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A Merry Christmas Message

Soooo, 2010, hey? That was funny.
Not exactly funny in a “haha” kind of way, but more funny in a “haha! We survived! HAHA!” kind of way. By all accounts, 2010 was a rather intense year, one that began in optimism and ended with the feeling of getting off a roller coaster – and all the sense of exhaustion, achievement, reflection, nausea and serious craving for a beer that goes with it. Maybe 15 beers. Hey, we deserve it.

Whether you had a great year or a rocky year, one thing is certain: 2010 gave us a lot to think about, and we hope that Side Street, Sydney gave you a little more, otherwise our existence may be a little pointless and we may cry. We interviewed another glorious array of inspiring individuals, some of whom we have wanted to keep little ornaments of on our fireplace and bring out whenever we have felt sad and deflated and in need of a drinking buddy. Mag Nation’s Sahil Merchant inspired us with his entrepreneurial insight, Spark*’s founders Kaitlin and Aaron Tait galvanised us with their sheer determination to make a difference, Julia Stone made us have a serious girl crush and our lovely photographer Lisa Zhu gave us a reason to celebrate with our exhibition. Every person we spoke to inspired us in one way or another, and gave us another reason to dream. The fact that they can come true is just about the cheesiest and most wonderful thing in the world. We feel like singing a Disney song and prancing around in an ice skating costume right about now. Why an ice skating costume, you ask? They’re just so pretty.

We have a few ideas for how we’re going to move forward next year, but we think ideas simmer best when they’re left alone, which is exactly what we’re going to be doing for the next two weeks while we’re drinking and talking and falling over in front of people we shouldn’t. If you have any pointers or feedback for us, we’d really love it if you comment below or send us an email and we’ll definitely take it into account. Unless of course you’re mean and tell us that we smell funny. You don’t know how we smell, okay?

We can tell you this: next year we’ll continue to bring you features on our favourite creatives and people who are making a difference in Sydney today, along with more creative writing and of course bar and restaurant reviews, because there’s nothing better than a tax deductible glass of bubbly. We may also start to take a hint with the popularity of our recent news features (and how much we LOVE writing them!) and bring that into the forum a little more, to which we encourage you to respond and debate, especially if you don’t agree with us. And we have a few more ideas simmering but we’ll keep hush about them for now, as we don’t really want to bore you too much. It is Christmas, after all.

We know we don’t have the authority to, but we’ll give you a Christmas message anyway: this season (and always), if you’re ever in doubt, try to come from a place of love and you’ll immediately know that the answer is right. That applies to the big issues like asylum seekers and gay marriage right down to the smaller, more individual ones, such as your reaction to your annoying cousin who won’t stop singing 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' at your family barbecue. Bigotry, intolerance, fear and the desire to stuff a sock in said cousin’s mouth all come from a place of hatred, and any reaction that comes from there is wrong. PERIOD. And even you’ll know it’s wrong, because you’ll have to keep justifying it to yourself. This Christmas, try making the number of drinks you had last night the ONLY thing you have to justify to yourself. You’ll still be hungover, but on the plus side, you’ll be a better person.

Love and light for Christmas and beyond,
Seema & the Side Street team xx

The Side Street, Sydney (/Final Episode) HQ, where the magic happens.

Christmas Gifts Determine Happiness, Sometimes

It's almost Christmas! There are only 5 days left, to be exact. If, like us, you haven't exactly finished your shopping yet, this news should make you a little terrified. But fear not! You can buy some goodies and sport the best of Sydney designers right from that little office chair that you should be doing work in. Hey, it's Christmas! SURELY YOUR BOSS WOULD HAVE SOME SYMPATHY. All these beautiful accessories and more are available at Final Episode, and so is a very well dressed reindeer that you should all go and adore.

From the Rooftoop

photo: Lisa Zhu

A Better Burger Joint: Moo

Newtown is as fickle as Lindsay Lohan’s career, but then that’s one of the things that makes it such a great place. Recently a little burger joint called Moo opened its doors right down the Dendy end of King Street. You could call it a ‘gourmet’ burger place if you wish, but that would make it sound prissy and kind of annoying.

Music for Free!: The Preachers' 66 Project

With a ragged allure normally worn by storybook pirates, Sydney favourites The Preachers are a band of rebels in the world of rock ‘n’ roll. They have just embarked on their ambitious 66 Project, in which they’ll be recording and releasing high-quality demos over the next 6 months for free, all the while documenting the process online.

With local producers (Tony Buchen, Basil Hodges), filmmakers (Oliver Heath, Closetakes), fashion designers (St Augustine Academy), artists and photographers working alongside The Preachers to help make each release possible, The 66 Project officially begins this month with the release of 'The Sleeping Serial'.

Their debut self titled EP is now available on Bandcamp for free, as well as downloads of popular off-cuts from the EP, ‘Young’ and ‘Fictional Lover’. Be sure to keep an eye out for tunes ranging from acoustic folk and dark country to full-blown rock ’n’ roll.

words: Jacinda Fermanis



It is the news topic of the moment, and, although time is yet to prove it, it is most likely the news topic of our generation. We haven’t had a My Lai massacre or a Watergate, and I for one had long been of the opinion that we never would again. THAT was investigative journalism’s heyday, when one reporter’s resolve and sheer exploratory skill had the power to take down governments and change the course of history forever. But the times, oh how they have changed, and there are many possible reasons for journalism’s slow and steady decent into the colour yellow. Is it the fact that newspapers have become more concerned with sheltering the advertisers that fund them than exposing the government that said advertisers support? Or is it that journalists have become so deluded by the fact that their opinion actually matters, to the point where what they believe to be true is more important than the facts? Or is it the various censorship laws that have made “Freedom of Speech” an idealistic notion almost as ancient as the founding fathers who established it? Or, of course, is it the sensationalism of news today, a characteristic that very few papers in the world attempt to avoid to save their integrity? After all, the paycheque for integrity isn’t even close to what you get for creating drama – and most drama has a bit of fiction thrown in there for added value.

Sydney's Style Sensation: Tubarosa

One of our secret loves here at Side Street Sydney is fashion illustration, ranging everywhere from the realistic and incredible to the sentimental and adorable. Our newest obsession is with Tubarosa, who definitely fits into the later of the two categories. The alter ego of Annie Wright-Zawada (yes, THAT Zawada – clearly like attracts like...), Tubarosa is the most well-dressed and attractive two dimensional character we’ve ever had the pleasure of speaking with. In addition to some pretty stylish ensembles, Tubarosa’s site regularly pays tribute to her good friends, showcases beautiful little flower bouquets and every so often, presents a rather tempting recipe for baked treats. We asked Annie to invoke Tubarosa and answer a few questions for us, as well as draw us a special photo of the paper version of herself in the Sydney summer.

Hi, Tubarosa! Tell us where your name comes from?
Hi! My name Tubarosa is a misspelled version of the delicate flowers Tuberose Or Tuberosa. My mother kept an old Italian perfume bottle called Tubarosa in our bathroom and this is where it originated from.

You have quite the fashion sense. Where do you do most of your shopping?
Good question, lately I have found that times are tougher than they ever have been before, so I enjoy shopping in my closet! Most of my most prized pieces were purchased a few years ago or they have been given to me as gifts (I have lots of very talented fashion designer friends).

Clear Skies

photo: Lisa Zhu

Almost Paris: Ash Street Cellar

Tucked away in a side street in the middle of the Sydney CBD, you will find a little gem called Ash Street Cellar. This wine bar and bistro could easily be mistaken for belonging to a street scene in Paris, with its neat rows of wooden arch backed chairs nuzzled against the tiny round tables on “the street” and earthy matching decor inside- all with a view of the rustic looking open kitchen.

Art for Love

Do you know what’s a great thing? Falling in love. Be it with a significant other, a friend, or, in the case we’re about to illustrate, art. We fell in love with Jeremyville a long time ago, but most recently, we have fallen in love with his “Community Service Announcements”, a selection of prints that are at once philosophical, holistic, sweet and downright adorable. We had the most excruciating time choosing a selection for this post, as each one warms our little heart and as corny as it is to say, puts a smile on our face. They all embrace this journey that we’re on and point us in the right direction of thinking positively and being the change we wish to see in the world. OH GOD WE CAN’T STOP BEING CORNY. But you know what? Love is kind of corny, and yet it’s the greatest thing in the world. So today, we’re cool with being corny... and in love with Jeremyville.

You can view the whole selection on his Facebook page, and if you would to buy one or a few hundred for your wall, email

The Stupendous Compendium of Anti Gay Marriage Arguments (and why they're wrong)

ed note: This post has appeared a few places - on Rick's blog and subsequently on Mia Freedman's site Mama Mia, but after discussing with the author of this fabulous article, we determined that the Side Street audience is so different and this issue really deserves full attention across all streams of media. You may remember our story on Australian Marriage Equality posted more than a year ago, and sadly this issue has not gone away. If anything, it is more pertinent than ever, and as Rick Morton so wonderfully describes, the arguments against it are completely idiotic.

There has been a lot of talk about this gay marriage business bringing about the end of the world. Something about The Gays unhinging their collective maws and swallowing villages whole. It’s a compelling argument if you’ve ever been to Mardi Gra and mistaken it for the world’s most fabulous army invading the streets. We’re here, we’re queer and we’re annexing your collection of interior design manuals. However, contrary to popular belief, The Gays aren’t trying to take over the streets. Urban gentrification is about as militant as we get, believe me.

So to help those who feel like they need to keep peddling the marriage-go-round of mistruths, I have compiled this Stupendous Compendium of Anti Gay Marriage Arguments (and why they’re wrong).

You’re welcome.

It’s about religion.
No, it isn’t. Going to church is about religion. Loving thy neighbour is about religion. Marriage is a secular contract presided over by Government. Like taxes. Atheists get married. Religious people get married. Some churches won’t marry inter-racial couples, or previously divorced couples. They’re welcome to. That’s their right. But that doesn’t preclude these people from marriage altogether. Because it’s secular.

The Next Heavyweight: Elliot Ward-Fear

“The next big thing” is a phrase that is thrown around in a seemingly loose manner within the fashion industry at large, but seldom does it have any real consequence to the chosen novice. When said novice has the likes of international heavyweights Miuccia Prada and Bryan Boy express interest in his designs, however, the prophecy is far more likely to be fulfilled. And so it is with near certainty that Elliot Ward-Fear will make his mark in the fashion world, and Sydney will always be able to lay claim to his starting point. If isn’t the praise that drives his success, it will undoubtedly be his passionate ambition and the sheer confidence he has in himself, which saw him set his own forecast for achievement long before it appeared in any blogs or magazines. Forging the ever forgotten relationship between fashion and art with a mark that is truly his own, Elliot has brought an almost foreign avant-garde aesthetic into Australian fashion, and it was one which turned heads throughout the industry when he launched his label this past fashion week. Elliot paused from his plan for world fashion domination to tell us what the future has in store for him and why he owes it all to his family.

Storm Plus Sunset

photo: Lisa Zhu

Literary Treasures: Ariel Books

To all avid readers, Ariel Books is somewhat of a mecca. There is no better way to spend a few hours than leafing through thick coffee table books on art and design, re-reading a classic or finding a new literary love. With two stores – one in Paddington and other in The Rocks – Ariel Books has just as much to offer as any Borders or Dymocks, minus the faceless feel of a big business. Warm and inviting like a library but with the exciting atmosphere of a record store, Ariel Books is the perfect place to escape the summer heat (or rain!) and get lost in the pages of another (less humid) world. Along with an abundance of books, there are also tiny treasures at Ariel such as Moleskines, kitsch Mexican ornaments and... chocolate. And just for the night owls, the store is open until the clock strikes twelve. We chatted to director Steven Blanks.

It's World AIDS Day

AIDS. It's such an easy topic to neglect, and yet such a fatal one to neglect. It is absolutely loaded with stigma, controversy and fear, so naturally, we here at Side Street are fascinated by it. It is in this spirit that we think a day devoted to talking about it and REMEMBERING it is so crucial, as the second it fades from our day-to-day consciousness it becomes shrouded in ignorance and discrimination, and, of course, these are the conditions in which it proliferates. So not only will we be wearing our red ribbons today, but we'll also be bringing the topic of AIDS up in conversation. We hope you'll do the same.

If you're drawing a blank right now, we urge you to read this story that we did with the AIDS Trust of Australia and, well, become smarter while you're at it.
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