 120ft of clear, fresh water. In warmer months you can grab a wooden boat and take in the beauty above and below you, but we suggest planning for colder weather.

In winter months (February to April) the lake freezes over and transforms into a wonderland the size of Belgium. Here is when the magic happens and you can walk, or take a dogsled, on water.

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Also on the check list when you inevitable head Siberian way: check out the history of nearby Russia, take a Russian cooking class, go on a jeep expedition, explore crystal caves, see the holy Buddhist stupa, meet the indigenous people of Russia and go ice rafting.

Or, for those less-inclined to do such pedestrian activities like actually planning a trip, book a tour and leave it up to those other suckers. 56th Parallel has tours starting from $4950, so you better start pinching those pennies.

[Image Source]


Published on Urban Society / 19 November, 2013

Too ugly to eat at the front of the restaurant?

Night.Time_.Outdoor.Cafe_.Paris_You wait two weeks to get a reservation at the best new restaurant.

You wear your best clothes and prepare your wallet for the best food.

And finally you arrive, and what happens? You’re placed out the back, somewhere between the shouting chef and the constantly swinging door of the toilet.

The place isn’t even that busy, so what’s with that?

Well, sorry to break it to you but you just may not be attractive enough.

Reports from former waitresses at major restaurants in Paris prove that they were told to put the best-looking customers at the front and move the less attractive further along, out of sight, to create a view of an ugly-free Paris.

Le George, an upmarket restaurant on top floor of the Pompidou Centre, and Café Marly, which overlooks the Louvre, are both landmark Parisian eateries and have been accused of being biased snobs.

The waitresses say they were getting in trouble for not following this policy, with the owners and managers asking: “What are these ugly mugs doing at this table? Everyone can see them when they come in. It’s very bad for our image.” (Let’s just take a step back here and remember that this is the city with a dedicated cat cafe).

The only ones exempt seem to be celebrities, who get to enjoy the Parisian view without having to worry too much about having a face like an angel. (All’s well for Gérard Depardieu, then.)

Even the hostesses don’t have it easy, with the criteria for a job at either restaurant stating anyone “without a model’s physique and over 30 need not apply”. They were also told off for not showing their boobs and wearing long skirts.

And don’t even think about bribing the staff, with the boss of Le George, Gilbert Costes, visiting his restaurant periodically to “harp on about the house principles of which he is very proud, as he invented them” as one of the former waitresses told The Telegraph.

Looks like you may need to find a new favourite restaurant, or plastic surgeon.

(Image Source)

Published on Urban Society / 12 November, 2013

Most promiscuous mechaphile in the world

carloverIf you thought you loved your car just because you wash it more than once a month you have nothing on this guy.

Edward Smith is a 62-year-old car lover from Yelm, Washington who claims he has had sex with 1,000 cars. This makes him the most promiscuous mechaphile in the world. Probably not something to write home about.

Mechapiles are people who love cars a little bit too much, or feel an insatiable sexual attraction to cars. Smith claims he has never felt sexually attracted to women, not even consummating his relationship to his only girlfriend, 12 years ago.

Smith’s attraction started with his neighbour’s Volkswagen Beetle, which he lost his virginity to, and since then he’s taken numerous cars for a ‘test drive’. “Some guys look at boobs and bums on beautiful women. I look at the front and rear on beautiful cars,” he said.

“There have been certain cars that attracted me and I would wait until night time, creep up to them and just hug and kiss them,” he confesses. But you no longer have to worry about discovering your car being humped by a stranger as your wander home after that binger of a Friday night, as Smith is now in an ‘open relationship’ with a second-hand Volkswagen Beetle named Vanilla, an 1973 Opel GT called Cinnamon AND a 1193 Ford Ranger named Splash.

If these cars are jealous of one another, they don’t seem to be honking their horns in frustration.

“I will not deny that I look at other cars on TV or at shows and still get those old impulses and desires – but those were the early days,” he says. He’s admitted that, of all three of his ‘lovers’, his heart belongs to the Beetle. “Now I want to settle down with Vanilla. There’s something about her that I can’t fully express on an emotional level except it’s very powerful and very sincere.”

Guess that just leaves more humans for us to enjoy.
Published on Urban Society / 15 October, 2013

Pokemon Cocktails

PokemoncocktailsSick of all the old drinking games, where you don’t understand the rules because you have too many weaknesses (the inability to say “no, thanks”) and not enough power-ups (second wind-anyone?)

By the time you figure things out, you’re downing a toxic mixture of every kind of alcohol imaginable and wondering how you managed to lose the round. (Wish you had dealt your Jolteon instead of your Pikachu now, don’t you?)

Now you can introduce your friends to a new deck of fun: Pokémon Cocktails. Forget Vodka Sunrises and Martinis, these drinks are way more delicious and ambitious. And you don’t even need to track down any bars like we did for our cocktail challenge – just an open alcohol store and you’re set to booze yourself away for the rest of the night.

The nine frozen cocktails are the invention of Tumblr user and Pokémon fan, meowpurrnom, and are of the ‘Eeveelution’ variety, with every one representing every known evolution of Eevee including the newest edition: Sylveon.

The mixes include:

Eevee: Cake vodka, Kahlua, Bailey’s, a chocolate éclair ice cream bar and chocolate syrup

Vaporeon: Rum, Malibu, blue Curacao, pineapple juice and Sprite

Jolteon: Tequila, Red Bull, margarita mix, lemon juice, Sprite and salt on the rim

Flareon: Fireball whiskey, peach Schnapps, iced tea, lemonade and dash of strawberry syrup

Espeon: Strawberry Vodka, Hpnotiq Harmonie, Chambord, cranberry juice and Sprite

Umbreon: Bourbon, Coke, lemon juice and orange juice

Glaceon: Rum, Blue Curacao, peppermint schnapps, lemonade, soda water and sugar on the rim

Leafeon: Tequila, peach Schnapps, lime juice, ginger ale, mint, honey and a drop of chocolate syrup for decoration

Sylveon: Cake Vodka, strawberry vodka, Bailey’s, a strawberry shortcake ice cream bar, cream and strawberry syrup

The measurements are left to you, and let’s face it, that’s the fun bit. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even take out the Pokedex and have a Pokemon showdown while mixing and drinking. Eeveelutionary thinking? We think so.

Just make sure to keep your kids away from this one; we have a feeling they might not appreciate it as much as you.

Published on Urban Society / 15 October, 2013

Melbourne Remote Control Tourists

Melbourne4Ever wanted to control another human being?

Make them try those dumplings that look a little risky?

Or check out all the best dark alleys in Melbourne? (Okay, maybe that one’s a little mean. These are living, breathing humans after all!)

Well prepare for all your dreams to come true. Tomorrow, Play Melbourne will introduce two remote control tourists who will be traveling around Melbourne, completely in your control!

One lucky guy and girl will be at your disposal from tomorrow, October 9th, until Sunday, October 13th. Through the Play Melbourne Twitter and Facebook page, viewers will be able to tell the tourists what to do, and then watch it all live-streamed.

You can tell them to try all those restaurants you’ve been meaning to visit, and then perhaps a stroll through the art galleries. You can feel all cultured while sitting at your desk munching on watermelon whole fruit popsicles.

Let them make all the mistakes before you even set foot in Melbourne, leaving you to enjoy the finer things.

Watch the Youtube video to get you prepared.

Live-streaming
9th Ocotober: 10am – 8pm
10th October: 12pm – 8pm
11th October: 12pm – 8pm
12th October: 12pm – 8pm
13th October: 12pm – 8pm

Website

Published on Urban Society / 08 October, 2013