Author Archives

Why Melbourne is leaving Sydney in the dust

With a cheap last minute flight booked on a budget carrier, I jetted off to Melbourne for the weekend. Tucked away in a reasonable room in the leafy enclave of East Melbourne, I never once ventured south of the Yarra. Every morning around eleven, I ambled off to brunch on Brunswick Street at one of […]

Village of the Damned

Late last year, the City of Sydney convened a new retail advisory panel comprised primarily of large CBD corporate interests including Westfield, David Jones, the shopping centre owners IPOH, the Dymocks chain gang and their collective mega retail lobbying arms -- the Australian National Retailers Association and the Sydney Business Chamber. In announcing the new […]

Marking the Julian Calendar

Talk about a public relations disaster: our own Aussie battler Julian Assange was locked up in a London prison while Oprah Winfrey and her entourage are here visiting Sydney. The detention of the Queensland-born free speech activist has put Australia in the international spotlight for all the wrong reasons. While the government wanted to hype […]

Sydney’s Party Poopers Pull Out All the Stops

Right out on Bourke Street, locals are grooving on the granite footpath as they devour delicious Asian finger food. For several years, Miss Chu “the queen of rice paper” has been pumping out savoury steamed dumplings and crisp Vietnamese rice paper rolls for a song (several pieces cost less than $6.50).  The vibe is urban […]

Sweet Dreams: Don’t Let the Bugged Bed Bite

You can slumber blissfully tonight. If a terrorist is sleeping under the bed, the NSW Police still have the right to enter your premises without a search warrant. Or if your neighbour is a suspected religious fanatic, police can use your house for surveillance without telling you for up to six months. Last month, with […]

Manhattan on the Rocks

When Kristina K Keneally officially opened Central Park off Broadway less than nine months ago at the former Carlton United Breweries site in Chippendale, our US born Premier denied she was trying to Americanise Sydney. To be accurate, she is actually trying to Manhattanise this town. By concentrating as many jobs as possible in downtown […]

Young Heart Run Free

Australia is evenly split down the middle. Following months of political purgatory, Julia Gillard now rules over a hung parliament and her Prime Ministership dangles precariously on every last Lower House vote. Nowhere is the national divide more obvious than in inner Sydney. The same month that a few country independents all but pulled Julia […]

Speed kills

Maybe he was walking out of a pub after a few too many. Or maybe he ran to catch a cab. Or maybe, like a chook he crossed the road to get to the other side. We will have to wait for the coroner’s report to find out. In the wee hours of Sunday morning, […]

Pulp Friction

Every year around this time, Australia’s newspaper executives gather to hear the same grim news. This year the Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers Association’s late winter convention was addressed by futurologist Ross Dawson -- who told the crowded room of poker-faced newspaper publishers, newsprint would be extinct within twelve years. Like a vulture hovering over a […]


Every expense has been spared in decorating the joint; but the mismatched tacky tables and the wobbly wooden chairs recreate an authentic Malaysian coffee house perfectly. Forget about the slick City hotels and the finer dining establishments that lay claim to serving up the best laksa in Sydney. Walk into Kopitiam in Ultimo and you […]