time with friends

I tend to have weeks alone, then all of a sudden, several outings with friends all at once. On one hand, it’d be nice to stagger things more evenly, but I much prefer the casual spontaneity of getting together when the mood suits. Time with friends both in virtual and physical spaces, is time well spent. I had a lovely afternoon lunching today with a friend locally as I happened to have a couple of days off.

Caught up with another friend last night and we tried out a couple of the bars I mentioned yesterday: Midnight Special & Bar Racuda. Both were on the quiet side, fair enough given it was a Sunday night, though Hartsyard was packed so we’ll try it another time. Midnight Special do really delicious hot dogs, will happily return just for those. Otherwise though, not really my sort of space; it caters to a different crowd. Bar Racuda was mostly empty and my mate and I had a good evening sitting at the bar chatting to the owner. They did a nice old fashioned too. A comfy sort of space with a nice wooden, welcoming bar. Special was probably a bit too loud for me, whereas Racuda was better suited to chatting…or at least for a deaf bugger like me.

State Theatre FoyerFriday was another night spent locally too: dinner at a pasta/pizza place on King St, followed by a movie at the recently re-opened Dendy. Finally saw Dark Shadows, which was ok and a little bit silly but the story didn’t really hang together very well. I’ve often said, and this confirms yet again, that Burton is a wonderful director who needs a really good writer. Movie was followed by a visit to the Townie which I used to visit occasionally with other groups of friends in years gone by. The fatal mistake of the evening, was that having started on red wine, I finished with a few ciders, not to mention a 2-3am stroll home. Saturday was spent very quietly at home and mostly, in bed :-)

The Wednesday prior was spent with the same group of friends and a few others, a couple of suburbs away playing board games in the Summer Hill Hotel.  Thankfully that wasn’t too late for a work night. All in all, a good round of hanging out with folk. I won’t have much time for socialising over the next couple of weeks. The Sydney filmfest gets underway on Thursday…and not Saturday as I had initially thought. Thankfully, a friend pointed this out to me on the weekend. I start with 2 films on Thursday evening and all up, I think there’s 30 films in my subscription, plus I’m hoping to buy some additional tickets for films outside the subscription series.

a toast to thorpie

I was reminiscing yesterday by trawling through some of my old posts both from here and my earlier handcoded efforts, and came across this one from the days when the argument regarding small bars in Sydney was starting to hit fever pitch. Since then, the laws have changed and the small bar scene has exploded. Initially in a few laneways in the city, no doubt trying to capture some sort of Melbournian effect. In recent times they’ve been expanding out.

Newtown has always had a bar or two, particularly Kuletos, nestled among the pubs and regular fare. To be joined eventually by the now missed Soni’s, Madame Fling Flong’s and Corridor – that last used to be a regular haunt years ago when it was a cafe called Has Beans. A year or so back, The Green Room opened on Enmore Rd and things have been gaining pace ever since. The number of bars in Enmore Rd is rapidly approaching double figures with a few opening in recent months.

wine by the waterThe most recent opener is Hartsyard a few days ago, though it’s leaning toward good beers (via Harts Pub) and more of a restaurant sort of space. Also in recent days, Waterhorse, has opened, and has had a flash outfit. Bar Racuda opened up a few months ago, as did I think, Midnight Special. Not to mention Ra Bar (which I think used to be a wine bar/cafe called Monal), several months ago, as a tapas bar.

I should also mention that there’s The Wine Plate at the city end of King St, though it looks more like a restaurant space with a long series of tables parallel to the long bar. At the opposite end of King St, down past The Chocolate Dog, there’s bench (and opposite them is The Moose). They’ve taken over the old dining space from Pizza Picasso and have the same owners. It’s a tight, friendly space with some rather nice wine choices. I’ve been there a couple of times now, and on last visit, a mate and I, sat by the windows, spending an entire evening chilling out over several glasses of red, some nice tapas, and finishing off with a stunning muscat, All Saints Rare Rutherglen Muscat. As far as I can tell, bench were selling it close to retail too, as a quick google suggests that I can only get it for $10-15 cheaper at best. That’s the best muscat I’ve had. Ever.