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Best of Sydney

Best Services

Best Doctor: Dr Raymond Seidler *EDITORIAL PICK*
On the 11th August, 2008 Dr Raymond Seidler declared in the Sydney Morning Herald letters section that ‘Australia has always been at the forefront of illicit drug use worldwide.’ Hallelujah – finally a voice of rationality in the crazy wilderness of current drug policies. Can we just declare the war on drugs over (and decisively lost) and get on with making sure the drug use that will inevitably continue can be done as safely as possible; joining the ranks of Amsterdam as a nation with a progressive drug policy’ Can we, can we, please’ In the mean time, I certainly know which doctor I’d be going to for realistic (and thus actually helpful) advice ‘ addiction medicine specialist Dr Raymond Seidler in Potts Point.
Suite 1, 13 Springfield Ave, Potts Point (02) 9358 3066 www.travellersclinic.com.au JM

Best Dietitian: Dr Naras Lapsys BSc MSc PhD APD *READER PICK*
If new-fangled health isn’t quite your thing, but you’d like to get fit, eat better and live longer, pure science underlies the teachings of The Body Doctor whose practice is in the Eastern Suburbs. He’s also a damn good motivator. He trained his own wife to run her first ever marathon, and a grueling one at that. Carrol Lapsys ran the Great Wall Marathon in China last year, enduring uneven surfaces, 3,800 jagged steps and punishing heat to finish as the ninth woman with a time of 4h:53m:46s. Cheering her to the finish line with a cold beer in his hand was Naras. I’m sure he’ll crack you a coldie when you reach YOUR personal goal too!
The Body Doctor (1300) 364 316 www.thebodydoctor.com.au JM

Best Dentist: Pyrmont Dental Health *READER PICK*
Let’s face it, getting your holes filled is rarely a hip and happening thing. In fact, most of us avoid visiting the dentist like the plague, so there’s got to be something going on at Pyrmont Dental Health to make so many of you vote for them! Perhaps they’re a bit heavy on the happy gas’ Or maybe it’s the fact that they not only will they fix the gap between your teeth, they’ll also make sure (for new patients) that there’s no gap between what you pay for a check-up, clean, x-rays and fluoride treatment and what you get back from your health fund rebate!
Suite 3, 19 Harris Street, Pyrmont (02) 9518 6262 www.pyrmontdentalhealth.com.au JM

Best Lawyer: Miranda Nash & Stephan Banks *EDITORIAL PICK*
When flashing a pilgrim was going to cost you a grand, but wearing an annoying t-shirt with a slogan like ‘Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers’ near a pilgrim was going to cost you five times more, a Sydney University student called Rachel Evans knew something was awry. She went to court to fight for our right to annoy! By her side were the two people who share the crown of Best Lawyer ‘ Miranda Nash and Stephan Banks. They’re both part of the Council for Civil Liberties. We have them all to thank for the right to be annoying: Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Annoy! Annoy! Annoy!
PO Box 201, Glebe NSW 2037 (02) 9660 7582 www.nswccl.org.au JM

Best Accountant: Katrina Summers, Figure It Out *READER PICK / EDITORIAL PICK*
You don’t hear of many accountants and tax agents fighting for law reform for marginalized groups like sex workers, but Katrina Summers has done just that, working with the Sex Workers Outreach Project and the Australian Taxation Office to formulate fair and equitable policy. She’s also tailored her business to meet the many and diverse dreams and aspirations of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) communities. Her books are filled with DJs, club night promoters, sex workers, artists ‘ no career is too weird to employ her much sought after services. Plus it makes the reception a hip and happening place while you wait. My partner finds going to do his tax about as much fun as I find going to have a tooth extracted, but after a glass of wine and a row of figures with Katrina, even he comes out smiling. Oh, and she’s single’
(02) 9332 1210 www.figureitout.com.au JM

Best Yoga Studio: Life and Balance *READER PICK*
Yoga is the latest ‘in-thing”an overnight success – thousands of years in the making! So where to go for the best value and the most caring, expert tuition’ Life and Balance are this year’s winners and the reasons are many. As soon as you step inside the studio space you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to another time and place, far from the bustle of the city. Experienced, warm and friendly teachers are on hand to guide you to a higher plane of existence with classes to suit every level. Get fit, have fun and make new friends at Life and Balance.
Level 3, 19-21 Hunter Street (near Pitt), Sydney (02) 9232 6667 www.lifebalance.net.au STM

Best New Gym: V Club *READER PICK*
Summer is just around the corner and with it comes the prospect of stripping off at the beach and strutting one’s stuff. Are you ready’ Get serious and let the team at V Club guide you to a new you in their jaw-droppingly gorgeous new venue in the CBD. I tried out a yoga class and was very impressed with the space and the warm vibe from the V Club team. With a slick red interior, workout rooms with inspiring names and uber-friendly staff, V Club is determined to make a mark in the hyper-competitive gym-realm of Sydney.
48 Druitt Street, CBD (02) 8088 8888 www.vclub.com.au STM

Best Gym: City Gym *EDITORIAL PICK*
City Gym’s atmosphere ‘ complete with pumpin’ sound system ‘ can only be described as addictive. Thirty-years on, it’s home to some of Sydney’s most respected Personal Trainers and Nutritionists, with state of the art equipment and luxe renovated spaces. Its current incarnation as a meeting spot for the city’s most committed fitness fans ‘ and absolute beginners – means it’s a place where you can express yourself, get fit, network and meet the occasional celebrity on the treadmill next to you! The staff know every guest by name, genuinely welcoming punters of all fitness levels into the funky City Gym community.
107-113 Crown Street, Darlinghurst (02) 9360 6247 www.citygym.com.au STM

Best Social Dance School: Patio de Tango *READER PICK*
If there was a separate award for the business which attracted the most heart warming reasons from voters, Patio de Tango would win that too. It is clearly the best place to go to learn a dance improvised in the moment (no choreography). It isn’t acrobatic, nor does it require a high degree of stamina or flexibility ‘ in fact as teacher Sophia says: ‘If you can think, feel and move you can dance the Tango.’ Best comments’ Irene says: ”Legs On’ approach ‘ no Curriculum, no fuss, no dance-exams of any kind, just the feel and improvisation. And the ‘Close Embrace’, of course! ‘ Taimur says: ‘You can tell by watching them dance that tango is their life.’ Reyna concludes: ‘Sophia and Pedro, through their integrity hold a safe environment for students dispelling the socially corrosive elements of politics or negativity – they provide a truly pure and uplifting, sensual experience!’
(02) 9386 4289 www.patiodetango.com.au JM

Best Public Pool: Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre *READER PICK*
This is cutting edge public pool design. From the wave-like Harry Seidler exterior to the innovative use of spas and fountains within the pool complex to the extraordinary cantilevered sun-deck, this is five star facilities for the general public. But it’s not all design design sweetie ‘ it has a great sense of fun. They bring in inflatable slip and slides (and have a lifeguard standing there keeping them wet with a hose) so the kids can go crazy while Mums and Dads drink a reasonable coffee and eat food that’s a cut above council venue fare. The sauna and steam room are hot!
458 Harris Street, Ultimo (02) 9518 7220 www.itac.org.au JM

Best Vet: Dr Randolph Baral BVSc MACVSc (feline) *READER PICK*
My best friend likes to call them ‘women in little fur coats’. I’ve asked our feline companions, and they find this motif acceptable. So when only the best will do, get your own little fur-jacketed darling to Paddington Cat Hospital. Randolph strives to keep abreast in the latest and greatest advances in feline medical care. Whether you decide (and can afford to bankroll) his suggested avenue of treatment or not, you can rely on him to always suggest the best possible course of action. If I was a betting woman, I’d lay down money that the vet nurses/receptionists will know your feline keeper by name on your second visit. Short version ‘ they care.
183 Glenmore Road, Paddington (02) 9380 6111 www.catvet.com.au JM

Best Landscape Gardener: The Paving Professionals *READER PICK*
I’m not advocating stalking (our Nicole likes her privacy) but if you want a clue about why The Paving Professionals have won the ballot for Best Landscape Gardener, look no further than the house that Nicole Kidman currently resides; or go take a sticky at the Packer compound, or the Hemmes residence. Don’t let all that name dropping make you think that Ronnie Mardell and his easygoing team aren’t used to working with a budget (it takes all sorts after all) ‘ they are, and his byline is: ‘We can perform miracles, but we can’t do the impossible.’ They respond well to odd-ball garden challenges.
Eastern Suburbs, Edward (0410) 543 100 JM

Best Therapist: Fresh Start Solutions *READER PICK*
I am a bit skeptical about the language of motivational speakers like Anthony Robbins. So when I read on the Fresh Start Solutions website: ‘You’ll get specific, actionable steps and personalized advice that gives you confidence to tackle any situation’ creating an unshakeable belief that you will succeed in your new life,’ I wanted to run a mile! But this is a reader poll, and you all have DECISIVELY spoken (perhaps this stuff really does empower you) and said that they are the best therapists in Sydney. Me, I’ll stick to debriefing with my beautician (see Best Place to Get Waxed) and earn peanuts while you all get far, far ahead. New clients are entitled to receive a 60min Fresh Start Fast-Track Consultation valued at $150.00 for just $39.00. See above for what this service will do for you.
Level 7, 90 Pitt Street, Sydney (02) 9232 3521 www.fresh-startsolutions.com JM

Best Physiotherapist: Martin Doyle, Doyle’s Physiotherapy *READER PICK*
There aren’t many businesses that can safely have a motto that starts with ‘give me your body’ but apparently all they’ll use it to do here is ‘change your mind’. I tried that in a bar last week and got a drink in my face. Seriously, you voted for this dude, so he must be good at what he does, which is musculoskeletal physiotherapy, sports physiotherapy, exercise therapy, pilates – basically all your exercise needs.
119 Harris Street, Pyrmont (02) 9692 9399 www.doylesphysio.com JM

Best Masseuse: Leonid Massage *READER PICK*
Tish wrote on her voting form that Jon from Leonid ‘is sooo good; very professional and very knowledgeable. He poked me in all the ouchy places, in a good way. It’s very intense, he combines different techniques, including myofascial release. That’s the extra owwie one. But I feel *so* much better. He is only $60 for the hour, which I reckon is great. And it’s even greater to support kink friendly queer locals.’ She’s pretty much covered it, except that he’s located in quiet Church Street, St Peters and that his beautiful, centrally-heated treatment space is easy to relax in. You can contact him for appointments seven days a week.
Jon (0411) 289 369 leonid.massage@iinet.net.au

Best Hairdresser: Stevie English Hair *READER PICK*
Readers of this paper prefer to have their hair done at Stevie English Hair. It’s a cutting edge salon, and leaving aside Steve Corthine’s obvious skills (particularly with colour), it’s also Australia’s first climate-neutral hair salon. Ladies, if your man looks askance at your frequent (and large) hairdressing bills, might I suggest the argument that you’re supporting a business that cares about the environment’
153 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe (02) 9423 7033 www.stevieenglish.com.au JM

Best Adult Service Provider: Adult World *READER PICK*
Our editorial team might be a bit biased, but we’d have happily given this award to The Sydney Hellfire Club, Australia’s longest running club night who have been whipping to a different beat for over fifteen years. But you all decided to cast votes based on the best place to buy porn, sexual aids, and assorted other pieces of adult fun. Who can blame you’ Any place that sells a pearl-bird vibrator is close to a woman’s heart, so we happily concede that the winner is Adult World! They have stores all over the place, my own favourite is their Newtown store.
320 King St, Newtown (02) 9557 0069 JM

Best Designer: Annie Schwebel, Mandarin Creative Solutions *READER PICK*
You see the design work of Annie Schwebel everywhere, probably without even realizing it. From ACON Safe Sex campaigns to Sydney Council signs that warn your belongings could be gone in a flash to anything interesting that ever comes out of Sydney Opera House; Annie’s work can truly be called ubiquitous. Other design companies eagerly await the release of her Studio programs every six months to get a glimpse of what the future of design has to offer.
22 Campbell Avenue, Paddington (02) 9360 8800 www.mandarin.net.au JM

Best Real Estate Agent: Portfolio Realty *READER PICK*
Perhaps it’s because I’m sadly on the wrong side of the rental market, but I have yet to meet a real estate agent that I’ve liked. But why listen to me when Chris and Poh will tell you: ‘We consider both Barry and Katherine to be very knowledgeable about the property market and the economy in general. Their views are highly regarded.’ Sabrina agrees: ‘We purchased our office from them and the service was exceptional.’ Johanna rams the point home: ‘Portfolio Realty offer top-end service to their clients and are always willing to go beyond the expectations to produce an appropriate result in terms of buying, renting and selling premier property.’ If I save my Hub cheques for the next three thousand years, maybe one day I’ll be able to’ Honourable mention to Raine and Horne at Glebe, for loads of votes too.
200-202 Harris St, Pyrmont (02) 9660 8080 www.portfoliorealty.com.au JM