Saturday, October 24, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
- Nikki Beach - 151 E 50 St - like stepping into a bar that belongs at Byron, good for celeb spotting
- W Hotel on 49th &
in Midtown - Oasis Bar and Whisky Bar, ultra cool, very trendy Lexington
- 'Neal's Speakeasy -
174 Grand Street- great bar, cool cocktails, smooth service (this was "Scout" in Sex and The City)
Hollywoodin Times Squareis also cheap and great people watching - kind of tacky but worth a look and good for a late night snack
- Waverly Inn – very exclusive, get there early, amazing celeb spotting, very low key suprisingly.
16 Bank St, GreenwichVillage
- SoHo Grand Bar – 310 West Broadway. Gorgeous.
- Gansevoort Rooftop in Meatpacking District is HOT!
18 9th Ave.
- Bungalow 8 – of course. 515 w27th in
. The bar itself is more famous than the people you’ll see there… Chelsea
- The bars in the boutique hotels are fantastic – check them out, you might just find a hidden gem!
- TAO - 58th and
- largest and most popular Asian restaurant in NY, great for star spotting, awesome cocktail bar out front, definitely need to book ahead Madison
- De Nico's -
164 Mulberry Street- best Italian in Little Italy, cheap and awesome service. Sit out the front section so you can watch the people traffic, two young brothers own it and they are typical New York Italian mafia!
- Sushi Samba - 245 Park Ave Sth - great Japanese food with awesome sushi bar and ultra cool cocktail lounge (as seen in Sex and The City when Samantha throws the cocktail in Richard's face)
- Sarabeth's - 40 Central Park South - beautiful views of the park, right next to the Plaza, good place for breakfast
- Cupcakes – Magnolia Bakery, of course. Bleeker St in Greenwich Village
- Pastis for Sunday brunch is a must! 9th Ave Chelsea
- Kytofu - like Freestyle, NY-style! Voted as best cupcakes in NYC so make sure you compare against Magnolia! Chelsea Clinton is often spotted here… 9th Ave Midtown (48th & 49th)
- Check out www.nymag.com for some great restaurant recommendations and a page of “cheap eats” too!
- Gourmet Garage – 6 locations around Manhattan to pick up nibbles and snacks for the days you can’t be bothered eating out
- Can't go past Abercrombie & Fitch on 5th Ave for guys stuff - and the hot boys standing out the front with their shirts off (get a photo - I chickened out!)
- Apple Store on 5th is also really cool and open 24hrs. The biggest in the world.
- There's heaps of boutiques down on Bleeker Street in the West Village like Marc Jacobs and some very trendy designers (it was my favourite shopping spot)
- For department stores, can't go past Macy's for the bargains and Bloomingdales is definitely worth a look. Seriously can't go wrong with any of the department stores, they are phenomenal. And if you need to buy presents for girlfriends, Victoria's Secret across from Macy's is very cool and sure to win brownie points!
- Toys - can't go past FAO Schwarz on 5th or Toys'R'Us in Times Square.
- Ok, now the serious ones - Manolo Blahnik on 34 W 54th Street, Jimmy Choo 645 5th Ave, Sergio Rossi 694 5th Ave, Bergdorf Goodman 754 5th Ave, Bloomingdales 1000 3rd Ave are all in Midtown and AMAZING!
- There is Diane Von Furstenberg for gorgeous dresses 440 W 14th Street in the Meatpacking Dist, not to mention Alexander McQueen and Stellar McCartney's flagship studios on E 14th Street
- I LOVED Sephora in Times Sqaure for cheap cosmetics and also the FREE makeovers - you know how they charge for those here (redeemable on product) - over there, they are free, no obligation.
- Henri Bendels was beautiful, slightly more pricey than the other cosmetics stores, but the service was impeccable.
My best pics were the Guggenheim, the Frick, and the MoMA. There is also the Museum of Sex - interesting... I also loved The Met but it’s so huge. In summer they have great rooftop sculpture gardens apparently!
- Jump on one of the Red buses that takes you on a loop of NY. Great info on different spots and history on NY. Also great way to get your bearings and see where the major spots are and how far to walk etc.
- Despite the lines, the view from the Empire State Building is awesome. Do the Top of the Rockefeller Centre at night time - it's totally empty and extremely romantic.
- MUST walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. I suggest getting the subway over, grab a coffee or something and then walk back to Manhattan across the bridge. Stunning.
- Central Park is amazing and has some really interesting guided walks. The best spots are the Bethesda Fountain and Terrace (where all the movies are filmed) and the Mall (avenue lined with trees) and the Literary Walk of all the famous writers.
- The subway is really easy to navigate - get taxis when the weather is bad or you can't be bothered walking otherwise - but walk as much as you can to take it all in!
- Get a hot dog from Grey's Papaya - there are lots of them all over the city.
- If you like ice cream, grab a soft serve from Tasti D'Lite - tastes amazing and nearly guilt-free!
- Definitely get down to Ground Zero and Wall St but there really isn't much to see so you could spend maybe two or three hours here, tops
- Jump on the free Staten Island Ferry when the weather is good to see the Statue of Liberty
- Whatever you do, don't dine in any of the restaurants in Times Square - they are poor quality and a total rip off on tourists. There was a really great pizza place at the top of Times Square just a short walk from the Gershwin Theatre that I can recommend - cheap and tasty and all the celebs have been in and signed plates on the walls so that now none of the walls can be seen!
- If you are looking for somewhere to get a blow dry, there's a place called BLOW on E 14th St down in the Meatpacking Dist which is purely a blow drying salon. The guy that did my hair when I went had just done hair for a Victoria Secret shoot.
- Do either a helicopter tour of Manhattan to get a really amazing perspective on just how incredible the city is, or do a walking photo tour – they look like so much fun and you get some great touristy and not-so-touristy shots to take home!
- Check out www.onlocationvacations.com to see which movies are filming in NY when you’re there
- And of course if you’re a SATC fan, the bus tour is a MUST! Lots of fun.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
A Mother's love is something that no on can explain,
It is made of deep devotion and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it or take that love away.
It is patient and forgiving when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters even though the heart is breaking.
And it glows with all the beauty of the rarest, brightest gems.
It is far beyond defining, it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret like the mysteries of creation.
And another wondrous evidence of God's tender guiding hand.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
- Poppycakes, 1000 Ann Street Brisbane
- Nourish, Racecourse Road Ascot
- Cakes By Judy C, Waterworks Road Ashgrove
- Cupcakes - Poppycakes in the Emporium are my favourite
- The warmth in the breeze, heralding the onset of summer
- Apartment hunting - despite it being tiresome and frustrating, I love the feeling of seeing a new place and imagining myself living there. One day soon I'll find the one I want to settle in for at least a year (Woolloongabba and Teneriffe are leading the search)
- My tiny, four week old niece - so precious and vulnerable. The sense of pride and worry is overwhelming and I'm only her aunty. Just the feeling that she has so much life ahead of her is utterly frightening but exciting at the same time - what sort of world are we bringing children into, and what issues will she face in 20-30 years time that women of today have been struggling with for so long. Let's hope it gets better.
- Gossip Girl. Enough said.
- The excitement of seeing the new stills from the filming of SATC2 in Manhattan. Oh, how I adore thee Carrie (and Patricia Fields)!
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Once upon a time, there were two young girls. They would see each other every morning waiting at the bus stop, only to be whisked away to a day of books, chalkboards and tuckshop ques at different schools. Both dressed in crisply ironed school uniforms, one in maroon and the other in blue.
They waited in the cold, rain, wind or heat, the taller and fuller-figured of the two would watch in awe as the other, more lithe and stylish, would open her neatly packed school bag, take out her pink tub of hand cream and lather her perfectly manicured hands, oblivious to the jealous eyes that were watching her.
As days, weeks and school terms went on, no words were exchanged, just knowing glances that neither had missed the bus if the other was still waiting.
Until one day, something extraordinary happened. For the first time they were both on the same bus home. A friendly smile was shared. Thirty minutes later both girls gathered their belongings and prepared to hop off the bus, but something had changed. They were both getting off at a new stop - the same stop. Polite greetings and names were exchanged and for the next fifteen minutes the girls shared a pleasant walk home, realising they had just moved into new homes only metres from each other. A friendship was sowed.
This story began more than thirteen years ago and Lisa and I are still the best of friends. As life has unfolded we have been there for each other through thick and thin. The first loves, the celebrity crushes, the first kisses, school formals, dances, the first alcohol-fuelled parties, our first days at uni, new jobs, new cars, summer holidays... all wonderful memories. While over the years our own circles of friends have expanded, our enduring friendship has been one that has stood the test of time.
She left her high school sweetheart whom she’d spent nearly 10 years with on the weekend. We’re now in our late 20s, so that’s a significant change in her life and I didn’t realise the emotional toll it would also have on me.
After getting off the emotional rollercoaster, I found myself asking: How, as a girlfriend, do I help her through this? What do I do to support her? Where do I look for answers to questions I don’t even understand about relationships?
I remember the moments of each of the (three) significant break ups in my life as though they unfolded last week. I wanted to talk with my female friends. I wanted their advice, their hugs, their sincere listening while I asked “Why?” and generally vented about all the things that had gone wrong and played the “What if…?” games. I wanted to be around the women who understood how I felt and who, I hoped, would help me through what felt like the worst moments of my life.
So, why are girlfriends so important? I dug in and studied my own need for female friendship and what pulled me toward my friendships as a primary support system in a time of emotional stress.
According to Shelley E. Taylor’s ‘The Tending Instinct’ that unlocks some of the mysteries of "women, men, and the biology of our relationships", this need for community with other women is biological; it is part of our DNA.
Consider these findings:
Longevity – Married men live longer than single men, yet women who marry have the same life expectancy as those who don't. However, women with strong female social ties (girlfriends) live longer than those without them.
Stress – For decades, stress tests focused solely on male participants, believing that all humans would respond in the same manner. When these same stress tests were finally conducted on females it was discovered that women don't have the same, classic 'fight or flight' response to stress men do. According to the research presented in The Tending Instinct, women under stress have the need to 'tend and befriend.' We want to tend to our young and be with our friends. Time with our friends actually reduces our stress levels.
More Stress - A study conducted by the UCLA School of Medicine found that when we're with our girlfriends, our bodies emit the "feel good" hormone oxytocin, helping us reduce everyday stress. By prioritising our female friendships and spending time with these friends, we take advantage of a very simple, natural way to reduce our stress.
Even more stress - Prairie voles, a monogamous rodent, have a similar response to stress. When a male vole is put in a stressful situation, he runs to his female partner. Female voles, when stressed, immediately run to the females they were raised with.
Self-esteem - A recent study by Dove indicated that 70% of women feel prettier because of their relationships with female friends. It's no surprise that our self-esteem is highly influenced by our girlfriends; this is important to understand for girls as well as women.
The Health Factor – Women without strong social ties risk health issues equivalent to being overweight or a smoker. That’s serious.
With all I've discovered that is good about female friendships, I was disappointed to come across a national survey from 2006 that found a sharp decline in friendships. According to the American Sociological Review, we are thought to be suffering a loss in the quality and quantity of close friendships since at least 1985. The study found 25% of participants have no close friends, and the average total number of friends per citizen has dropped from four to two. You'd be forgiven for thinking Facebook has changed all this.
As women, we sometimes need to be reminded what being a girlfriend means. Too often it takes something horrible in our lives to hit us with reality, realisation, and appreciation of friendship. That reminder can also be as simple as a caring card, a hug or an e-mailed photo. Once in a while we simply need to take the time to think about our friends, stop and live in the moment, and if at all possible, celebrate that moment.
Hear some bad news? Call a girlfriend. Have something great to celebrate? Share that celebration with a friend. Want to feel prettier, be less stressed, healthier and happier? Spend some time with your BFFs.
Last year Lisa and I saw Bride Wars together, staring Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson. While as people we couldn’t be more different than their characters, our friendship has been as strong. I love this quote from the movie:
"Sometimes in life there really are bonds formed that can never be broken. Sometimes you really can find that one person who will stand by you no matter what. Maybe you'll find it in a spouse and celebrate it with your dream wedding, but there's also the chance that the one person you can count on for a lifetime, the one person who knows you sometimes better than you know yourself is the same person who's been standing beside you all along."
Life is better together – with your girlfriends.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
I popped into Myer today on a quick reconnaissance mission to find something to wear to an event tonight.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I have a confession to make. Hi, I'm Me and I'm an online dating tragic.
There, I've said it. Oh I feel so much better. I've actually been on and off (line that is) since about January 2004, and yet to no avail. But I refuse to give in. Or up. If the Internet can find pretty much anything you want or need these days, why can't it find me what I want or need in a significant other? Hmm?
My experienced has been mixed. Now, I'm fully aware that I myself am not everyone's cup of tea but I think I do ok, both on the outside and the inside. My friends (bless them) think I'm a catch which actually doesn't help. I'm constantly starting to wonder why, if I'm such a good catch, am I still single? I think that may be a topic for later...
Back to the experience part. I've tried a few different sites and have come to the realisation that the ratio of good to bad is about the same online as it is offline. Which would make sense when you think about it really. Well, it does to me.
So I'm currently online. I rejoined for the umpteenth time just after my birthday this year, so that's about 12 weeks ago now. I've been on four dates, all lovely guys, however there was just no 'spark'. So none progressed to date number two.
I have had conversations with about a dozen, but for whatever reason they didn't develop into anything more. In some cases I was relieved (David Beckham syndrome comes to mind here) and in some cases I was just plain baffled as to why they didn't extend a casual invitation to share a beverage of preference at a time that was mutually agreeable. Maybe because I write like this?! No, in all seriousness I'm not sure what happened.
I like to think that I'm putting some good dating karma out there - being open, available (but not too available) and often even throwing caution to the wind and saying yes to someone I wouldn't normally say yes to, on the theory that clearly it hasn't worked out with guys I would normally say yes to so maybe I need to broaden my horizons.
When it comes to the actual date part, I perform ok. Like a job interview - witty when required, knowledgeable, a good listener, asks the right questions and maintains eye contact. And pretty much every time I've gone for a job interview I've been offered the job. But when it comes to dating I can't seem to 'close the deal'. I totally fall to pieces, get a case of the nerves, aren't sure whether to say what I'm thinking (either "We should do this again sometime soon..." or "It was really nice meeting you, all the best in finding the love of your life...") and probably end up giving all the wrong vibes. Ok not probably, I do. The ones that think I go all weird because I'm not interested I am actually interested in, and vice versa. Disaster.
Another thing I've learnt over these past years is that men are more idealistic than women. There! Put that in your love bong and smoke it! Not only am I starting to discover that a man's expectations of meeting someone for the first time are way beyond a woman's and in another stratosphere, but even if there is a shred of potential there they won't even bother pursuing a friendship. Now, I thought I was picky and hard to please but I've got nothing on some blokes. So much for the theory that great loves can blossom from friendship. Pah! Friendship in this case isn't even given a second thought. And then I'm crossing into a whole other topic "Can men and women ever be friends?"...
Are you starting to wonder about the offline dating yet? Yes? Ok. That's because I can count on one hand, no make that two fingers, how many guys have asked me out in the past five years that I haven't met online. Thinking about that now should make me the perfect candidate for therapy (seriously, what's wrong with me?!), but alas I allow myself to hide behind the excuse that men, in general, find me intimidating. Well, at least that's what my very kind and very patient friends tell me. Apparently men are afraid of rejection - who'd a thunk it? And not only that, but a woman who knows who she is, what she wants and which way she's going in life is intimidating and being rejected by that is enough to crush a manly ego forever. Or at least 'til the next easy target comes along.
And so, my quest for love continues. And my determination to define it.
I may, one of these days, even share some dating stories... there are some doozies!