Surry Hills

Stix in Surry Hills

Ice Cream

Sydney loves a trend. For the last couple of years, trends have included: queues for bread, beards and small bars. The latest is ice cream/gelato. Yes it’s true, people are lining up for ice cream. I think it all started with Messina in Darlinghurst. There’s also an ice cream shop in Surry Hills where people regularly queue. The queues haven’t extended to the new shop, Stix, further along Crown Street yet. It’s gelato on a stick! I thought I’d share what they’re offering. It’s always nice to be ahead of the trend :)

Empty Vessell at The Giant Dwarf

The Chaser’s Giant Dwarf

“In the last twelve months two of the institutions I’ve given so much of my life and passion to have disappointed me deeply”, was the most memorable line from Kristina Keneally last night. The former NSW Premier was one of three guests for the “live chat show”, “The Empty Vessell” put by on by The Chaser at their new theatre venue, The Giant Dwarf on Cleveland Street.

Although there were a few moments when she went into “former politician mode”, I thought she was, for the most part, candidly honest. For example, when asked to comment on the current corruption hearing in NSW, she said she never had time for Eddie Obeid, but that she thought she KNEW Joe Tripodi and Tony Kelly, and seemed disappointed in what’s currently occurring.

“For every Eddie Obeid, you have to remember there was a Carmel Tebbutt, a Verity Firth, a John Watkins”, she went on to say, arguing there were still lots of good people in the Labor Party.

“You forgive the Catholic Church for some things, but not the child abuse”, she went on to say about the other institution she said had disappointed in the last twelve months.

Maybe it was the glass or two of red wine she enjoyed as she sat on the stage that resulted in the candidness? Or maybe she’s reached the point where she doesn’t feel the need to justify everything the former NSW Labor Government did and didn’t do? She was unequivocal about NEVER returning to a political life.

The other two guests were Norrie May-Welby and John Watson.

Norrie was the person who recently won a case in the High Court to be formally recognised as “non-specific gender”. Whenever I’ve seen Norrie speak in the past there’s always been a bit of showbiz about the presentation style, as it’s usually been at a rally or something like that. Speaking/shouting in public isn’t usually conducive to honest reflection, which is what I saw last night. I always thought Norrie was slightly crazy, but have now developed a new found respect.

John Watson was the founder of boutique record label Eleven Music, whose artists include Gotya, Cold Chisel, Missy Higgins, silverchair, Daniel Johns, Birds of Tokyo. Of the three guests, he was the least interesting for me. Although I was really interested in the subject matter, I felt he was a little “rehearsed”. There seemed to be a lot of answers or anecdotes he had given previously which disappointed me a little.

Half was through the night there was also a really fantastic comic performance by an actor, writer and director I’d never heard of before called Nick Coyle @nickcoyles. Magic stuff.

Over the course of about two hours, it was really good to sit in a large theatre along with a couple of hundred people to enjoy some really good conversations, with intelligence and humour combining throughout. I’ll definitely be heading back some time in the future.

Surry Hills Video Shop

Video Shop

I knew it was only a matter of time before the video shop in Surry Hills closed down. I didn’t know it was coming, though, until I took a walk down the street this morning.

I think it’s amazing they’ve lasted this long. On a personal level, I haven’t been to my local video shop in over a decade. Initially there was the issue of an unpaid overdue late fine of about $30, but as DVDs became more affordable, and as technology changed, I felt less inclined to pay them a visit. Over the last few years, as I’ve walked past the shop I’ve always seen a few people in there, but obviously not enough to justify the cost of rent on Crown Street.

I’m wondering what will replace them on Crown Street? I can only presume it will eventually be some kind of restaurant space. Though I do wonder if the space, like many on my part of Crown Street will sit vacant for an extended period.