Well, it’s been a busy weekend!
I went out with coworkers for happy hour on Friday that extended a little beyond happy hour at the Rag and Famish, the bar that’s directly across from the building I work in here in North Sydney. It’s always good to bond with the people you sit with 40 hours per week over a beer or two, and the bar was packed with all the office workers in North Sydney for a good few hours after close-of-business. I went home relatively early since I had a full day of apartment hunting ahead of me in Bondi, starting at 9:30 a.m.
I went back to the beach, and inspected four apartments – one I absolutely loved, the other two “would do,” for lack of a better term. One was much larger and more spacious, and less expensive, but it was farther from the ocean than I wanted to be. The other was closer to the beach, but much smaller size-wise and more expensive (but with much nicer fittings in the kitchen/bathroom). It turns out having a pet is a massive barrier to renting a place, as one of the apartments I went to told me outright at the inspection that no pets were allowed in the building, and I just found out this morning that the place I loved (two blocks from the beach, hardwood floors, laundry in-unit, and a dishwasher) was actually not pet friendly. So I’m waiting to hear back from the two B-team places, fingers crossed they let me in without a fight! I did make sure to enjoy some of the local scenery while there…
And I treated myself to brunch at Trio Cafe, right on Campbell Parade (the main drag in Bondi). I didn’t expect much considering it’s tourist-trappy location, but was pleasantly surprised by the meal I got – called Boss Eggs which sounded pretty badass and may have totally affected my menu selection. Avocado, eggs with truffle oil, and prosciutto on sourdough toast – plus the best vanilla latte I’ve had since arriving in Sydney.
That evening I was invited out by a new friend to a bar/lounge/club in Surry Hills, called the Beresford Hotel (most bars are called hotels here, not sure why). It was a really cool place, tables for eating and a real pub-bar downstairs, with a really nice outdoor patio as well. Upstairs turned into a full-blown club when it got late enough. You could literally have dinner, after-dinner drinks, and go clubbing without leaving the walls of the establishment. A word of advice, don’t buy mixed drinks in Sydney. Apparently bartending is highly regulated, with bartender literally measuring out one shot per drink. Which makes for a really expensive soda water with a splash of vodka. I don’t recommend it. Usually a sparkling wine or beer will run you about the same as a cocktail, with a little more “impact,” for lack of a better work. We decided to leave there around midnight or so to go to King’s Cross, the party center of Sydney city.
I can’t lie – I don’t think I’ve ever seen the streets so packed with people in the middle of the night. Australians take their partying seriously, and most take their partying to King’s Cross, it appears. I snapped a picture of the famous Coca Cola sign as we walked up to the hub of the clubs/bars that line the streets.
It’s the lighting that makes this fuzzy, not the drinks, I swear!
We ended up at Hugo’s Lounge, one of the more popular places in the King’s Cross area, where dancing was in full swing. Finally we decided to call it a night, only for me to realize as we were leaving that it was 3 a.m.! This whole “bars never close” thing is dangerous for me. I miss last call at 1:30 a.m., forcing me to go home and actually get some sleep!
I had a brunch date with another friend the next morning at the Carrington Hotel, somewhere I had gone with a group of American expats for dinner a week or two ago. The food for dinner had been delicious, and the brunch menu looked equally as delicious. They had just started to serve brunch this past weekend, and fortunately my friend is just as much of a foodie as I am, because we were both excited to try the new menu. She got eggs benedict, I got the tortilla, which was basically baked eggs with mushrooms, goat cheese and spinach. They served a mini churro with my coffee too! Love all around. While I couldn’t stomach a breakfast cocktail, my dining companion got a Bloody Caesar, which is a bacon vodka Bloody Mary, with Clamato instead of tomato juice. It was served in the cutest can as a glass (photo stolen from her Facebook page). The food was a little disappointing after the excellent brunch I’d had the day before in Bondi and my elevated level of expectation considering the dinner I’d had last time I was there. But it was nice to shake off the crustiness from the night before with good company and at least decent food.
So I’m still in limbo, waiting to hear about apartments. It’s frustrating feeling like I can’t really kick back and relax, knowing I’ll need to be moving again in the next couple of weeks and still not knowing where I’m going to end up. I’m trying to see the bright side and stay optimistic that the right thing will come along, but I definitely didn’t expect the Sydney rental market to be this difficult! Send good thoughts my way – I need them.