Why I hated Trainwreck (or time to re-write the rom-com)

IMG_7265

I was so looking forward to seeing Trainwreck. I’d seen the shorts and it seemed like it may have a different take on the rom-com. It looked like it could show a woman who was slutty, wild and having a shitload of fun…sort of like men are regularly portrayed. I thought Amy Schumer could be the one to do this, take it up a step, take the Hollywood rom-com to where it needed to go.

But no, I was wrong and I was very disappointed. It did what rom-coms do so [cough] well: show a slutty, out of control girl who can only find happiness in the form of a “good” man. I know rom-coms do the reverse as well but I’m kind of sick of it. Is it not time to look at relationships differently? To examine other possibilities for how it could all be done?

I certainly don’t have the answers. I’m old and have grown up to be conditioned for the one man, one woman, eternal love, eternal happiness, blah blah blah, bullshit bullshit. It’s not that I’m a negative nelly or just plain old bitter and twisted (well, a little of both actually). I’m talking about the reality of my own life and the lives of most people I know, I’m talking about the news and social media and Ashley Madison.

Monogamy is a lovely ideal but I have come to believe that serial monogamy is truly the best we can hope for. We have all been socialised to believe monogamy is how the world works and how relationships should work. But it has historic and sociological roots (pardon the pun) related to “ownership” of children, descendants, estates, etc. All the moral stuff is just tied up to the ownership of women, children and real estate. Nothing more, nothing less. Love and romance have just been overlayed onto that bleak reality to make it a prettier, more palatable package.

So as a 47 year old, twice divorced single mother I know there isn’t much hope for me to truly live by a different model. I still yearn for that “my one and only true love” crappola. My logical self wishes it was otherwise because it’s really not got me very far but it’s been hammered into my DNA. I don’t know how to think in a different way.

But I would like for my children to grow up thinking about things in a different way. To value themselves as individuals and not crave the love of another person to validate them. To have sex with as many or as few people as they want to and not feel that makes them a good or a bad person. Just a person.

Getting back to Trainwreck. Having seen some of Amy’s comedy I thought she may have the skill set to take things up a notch on the rom-com. Take the slutty girl and make her the hero. But she did no such thing. She took the slutty girl, shamed the fuck out of her and gifted her with “happiness” in the form of Mr Dullsville. That’s right slutty, drunk girl… clean up your act, douche the old vag and you might be worthy of being Mrs Doctor and have the house in the burbs and the 2.3 kids and the Volvo… because fuck knows there’s no other way of being happy.

I’m not sure if she actually wrote something edgier and it was watered down by the Hollywood powers that be or if she’s really just wanting a piece of the Hollywood pie and beige is good enough. Either way it’s kind of sad and kind of a waste of time.

Mum’s The Word

This is a whinge of sorts so turn back now if you’re not in the mood. You have been warned.

I worked bloody hard to become a mum. None of this wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am-you’re-up-the-duff business for me. Years of tears, of tests, of hating myself, others, everyone, of hopelessness, of anger, of the usual pointless why-me-not-fair bullshit, then years of putting on the big girl panties and toughening the fuck up and learning to deal with bureaucracies and asshole pen pushers and waiting and waiting and waiting. So much fucking waiting. I’m not good at waiting (surprise!). I’m not good at letting others be in control (surprise!). But that’s been the story of my road to motherhood.

I may have been a more carefree and easy going person before all this but maybe I’m kidding myself. Maybe I’ve been a shithead all along.

Anyway, my babies did come along eventually. Not via the stork or the vag but via South America. They were hard won and loved so very much. They say love is enough but I don’t think it is.

Right now my babies are driving me mental and I feel completely crap because I DO-NOT-KNOW-HOW-TO-DEAL-WITH-IT.

Every day I wake up with a belief that I can do this mothering thing and every day I am proven wrong. The main problem seems to be that my children think a mother is a slave who does every little thing for you, requires you to do absolutely nothing to help yourself or contribute to the household within which you live, pay for and buy for you anything you think you “need” at the exact moment you NEED it and generally act as if your every whim is their only concern.

Undoubtedly I have contributed to this misunderstanding because I just get on and fucking do stuff…I work full time so need to make sure the laundry is done, the dishes are clean, there is food in the fridge and the floors get vacuumed on a reasonably regular basis. I admit that it’s just easier to do it myself than to spend half an hour arguing and cajoling my children to participate in the care of their own environment. They always have a bloody reason as to why they can’t do it: they did it last time (they didn’t), he/she ALWAYS does it and why doesn’t their brother/sister have to do it this time, they are busy and will do it LATER, they are not very good at doing it… the list goes on and on.

So rather than do the Supernanny thing and be consistent and force them (how exactly) to do the small tasks they need (should) to be doing I swear a lot, threaten the destruction of all their valuables and just do the fucking jobs myself. This is not good parenting, I know that… and worse, they know that. They prey on it. They have it down to a fine art form and I am defeated by them day in, day out.

Being a single mum does not give me a satisfactory excuse for this situation. But it does add to my feeling of isolation and unfairness-ness and frustration. I have no back up when the poop starts flying. It’s just me versus the childlings and I am outnumbered and outwitted.

I have realised that all they retain is the negatives. I will say and do 100 positive things a day for and with them but it’s the few negatives I say in anger and desperation that they remember. “Why do you ALWAYS yell at us?”… “Why are you so MEAN?”… “You’re not baking something AGAIN?!”

So I’ve just learnt that like all relationships parenthood is a lot of tears. I came to parenthood through oceans full of tears and my parenthood journey is a lot more tears. It’s not how it looked in the brochures. To be frank I’m fucking sick of tears.

I don’t know why but writing this has made me think of this scene from my favourite movie Say Anything:

Lloyd Dobler: You used to be fun. You used to be warped and twisted and hilarious… and I mean that in the best way – I mean it as a compliment!

Constance: I was hilarious once, wasn’t I?

Like Constance I was hilarious once. I was warped and twisted and full of life and now I’m worn out and a little tired and a little sad and a little what-the-fuck-happened-to-my-life.

(No need to call the authorities… regular transmission will resume shortly.)

August

Tomorrow is the start of August. I’m excited about August. There are special things happening.

A day which isn’t meant to mean anything but means a lot to me.

A big birthday for someone very special to me.

August was meant to be the end of something but looks like it won’t be. It’s the month before September and for the past six months or so it’s been SEPTEMBER in my mind. A month of change, a looming month, a pivotal month. But now it’s unlikely September will be that month so I’m refocusing on August and letting September go, setting it free.

It’s amazing how some days seem like a battle, like nothing will ever work out, like nothing is worth the trouble… and other days everything seems so easy, what will be will be, the future’s not ours to see (nod: Doris Day), life is just how it is, nothing more, nothing less.

This time last year I was getting ready for the New York trip with the Joker. My goodness I love New York, it’s my happy place. I yearn for the streets and the light and the smell and the bars and the $1 oyster happy hour, the surprises around each corner, walking, my sister. I want to go again; often I get an attack of NEW YORK. My brain starts to work out the logistics of just going, next week. But I don’t. I’m an adult, of sorts. It hasn’t much to do with August… except I’ve been to New York in August/September two years in a row and my heart is telling me to go.

But instead I’m going to stay right here and jump into August feet first… and see where the road takes me.

Goodsey

images ag

I don’t know why I’m wading into these murky waters. I’m quite cranky about the social/media storm that’s swept through this week. Cranky and confused and sad and irritated. WTF is going on here folks? Because I don’t actually know or understand what’s just happened here (unlike all the other commentators, amateur and professional alike, who seem to have very firm opinions on everything) I have a need to just spew out my thoughts and see what they look like.

As a long time Sydney Swans supporter and member I have watched just about every single one of Adam Goodes’ professional games since he joined my Swannies in 1999. He’s one of a rare breed of professional sportspeople these days – the one team player – and I have a warm place in my cold heart for him because of this and many other reasons. To cut a long story short, he’s a top bloke.

But the storm around him is about the booing. Since he called out the teenage girl for referring to him as an “ape” opposition supporters have started the unfortunate spectacle of booing him whenever he touches the ball. Now this has been going on for a while but this week it has exploded into a shit fight and I’m not sure why. While there have been murmurs of “racism” it has now become a full blown, all-in brawl. The media heavyweights are into it, the social media nobodies are into it, everyone has an opinion and yet I’m stuck wondering what it’s all about.

Are the AFL supporters booing Adam Goodes racist? I don’t know. They don’t boo the other aboriginal players or players from other racial backgrounds. Is it true that they are booing him because he milks the umpires for penalties (as some are claiming)? If that’s true why aren’t these supporters booing the many other players who also do this? Are they booing him because he is a previous Australian of the Year and as such a “tall poppy” and in need of some cutting down? Again, he became Australian of the Year at the beginning of 2014 and the booing started just a few months ago.

I don’t really understand this phenomenon of booing Goodsey because all the reasons being put forward do not make sense. I suspect the people booing him do not understand themselves why they’re doing it. Therefore they are dickheads.

I’m kind of cranky that there is, as always, a call out for “someone” to do “something”. I’m a bit unclear as to what that “something” that “someone” should be doing is. Possibly the AFL could be chucking out the boo-ers from games and I see some merit in this argument. It would probably only take a few exited offenders to make it stop. But do we want booing stopped altogether? I say not. I love a good boo at a game. Nothing filled me with joy more than booing Jason Akermanis back in the day. Why? I don’t know… he was just such a great villain. Was it stupid? Sure. Is a bunch of grown men in short shorts chasing a ball around a field for 2 hours while a bunch of people drinking overpriced beer shout and cheer and swear stupid? Sure.

I don’t want booing stopped. What if they stop cheering? What if we’re offending the people not being cheered by our one sided cheering? Where does it end? What if they stopped me making lascivious comments about the players I may want to um, do inappropriate cougar-y type things with? I think I stand for people being able to say stupid things at the footy (is that enough of a platform to start a political party?). That doesn’t mean I want people to boo Adam Goodes…

Where does all this leave us? Buggered if I know. We have a bunch of morons booing a terrific footy player and an all round great man for reasons unfathomable to themselves as much as to the general public. We now have a social shit fight with lots of heated rhetoric which amounts to a big fat nothing at the end of the day.

Unfortunately this is not something, like gay marriage or medical cannabis, which can be legislated. You can’t legislate against stupid.

All I know is Adam has had a wonderful career at the Swans, as an AFL player with two Brownlow Medals, as an indigenous man trying to make things better for his people and all Australians. He deserves better than this. I sincerely hope he doesn’t leave the game at this time feeling defeated because he’s much bigger and better than this.

Pop Up

This blog is badly neglected. I don’t know why. Well I do: mainly laziness and an “I’ll get around to it” attitude. I think about it often, every day just about. I read other blogs and I intend to visit mine. Regularly I have an idea for a blog post that feels so very important at that time, it just about writes itself in my mind instantly…  usually when I’m driving or pushing the trolley around Coles or doing one of a gazillion other things. But when I’m actually near a computer all inspiration evaporates and I lazily spend my time reading others’ writing or mindlessly scrolling Facebook. Bad habits: I’m completely made up of them.

There is a lot of stuff swirling around me right now. Almost every aspect of my life has either undergone changes or is about to undergo changes and yet I can’t write about most of it. Some is personal, some is temporarily secret, some is hard to grasp and wrangle into submission with a couple of hundred words in a blog post.

I walk a constant and ever evolving tightrope between gratefulness, joy, satisfaction, plenty and yearning, frustration, crazy anger, defeat.

I want to process my life and thoughts through my writing but I am overwhelmed by too much and not enough.

By no means is this a whingey  post. I didn’t pop up to whine about anything. Life is pretty fucking marvellous really. Wouldn’t be dead for quids. I guess I’m just trying to put into words where I’m at right now. Somewhere and nowhere, like everybody else.

I’ll leave you with my go to song of the moment. You know I’ve been having a very public, very annoying yet totally beautiful love affair with Mr Frank Turner for the last two years and this song has been my almost daily mantra for the past few weeks. I’m all about the lyrics and this song says everything I need to remember right now.

If Ever I Stray

Forgive me someone, for I have sinned
And I know not where I should begin
Some days it feels like you just can’t win
No matter what you do or say.

Things didn’t kill me but I don’t feel stronger
Life is short but it feels much longer
You’ve lost that drive, you’ve lost that hunger
To pull yourself through the day.

But if ever I stray from the path I follow
Take me down to the English Channel
Throw me in where the water is shallow
And then drag me on back to shore!

‘Cos love is free and life is cheap
As long as I’ve got me a place to sleep
Clothes on my back and some food to eat
I can’t ask for anything more

Come on everybody sing it 1, 2, 3, 4

We’ve all got secrets that we hold inside
The worst little things that we try and defy
The worst one of all that you never can hide
Is that you’re never quite as strong as you sound

So I’m sorry baby, for the times I’ve hurt you
Sorry friends, for the times I desert you
Most days it feels like I don’t deserve you
No wonder that you’re all still around

But if ever I stray from the path I follow
Take me down to the English Channel
Throw me in where the water is shallow
And then drag me on back to shore!

‘Cos love is free and life is cheap
As long as I’ve got me a place to sleep
Clothes on my back and some food to eat
I can’t ask for anything more

Come on everybody sing it 1, 2, 3, 4

Come on and join me in the water
Swim for hope
Sometimes it’s hard to remember
I couldn’t do this on my own

If ever I stray from the path I follow
Take me down to the English Channel
Throw me in where the water is shallow
And then drag me on back to shore!

‘Cos love is free and life is cheap
As long as I’ve got me a place to sleep
Clothes on my back and some food to eat
I can’t ask for anything more

I can’t ask for anything more

The path I chose isn’t straight and narrow
It wanders ’round like a drunken fellow
Some days it’s hard for me to follow
But if you’ve got my back I’ll go on.
If you’ve got my back I’ll go on.

The Love Boat…come aboard, we’re expecting you…

One of the first things I remember the Comedian saying to me when we embarked on our rocky romance was that he sometimes worked on cruise ships and would take me on a cruise with him one day. It took some time for that one day to arrive but, like all good things, arrive it did. Even after he had booked me in and I had received my boarding pass from the cruise company I still didn’t believe it would happen… given our history there was a more than fair chance the ship would be full, my booking would be lost or we would simply break up as we had done on so many previous occasions.

But the day arrived, children were despatched and lo and behold I was allowed onto the ship without hiccup. Apart from it being a virtually free holiday it was significant for me because it had not been an easy road to this point. An eighteen month rollercoaster ride with totally unpredictable loops and drops. I was very happy and relieved to finally be at this point.

A cruise is a cruise is a cruise and having been on a cruise last year with the kidlets I knew what to expect. There was the full cast of characters: the drunk bogans, the drunk bogan couples, the drunk bogan singles, the drunk bogan hens groups. We entertained ourselves by creating sub-groups including “couples we never want to see having sex “and “how did those people afford a cruise”.

What I really enjoyed about this cruise was getting to know some of the crew and how things work behind the scenes. One of the things people often say to the Comedian when they learn he works on cruise ships is how lucky he is to get “free holidays”. It’s not all fun and games when you’re working on cruise ships. While he is usually on for only a short time the majority of staff are on contract for months at a time and may not see their family and friends at home for six months or more. Some form empty on board relationships to stave off the loneliness, others drink and embrace the loneliness. It’s repetitive work, in a restricted environment and you are constantly surrounded by ugly, badly behaved, entitled, drunk bogans in holiday mode. It’s not pretty folks.

During a chat with the other on board comedian he described the “before and after” effect of being an entertainer on the ship. How after you perform everybody wants to know you. What a strange little “celebrity” phenomenon that is. It was enjoyable in a creepy, weird way to experience this. This is as close as I’ll ever get to feeling like Angelina Jolie so I’m going with it.

The first couple of days we went about our business unnoticed. Hanging out, eating, drinking (a few too many cocktails), listening to music. Nobody noticed us. Then the Comedian performed and as soon as he was off stage it began. From the first drunken stupid dickhead staggering towards him and wanting a free CD because it was “his birthday” to the constant parade of people telling him they enjoyed his show (which was lovely). Because I’m mentioned in the show as the “carer” there were many remarks of “oh, you must be the carer” as we passed. And people simply stopping, starring, whispering. It is a very strange situation.

Overall I loved our time on the ship. A very rare chance to be alone together in our own little bubble. Cruising is not my favourite way to spend a holiday but a short cruise was a wonderful way for us to spend some relaxed time together. Hopefully another love boat experience is on the horizon.

Featured image

Twas the night before Christmas…

… and I was taking a moment to reflect on the year that was. OK, it’s not New Year’s Eve but this is as good a time as any… plus there’s no one in the office and my mind is a-wandering.

It’s been a big year in lots of ways but mainly emotionally. I won’t lie, it’s been fucking tough at times. I’ve said WTF? on more than two (or fifty) occasions. It’s a year I don’t particularly want to remember but I’m very much unlikely to forget. I’ve learnt a lot about resilience. I feel I’m ending the year somewhat wiser and harder than I was at its start.

In broad strokes the kids and I have survived our first full year as a single parent family… and it was OK. Mainly it’s OK because I have a support network around me second to none. My mum and dad and sister are rock solid in their ability to be there for me and the kids at any time and all the time. We are awesomely lucky and grateful. But there’s also my friends who help in all ways, from practical to emotional to just fucking knowing they are there and have my back, that I can call and whinge when needed. I might not always say it straight up but I love and appreciate every single one of the people who are my family in the broadest sense of the word.

Hmmm… romantically it’s been a rollercoaster. There have been awful days and weeks but there have been amazing times as well. I have discovered more than I can share here about myself and for that reason the highs have very much been worth the lows. I end the year in a wonderful place, hopeful of a future with someone who means more to me than I can easily describe.

I’ve learnt to recognise and accept my style of dealing with things and that has been a learning experience in itself. It’s totally glib to say but it’s OK to be me.

This year I’ve got to travel to my favourite, non-Sydney, city on the planet. I’ve eaten great food, seen some fabulous bands and shows, watched spectacular storms from the safety of my balcony, hung out with people I love, been thrilled and disappointed by my Swannies, met people who have opened my eyes and changed my perspective. There has been heartache but I’m lucky enough to say the good has far outweighed the bad.

To those who have hurt me I say screw you. To those who have loved me, cared for me and my kidlets, I say you rock and thank you…. it means everything.

Goodbye 2014. Bring on 2015… a year already bursting with possibility and all the good shit.

NYC 2014: part 2 (the food edition)

So let’s pretend the previous (now MIA) post never happened and get back to our NYC adventure. I’ve decided against a blow by blow, chronological account and do more of a highlights reel. What was awesome about NYC? Well let’s see…

I just love walking in New York. A good day for me is just going out the front door and moving in a forward direction. It doesn’t matter the destination because I’m in fucking New York and there’s always something interesting to see, smell and experience. The people, the buildings, the shops, cafes, bars, restaurants, dogs, trees, graffiti, the way the pedestrian crossing lights have a countdown clock to tell you how many seconds you have left to cross the road.. every one of these things and so many more give me pleasure. I don’t need a purpose or destination there; I’m very happy just to be.

But back to specifics. Food was mainly on the great to amazing spectrum. OK we had some crappy breakfasts with shithouse coffee (how? how? is bad coffee acceptable any more… really? how?) a few times but we also had some very good breakfasts. Of course a Douhgnut Plant donut is the breakfast of champions and my favourite – the Coconut Cream – was just as good as I remembered. We had a delicious breakfast at Dudleys (one of a few Aussie cafes on the Lower East Side) but on our second visit they forgot our order (and we were the only customers – DOH!) so they officially got deleted from our Christmas card list. Our favourite breakfast spot was Spiegel, a sparse Kosher Moroccan cafe a few blocks from home, which did an awesome granola, excellent shakshouka eggs and a very good latte. I miss Spiegel.

A last note on breakfast: we had an excellent bacon and egg roll at The Australian Bar when we ventured there at a ridiculously early hour to watch the Swans wallop North Melbourne in the preliminary final (that was also my last mention of the Swans because: disgraceful). Also… get a good coffee machine The Australian Bar, what’s the point of excellent bacon and egg rolls when you serve them with that tasteless coffee-like swill.

Maharlika. I love you. The end. But no, there’s much more. What started as a disappointing evening when we just missed out on a table at Root & Bone (this no reservation system sucks balls – and not in a good way – NYC) ended on an unexpected high. My dear sister remembered this tiny Filipino joint and suddenly we were ensconced at the bar, being served cocktails by the super friendly owner and over ordering some super delicious food. Shall we start we Spam Fries? Oooh! Really? Sounds awful… tastes DEVINE! Then onto lots of other yumminess including one of the best bits of roast pork I’ve ever devoured. Not a Weight Watchers endorsed meal by any standards but so so good.

Another highlight of NYC eating is lobster and its derivative, lobster rolls. Now I should start by saying M and I both got a pretty bad bout of food poisining on our last night and I’m 99% sure the culprit was lobster (and not the pickle backs – whiskey shot with a pickle juice chaser – that followed). BUT before that night we enjoyed lobster on a few different occasions and it was delish (and non vomit inducing). Our neighbourhood Lobster Joint was a great casual eatery a few doors down from Katz’s on East Houston. A great vibe, really good lobster rolls and an excellent Bloody Mary with a lobster claw in it… doesn’t get much better than that.

Can you walk the High Line, stop at Chelsea Market and not stop for a lobster roll at The Lobster Place? No, you can not. I actually think it’s some kind of legal requirement. So good. And of course don’t leave without a little bag of weirdly flavoured mini donuts from the Dougnuttery (Purple Pig: maple, purple potato and bacon flavour… yes please).

So where else? Momofuku Noodle Bar… a fabulous lunch of supremo smoked chicken wings and excellent (best ever?) ramen. Fried chicken… excellent at Root & Bone (finally nabbed a table at this cute place, didn’t rock our world overall though) and far less than excellent at Tom’s Restaurant (the fabled exterior of the diner from Seinfeld). Hot dogs… finally had a Nathan’s hot dog at Coney Island and sure it was an iconic experience but not one I need to do again anytime soon. As always NYC does a decent cheap slice of pizza and we enjoyed one each for the ridiculously overpriced $2.75 each near home. My heart belongs to the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop and I scoffed a Bea Arthur all by myself. The obligatory Rueben (so so) and brisket (delicious) sandwiches at Katz’s Deli. The always drool worthy burgers at Shake Shack.

Almost forgot Peter Luger in Brooklyn… maybe because I got a little tipsy and had to be carted off home in a taxi. Very old school steakhouse. Simple, delicious food, huge servings and prices, awesome steak. If you want  any more details ask someone who remembers (i.e. not me).

Pretty sure those were all the meals worth discussing. If anything else surfaces from the dark recesses of my foggy brain I’ll catch up in the next installment. Y’all come back now.

078

Coconut Cream Donut (far right)… my love.

238

Lobster (and shrimp) rolls at Chelsea Market.

190

The best granola and shakshouka eggs at Spiegel.

269

Smoked chicken wings at Momofuku Noodle Bar.

173

Pancakes at Dudleys (the time they remembered us).

131127

The Brisket sandwich and the pickles at Katz’s Deli. Yum.

128

Micko… because I love this pic.

NYC 2014: part 1

I fully intended to blog from New York, on a daily basis even, but it just didn’t happen…obviously. The days flew by and I was overtired and/or overwhelmed on the rare day I might have had time to write. Facebook allowed for the brief day-to-day snapshots of our trip which kept family and friends abreast of our adventure.

So let’s recap a little. We flew out of Sydney on Tuesday 16 September on a 1:30pm flight…which meant being at the airport at around. 9:00am. One of us (ahem, not me) suffers from a mild getting-to-the-airport-ridiculously-early syndrome. I think it’s sweet and tend to like being there early myself. It’s much better to get through all the stupid queues…check-in, security, customs…and then relax, rather than stressing out because you’re stuck in a traffic jam or one of the queues is stupidly long.

Anyway, leaving early meant there was no traffic en route to the airport and all the queues moved at a brisk pace. Thus we had plenty of time to enjoy lunch before boarding.

The flight itself was routine, very smooth. People whinge about Qantas but I thought the service and the food (my two main areas of interest, apart from not falling out of the sky) were excellent. I picked the last row of window seats which meant just two seats together; there was method to my madness but I overlooked the arsehole factor and found the space behind us was just right for dicks who want to have a loud chat while everyone else is sleeping or trying to.

A brief stopover in Dallas Fort Worth and we were landing in NYC. I was mildly anxious as there was a problem with our VRBO apartment just as we were leaving and we had been offered a different one…I was hoping it wasn’t a scam. It wasn’t. After a quick taxi ride from La Guardia we picked up our keys from the dodgy corner store and were soon enough checking out our small but perfectly formed Lower East Side apartment.

Bags dropped off we headed to the closest bar for a nightcap. There is certainly no shortage of bars in that area. Soon enough we were sharing a pizza and some bevvys at one of our many locals, next door to The Bowery Ballroom. Yeah…we were in NYC baby!

Morning number one found us wandering around our new neighbourhood starting with a breakfast stop at my beloved Doughnut Plant. (For the record the “cake” donuts are not worth the calories; it’s all about the yeast donuts and if you don’t like them I’m not sure we can still be friends.)

A much longed for Coconut Cream Donut later we were back on the street. We were meeting up with sister and BIL for brunch which meant a few sunny hours to get a feel for our ‘hood. Crossing the street we spied a familiar face: Tim Rogers, of iconic You Am I fame, was walking towards us. We recognized him and his half smile made me think he recognized us recognizing him.

Something weirdly satisfying about “bumping” into a fellow Aussie so soon after starting our NYC adventure…and a famous one at that. (Soon we were to learn there was more than just the one odd Aussie in these parts, place was crawling with downunderers.)

So onto brunch. Of course it was wonderful to see my gorgeous sister JB and her similarly gorgeous, sausage making hubby…but it was equally wonderful to meet them at the much read about Russ & Daughters Cafe. R&D are a NYC smoked fish institution and this newish cafe was a great place to meet for our first catch up meal.

Not only was it super cute, from decor to menu to wait staff, but the food was very very good. We shared a delicious platter of smoked fish and bagels with all the necessary accompaniments. Having never tried it before I’m now a huge fan of smoked sable. Delicious. Special mention to the ridiculously good chocolate French toast which was an unnecessary but wonderful way to finish the meal.

Not sure what we did after brunch but I’m fairly sure it involved a nap. That evening we met for drinks at the nearby Leadbelly and our love affair with. $1 Oyster Happy Hour(s) began. A wonderful evening of cocktails, oysters and really good food.

Are we really only at the end of our first full day in NYC? Wow.

IMG_4876-0.JPG

IMG_4891.JPG

IMG_4893.JPG

IMG_4885.JPG

IMG_4901.JPG

IMG_4898.JPG

IMG_4896.JPG

IMG_4897.JPG

IMG_4903.JPG

IMG_4905.JPG

IMG_4902.JPG