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Love Hearts

photo: Lisa Zhu

One of Everything: The Winery

Surry Hills has never been short of a drinking establishment and The Winery is yet another, but so much more. Not content with just being a bar (pish! Who does that anymore), they also have a very pleasant restaurant-vibe happening. Avoiding the minimalist look which became derigueur during the ice age of Sydney bar-dom (i.e. before Her Holiness relaxed the liquor licensing laws), The Winery’s look is quirky, but not in an overly cutesy way; quirky dark, not quirky saccharine.

Theatre Crush: Rhinestone Rex and Miss Monica

Here at Side Street, Sydney, we have crushes on lots of things, and this city’s places are of course just a few of them. Ensemble Theatre is the latest to weasle its way into our hearts. After all, the unassuming Kirribilli institution (which comes with retro outdoor lighting and knock-out harbour views) is currently bringing us the latest intimate creation from playwright David Williamson.

Hipster Laughing: Boy & Bear

There’s a huge amount of hype around indie folkmasters Boy & Bear. They’ve recently toured with Laura Marling and Mumford & Sons and have been flogged relentlessly by this city’s cooler radio stations. It’s easy to see why, too – their layered, harmonic indie folk-pop produces liquid honey sounds that are oh so sweet to listen to. The as yet un-albumed fivesome are about to go on tour and, lovers of fine music that we are, we plonked Jon Hart, the band’s keys and mandolin man, down on the virtual Side Street, Sydney couch for a chat.

Morphing and Distorting: Tanya Linney

Tanya Linney is a Sydney-based artist and ex-model who has an upcoming solo show, Morphic Distortions, at Paddington’s Global Gallery this Wednesday. The mixed-media body of work sees an insightful investigation into contemporary notions of female identity, form, and sexuality, whilst remaining humorous and palatable. Side Street, Sydney had the opportunity to talk to Tanya about the reasoning behind her work, whether or not she thinks of herself as a feminist artist and how chaos sometimes leads to clarity.

Summer Loves Shoes

We've said it before and we'll say it again - Sydney labels are some of the best in the world. Particularly the gorgeous Handsom and Strummer, whose styles are almost as pretty as the designers themselves. They have got to be two of our favourite emerging brands, so of COURSE we couldn't help but ask them to be on board with Final Episode. Thankfully, they agreed, and now the shop has got some pretty rockin' summer styles. Did we just say rockin'? Anyway, summer will arrive one of these days (we think. we hope.), and when it does, it's likely to plop itself on our sweaty little feet when we least expect it. Be prepared with one of these gorgeous summer styles and winter will seem but a distant memory. (if you want it to, that is. If not, just think - just 6 more months! And you can always spend the next few months in Russia.)

Check them out where they live.

Driving Along

photo: Lisa Zhu

Art for Youth: Funny Farm

Some of our favourite artists - including long time favourite Kareena Zerefos - are taking part in an afternoon of art, tapas and live music this coming Sunday over at MuMu Grill in Crows Nest. What could be better than food and pretty pictures? Well, the fact that all proceeds from the silent auction of said pretty pictures go to the Phoenix Youth Centre. It's on from 12pm to 3pm and is being organised by our friends over at The National Grid. It's not every day that enjoying yourself can be for a good cause, so be sure to head on down.

Passion for People: Spark*

There is no greater way of living than leading a life of passion, except perhaps when such passion is delivered to the benefit of others. Aaron and Kaitlin Tait are archetypes for this version of “living the dream”, and they’re perfectly fine with the fact that it doesn’t come with a hell of a lot of money, glamour or fame. For them, the dream involves empowering young leaders in impoverished regions of the world, and setting up a non-profit to help make it a reality. The passion, dedication and clever strategising is evident after just one look at Spark*, which launches this Saturday night at Melt Bar in Kings Cross. Heading into Papua New Guinea next year, the Spark* team will identify local youth who have the potential to guide their communities and train them to be social entrepreneurs. The whole concept is derived from Aaron and Kaitlin’s belief that the greatest change can only come from within the place that it is most needed. Their role, they claim, is to merely facilitate it – but really, they are the driving forces behind it.

Our Lush Concrete Garden: Sydney Architecture Festival

A concrete jungle is only as pretty as its concrete trees, and Sydney isn't called one of the most beautiful cities in the world for nothing. If you've ever wondered about the stories behind the tinted glass windows, this one's for you - the Sydney Architecture Festival has officially begun as of today. Running through to November 7, the festival features more than 70 talks, tours, open-houses, film nights and exhibitions, all of which provide intriguing insight into the built environment that surrounds us. Some of the highlights include an exhibition entitled "The Shape of Things to Come: Sydney in 2030" at the Customs House, a talk on "The Life and Death of Public Architecture" at Sydney Uni and a tour of Ballast Park. Sigh. It's all a design nerd's dream. (In case there was any doubt, that is SO us.) More details on the website.

Green Eyes

Oh she’s beautiful
Oh she’s beautiful
I ache for her and her alone
Entranced by possibility
Until, naked
‘What if’ becomes ‘what has’
And it dawns upon me
That I am not sensual,
Not romantic,
But young.

Crystal Gazing: Billy Bride

Crystals are no longer just for adherents of nu age philosophy and mystical fortune-tellers; the debut Apollo collection from Billy Bride jewellery has the power to make even the most ardent sceptic to release her inner-city hippy. Created and designed by Renee Warne and constructed from raw mineral specimens sourced from around Australia, each piece is one-off and one-of-a-kind, holding spiritual properties that work in synergy with its wearer.

At Sunset

photo: Lisa Zhu

Inner City Dining: The Wine Library

The Wine Library is the quintessential inner city dining experience – beautifully designed, absolutely packed and positively delicious. Its ambience is worthy of its placement in any Great Eat Book or Sydney To-Do List, and while you may wait (and wait.) for your waiter’s attention, the food and drink is always worth it when it finally does come to the table.

A derivative of the Jersey Road establishment buzo, all the food on the menu is crafted by the same man and, most importantly, tastes like it. The Wine Library is marked with a distinct European influence, reminiscent of any one of Italy’s charming wine bars with a just a hint of New York edge. This was clearly in architect Bill McMahon’s conscience when he started working on the interior, which includes tolix bar stools, backlit wall panelling and a wall-to-wall wine display. It’s a modern take on elegant, and if you manage to snag a seat, the atmosphere has the ability to make you feel much more important than you actually are. This is always a wonderful thing.

Rock N Roll Goss: Tony Mott @ Blender

If you’ve ever dressed up as a rockstar and screeched out the lyrics to your favourite song while dancing wildly around your room, or, for the more modest types, if you’ve ever been to a live music show and just happen to like awesome photos, then Tony Mott is a man that should most definitely be on your radar. Rock ‘n’ Roll Photography Is The New Trainspotting - A Retrospective of Work from the Last 30 Years by Tony Mott is the name of both the exhibition currently being held at Blender Gallery in Paddington and the incredible newly-released book that goes beyond the viewfinder.

Mott has been taking photos of iconic musicians for over 30 years and his touring resume reads like a festival line-up from the gods. It includes the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Fleetwood Mac, Silverchair and Bob Dylan - and don't forget he is the official tour photographer for that little known travelling affair, Big Day Out.

Unsurprisingly, his images have been on over 450 albums covers and more than 700 magazines, career stats that embed a history book of stories - some of which you may well be able to hear this Saturday, if you're lucky and he feels like it. He's going to be doing a book signing at Blender from 1pm, followed by a floor talk at 2pm. Rock N Roll Goss may never be so close again.

words: Jacinta Heath

Richard In Our Mind

Another day, another amazing Richard In Your Mind video clip. Sometimes we all want to have SPOD sprinkle confetti over our heads and then kiss us on the cheek, right? Utilising the magical power of video art, Sydney creator and director Kenzie Larsen thought “the only thing better than one Richard In Your Mind band would be two Richard In Your Mind bands.” Pure insanity and completely awesome, we couldn’t agree more.

words: Jacinda Fermanis

Down the Coast

We watch the thunderclouds roll in,
the tide go out,
the winds pick up,
the slow drip of the sun go down.

Sand whips across our shins.
We are idle, indulgent and at ease.
Birds come to scavenge and scrap,
watch with greedy envy the bread,
fish, onions, oil, and our greasy fingers after them
disappear into our mouths.

Locally Produced: Trois

Gabrielle Abela is much like her label Trois; welcoming, smart, uncannily beautiful, and a little bit of a tomboy. Gabrielle’s love for hip hop, her background as a dancer and her profile as inner city favourite DJ Gabby colours her approach to fashion with its strong urban vibe. Yet Trois still captures the essence of Sydney glam without beating you over the head with it; a feather here or there, a whisk of natural silk, or a thin band of leather. The collection is elegant without being prissy, functional without being bland, and Gabrielle’s irrepressible energy and sense of humour are ever-present throughout.

Spring is in the Air

photos: Lisa Zhu

Festival Food for All

As food loving, spice savvy Sydneysiders - with crushes on sun drenched afternoon picnics - we feel that the Crave Sydney International Food Festival is a rather splendid event. The month long celebration of uber-chic flavours is set to reveal just how delectable our noodles, markets and waterways can be. To simplify the Crave menu, we’ve picked out a few events that are definitely worth digesting.

The Hangover Never Ends.

A big fat cuddle to those of you who came to celebrate the launch of Final Episode last week. It turns out starting a business is a really big bitch, so we can't thank you enough for your support. You know who else we can't thank enough? Jonathan, Ben, Canvas Group & Lyn and Tony - the artists who exhibited at the event, plus of course Maia and her magic styling hands. Their work is amazing, but instead of bombarding you with words, we'll let it speak for itself below.

Big love,
Seema x

Our Girl Next Door: Emma Davis

Newtown girl Emma Davis is so adorable you’ll want to put her in your pocket and take her home forever. Luckily, you (sort of) can in the form of her debut self-titled album, which is filled with delightful tunes that have just the right touch of melancholy. Emma’s voice is angelic, her lyrics are smart and her music is beautiful, rousing and gentle, not unlike a waterbed filled with mounds of fluffy white marshmallows instead of liquid. The first single, Machines has been getting a fair bit of airplay on Triple J and FBi over the past couple weeks, and for good reason. It’s affecting and infectious. In light of this current Emma Davis obsession, we felt it best to stop stalking her and actually talk to the woman directly, and thus avoid certain criminal charges.

The London-born Emma has actually lived all over the place. “Everywhere that I’ve been, I’ve been lucky enough to meet some wonderful people and that’s what makes it feel like home”, she explains. Emma went to high school in England and followed that up with a stint at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston before finally settling in Sydney. Like many musicians, her love for music sprung up at a very young age. “When I was eight I decided I wanted to learn the classical guitar. Everyone else was learning the recorder and that sounded really boring,” she recalls. “I had this amazing teacher who taught me classical guitar, but then for half the lessons he’d bring in Beatles tapes, Simon and Garfunkel, Tracey Chapman; all these incredible songwriters. I think he shaped the kind of music that I’m into now. That’s what made me want to start writing.”

Cookies ala Bill

As sugar loving bakeoholics, we decided to gets the oven mitts on and tackle Bill Granger’s cookie recipes. After all, while the Sydney-based chef has made quite a name for himself on the cafĂ© circuit, many of us Masterchef novices have not yet discovered just how easy and scrumptious his techniques actually are.

Chocolate Cookies from Sydney Food

Ah, the humble chocolate cookie, the lazy afternoon bake-off staple that shall forever fill our hearts and minds with gooey, cocoa goodness. Naturally, Granger’s once coveted recipe sounds like a piece of cake. However, the temptation to undercook the chunky mixture (in order to maximise batter brilliance) and double the chocolate chip quantity means the finished products don’t always match Granger’s rad descriptions. But immature improvisation aside, these creations, made with brown sugar rather than a traditional blend of brown and white, are Cookie Monster hash. With minimal kitchen mess and a tantalising aftertaste, they are best enjoyed with a book, open fire and pretty much anything.

Bake-ability: 76%
Taste: 94%

Improvisation Potential: the more chocolate the better.

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