sydney, the shortishnot very short version

  • Vulcan Hotel was good, although there was a little confusion over the booking they quickly sorted it out. I found the first room a bit noisy (Wattle Street is very busy and I'm a light sleeper) but once L joined me they moved us to a room on the back street which was much quieter. Breakfast was fine except for the last morning when the owner /manager decided to run breakfast herself. She really couldn't make a good coffee ;)
  • Web Essentials 05 rocked amazingly. I met a lot of great people, was reminded that big names in my industry are humans, got called geeky by at least one of them ;), got a lot of ideas to ponder, gave and received lots of business cards. It was just about everything you'd want in a conference, basically. It seemed over in about five minutes.
  • After the conference... Saw lots of people. In fact, there was only one person that I knew to be in Sydney that I didn't catch. Did in fact catch up with someone I didn't know lived in Sydney until a day or two before I left to go down there!
  • Sydney can be a surprisingly difficult place to find good food that doesn't cost the earth, depending on where you are. Even if you can find food, finding a bloody ATM to pay for it.... yeesh! :)
  • Spent metric fuckloads of cash, have a lot of shwag to show for it (plus a lot of memories of hurtling around in cabs). All of the following are notably hazardous to your credit card's health:
    • Faster Pussycat
    • House of Fetish (for the uninitiated, particularly the people from work who've found this blog, it's just a goth shop ok? stop being all squicked out, it's not necessary ;)) - they really looked after us, but then we did spend a lot. i now own a pair of jacques tchong pintripe pants!
    • Robert & Angelo (shop of Stuff up the road from HoF)
    • Paddington Markets
    • Powerhouse Museum gift shop
    • Sony Central bloody nearly got me, but I stayed strong and just bought new batteries for our cameras (they gave me a discount for buying two packs!). When I win lotto I'm going in there and shouting "one of everything, thanks!".
  • Not so good:
    • Gallery Serpentine turned out to be a waste of time unless you're a size 8 (quite literally, they only had one of most things and that one was size 8) or you're getting something custom made and you can come back in a few weeks. Their product is great, don't get me wrong, but we went all the way out there and couldn't buy anything. Stick to the website, basically.
    • Raben footwear's shop staff pissed me off completely, to the point where I basically decided I didn't feel like buying anything off them.
    • Public holiday Monday meant a lot of things were closed along Oxford Street. Plus a shop or two had closed/moved from Newtown.
  • Food... we had really mixed luck. Total disasters through to great success.
    • Xic Lo vietnamese noodle bar (Haymarket) was good, although a little caution turned out to be a good thing as far as the tea temperature goes ;)
    • Darling Harbour in general sucks arse if you don't want to spend $45 on a steak or you want to eat within two hours; although the Pumphouse was great (we didn't want to have pizza two nights running, although in hindsight i really wish we had just done so).
    • Zia Pina is now firmly established as a fucking brilliant place to eat. Six of us ate hugely, knocked off two bottles of wine and had ten gelati between us; all for less than $30 each.
    • Jury is still out on Wagamama. Food was ....weird, but to be fair I chose a strange option and should have stuck with yakisoba or something. Service was friendly and quick but the kitchen fucked up completely, leaving two of us sitting around waiting while everyone else was nearly finished. They did give us our drinks for free though.
    • Betty's Soup Kitchen has great food and wonderful entertainment watching their distaste at serving the heteros. Not to say their service isn't good, they'd just rather you were gay ;) I really enjoyed eating there, last time I was there I was feeling extremely ill and didn't get to enjoy it. For a cheap, hearty eat you can't really beat it; and yes, the bread is fantastic. Forgot to try their lemonade again though. Damn, guess I'll have to go back sometime.
    • Gelato Messina was gooooooood :) Their website is going straight to their webmail interface though. Oops!
    • Fratelli Paradiso do an excellent breakfast. Limited menu, yet I could have eaten nearly all of them very happily. The coffee was very good and service was attentive (so few places keep your water glass topped up - a little thing maybe but important on a hot day!). Not cheap though (although L's aunt shouted us as a birthday present anyway).
  • I took surprisingly few photos. Quite irritated that the day I planned to shoot a couple of specific buildings up the road from the hotel, the light was awful and I didn't get a chance anyway.
  • The seriously touristy stuff....
    • Powerhouse Museum gets two thumbs up - $10 and we were there for hours, yet we didn't see everything.
    • Maritime Museum gets the thumbs up as well - free for most of it! They're about to do exhibits on vikings and pirates too.
    • The Aquarium got the thumbs down before we even got in there - nearly $30 each? Not that keen.
    • Really wanted to do the Harbour Lights night cruise on the ferry, but we were so exhausted we decided to hold it over for next time.
  • I am incredibly sore. Have walked for miles over the past few days and finished up tonight dragging our over-weight luggage up the stairs. The two big bags came to 48kg, plus chunky laptop, plus jacket bag... ouch.
  • Still can't believe the range of weather... everything from hot as hell to chilly inside seven days. What gives with the heat - I'm from Brisbane damnit, I wanted cold weather ;)
  • Flight back was awful. Delayed takeoff, delayed landing with holding pattern over Gold Coast, multiple children in close vicinity (although the unattended kid in the seat next to me was actually very well behaved). Another bumpy landing in a crosswind, although nothing so spectacular as the QANTAS flight back last time.


Anonymous Anonymous  

October 12, 2005 11:21 am

Clag you like the food at xic lo.
You are welcome back anytime. We are opening up another store at Parramatta Westfields, perhaps more upclass, but we have alot to offer. Thanks for the feedback.

Blogger xic lo  

October 12, 2005 11:23 am

Clag you like the food at xic lo.
You are welcome back anytime. We are opening up another store at Parramatta Westfields, perhaps more upclass, but we have alot to offer. Thanks for the feedback.

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