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Our Sydney Summer

photos: Lisa Zhu

Cool and Brooding: The Eathouse Diner

Whilst all the wholesome, handsome and swell kids from Rydell High were busy carrying on about how they went together like ramma lamma dinga dong at their neat and tidy little diners, The Eathouse must have been where the cool, broody and misunderstood kids were hiding.

The Eathouse Diner
pays homage to the all American diners from the 50s but with some unique twists – from the giant bird mural on the feature wall to the quirky vintage bric-a-brac. The music provides the perfect rock and roll soundtrack and the place has been styled so well that you’d be forgiven for assuming the tunes are coming from an old jukebox somewhere in the back corner rather than an iPod.


We were eloquent once
Before we found each other
Exactly where we had been left
And forgot how to speak.

For a long time
We had traded words that meant other words
That meant different things that meant
‘I adore you.’

Unconventional Dimensions: Magdalena Velevska

She may be Macedonia-born, but Magdalena Velevska makes a fine addition to the Australian fashion industry and Sydney’s local design scene. Her latest collection, Dovetail, takes its inspiration from the traditions of Native American Indian quilt making. Side Street, Sydney had the chance to catch up with the designer amidst preparation for a big show at this year’s fast-approaching Rosemount Australia Fashion Week.

Since childhood, Magdalena has been immersed in creativity. Her mother an architect and father a musician, Magdalena's interest and inquiry into the arts was fostered from an early age. “I had piano lessons from the age of five and I later sang and did ballet and jazz. I was always drawing and I made my first shirt when I was nine years old,” she reflects. Born in Macedonia, Magdalena and her family migrated to Australia when she was 11. “The move gave me a sense of maturity from a very early age,” she says. “It also made me driven and highly ambitious" - two qualities that are integral to success in the fashion industry.

Love in the Name of Design

Oh my goodness look at us! We're all fresh and new, much like a very cute baby animal.

So if you have been paying attention to our schizo-site of late, you may have noticed that we have a very short attention span and like to shake things up a little rather often. We had been getting itchy feet with our Georgia-centric identity for a while, so in between deciding what to do we did nothing at all. It turned out to be rather unproductive. Thankfully, our lovely designy friend Thembi Hanify soon came to the rescue when she offered to redo our identity, and we couldn't be happier with the way it turned out. To celebrate the commercial-tastic holiday that it is, today it's centered around Valentines Day, because Google shouldn't be the only ones who are allowed to have an ever-evolving masthead. We may not be as important as them, but we consider ourselves as cool. Nevermind what anyone else thinks.

In the meantime, you should continue procrastinating by checking out Thembstar's many other projects, which include a magazine (Monster & Midget), illustration and a collaborative venture with this site's editor, Final Version. Right now she's based in Brooklyn, New York, where she is making us very jealous and also working for a studio that can list the likes of Stella McCartney as a client. Thembi's one busy, talented lady, and we appreciate her very much.

So our Valentines Day message is this: even if you don't have a significant other, use this Hallmark excuse to celebrate ALL the love in your life - your beatiful friends, eye candy design and, above all, cute baby animals.

Monster & Midget magazine, issue 2

a personal drawing

packaging for Brisbane band Emerald

By The Tree

photo: Lisa Zhu

Face to Face: Wok+Wine

The fact that we live in a rapidly evolving digital world is a fact that cannot be escaped (or ignored, for that matter) but the reality that social networking is now a term synonmyous with Facebook instead of face-to-face interaction can be a little depressing. Gone are the bars where everybody knows your name, the neighbours we borrow sugar from and the strangers we share smiles with in the elevator. They’ve been swapped for fan pages, online grocery shopping with express delivery and iPhone applications – the modern world’s best cushion against eye contact. The point of all this banter is to say that while we’re a fundamentally online publication, we believe that “online” communities are not the same as “real” communities, and we’re big fans of the latter. And so when Wok+Wine emailed us with their concept and told us they were coming to Sydney, we got seriously excited.

In a nutshell, Wok+Wine gets “40 random people, 40 bottles of good wine, 40 pounds of jumbo prawns (heads and shells on), throws them in a big wok and then serves them up at one communal table with no chairs, plates or knives and forks.” The strangers are then enticed to chat and connect and eat and drink and get a little dirty in a fabulously arranged social setting. It started in New York City just one year ago, but today Wok+Wine has catered to 2000 people from more than 20 cities across nine countries – and they’ll be in Sydney next week. We threw a few FAQs to the brains behind the concept, Peter Mandeno and Lizzie Shupak.

One of Ours: From Elsewhere

It’s been nearly 18 months since Side Street, Sydney first started, and if we’re going to be honest, the talent that has so willingly and generously contributed to this site has struck us with awe. We had no idea it was POSSIBLE to be so special. Of course, the only reason we’re special is because of said writers and photographers, who make up a rather talented bunch of of people. They have countless other side projects, they write for many glorious other publications and they’re all seriously good looking.

So of course we could not be more thrilled when one of them goes ahead and gets herself a solo exhibition, which opens today at Tap Gallery. The lovely Liz Schaffer – also known as our theatre aficionado – is a woman of many talents, apparently, both across the written word and photography. Her exhibition is entitled From Elsewhere and features 25 photographs taken across the world over the past 18 months. Highlighting a devotion to travel and foreign cultures, the images “capture intimate meetings between strangers, the details hidden within the world's largest cities, private moments and sights that simply make us feel small.” It will be on from today through to February 13, with a launch on Wednesday from 6pm to 9pm. We hope you'll join us in giving her an applaud (and a well-deserved alcoholic beverage).

Retro Splashes: The Diana World Tour

One of the highlights of photographic culture in recent years has got to be the resurgence of lomography and its vintage aesthetic, both of which are exemplified by the iconic Diana cameras. Producing vignettes with retro splashes of colour, the plastic bodies of film have the capacity to make certain scenes appear much cooler than they actually are - and because they lack the realistic-to-the-pore element of digital cameras, they make people appear better looking, too. Plus, they're pretty.

Naturally, we're stoked that there is about to be an exhibition devoted fully to the awesomeness of Diana, which opens tonight at Blender Gallery. Complete with 100 vintage clone cameras from the 60s and 70s, a collection of Diana images PLUS an exhibition featuring 25 cameras customised by some of Australia and New Zealand's most amazing artists and illustrators, there is a whole lot of lomographic goodness to feast on. The best part is of course that each of the 25 cameras is going to be auctioned off to raise money for charities seethroughme, a creative project for children in need, and World Child Cancer. Staying true to the theme, the exhibition will also feature a series of workshops so that people who own Dianas can know what to do with Dianas. Sydney creatives Kym Ellery, Shane Sakkeus and Greedy Hen (pictured below) contributed to the goodness, and the results speak for themselves. If you would like us to speak for the results, well... we like them very much.

The Diana World Tour exhibition opens tonight from 6pm to 8pm at Blender and runs until February 19.

Flowing Words: The State Library of NSW

The sandstone, the history, the free lockers... there is plenty to love about the NSW State Library. For the literary minded, the state’s official book and reference depository on Macquarie Street is a true beacon in Sydney. This is especially true to those who write – while they may come for the books, they soon discover that the ambience inspires words to flow just like they have in everything that surrounds them.

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