Swine and Co, Sydney

Before Swine & Co is even open for your morning coffee, you can find head chef Bobby Taylor in the kitchen. Roasting a suckling pig on the spit takes time and skill, and Bobby’s here to provide both.

He lights the coals first, letting them heat up before adding in the beechwood. Next, he coats the first pig of the day (they go through three) in a salty mix of fennel, celery salt and black cardamom, before spearing it onto the spit. In a couple hours the pig begins to crackle, and another hour after that it’ll ready to be consumed entirely – not a single part is wasted. Every section of the pig will be making it’s way to one dish or another, and anything leftover goes into tomorrow’s croquettes.

Read the rest on finder.com.au.

Papi Chulo’s, Manly

So much more than a name. Here’s why Papi Chulo is worth all the fuss.

When Merivale announced they were opening up digs in Manly, there was a to-be-expected media frenzy. Everyone wanted to know the look, the inspiration, the menu, the drinks, how to get home if they didn’t actually live in Manly (hint: the ferry).

Perhaps they should have been asking what Papi Chulo meant. It might have given them a few clues over what to expect.

Read the rest at finder.com.au.

A whole new blog (don’t you dare close your eyes)

aladdin-and-jas

I’m trying something new, so bare with me. I’m not sure how it’s going to turn out.

But I’m trying a new blog. One that’s more stream lined, more focused, more consistant.

It’s called The Twenties Gap (after my posts of the same name) and it’s all about life in your twenties, whatever that may be.

It’s a little bit of pop culture, a little bit of travel, a little bit of journalism, and a lot about life.

I’ve been posting some of my favourite articles from here to the new blog, because I’m proud of this little guy and I don’t want the year I’ve been blogging to go to waste.

That being said, I don’t want the messy articles. The ones I wrote in a hurry. The ones I never planned or the ones I only posted to make up numbers.

I’ll continue to post on this blog for the time being, until my other one is up and running.

But in the meantime, why not check out the first piece of original content I wrote for The Twenties Gap: Things Our Parents Didn’t Have To Worry About (as told through 80s movies). Because nothing says existential crisis like Ferris Bueller.

Thanks for sticking with me through this first year of blogging. Stop by the new blog and say hello some time :)

Urban Society Round Up #2

Well, this has been a mental two weeks. I think the phrase ‘thrown in the deep end’ has never applied quite so literally to my life (apart from the time I was actually thrown in the deep end of the community pool, but whatever. I forgave my brother.) One week after starting this new job, I found out my Managing Editor was away on annual leave for a week. Cue panic attacks, stress, and a general feeling of ‘holy-hell-I’m-not-cut-out-for-this’. But, you know, I survived. And it gets easier. And I got to write some things along the way!

I got a little political over the last two weeks. You may have head that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has decided to no longer allow any refugees arriving by boat into Australia, but rather to deport them to Papua New Guinea. (If you’re Australian, take that with a heavy dose of irony. If you’re not, welcome to the xenophobic swing of Australian politics.) I – like many Australians – think this is an all round disgusting and simplistic measure, and so I quite enjoyed writing about a refugee who tried to pay back the government $18,000. Note: he originally sought – and was granted – political asylum in Greece, before coming to Australia legally. On the other side of the world, UK Prime Minister David Cameron seeks to ban porn on the internet. To put it less simplistically, he wants to implement an ‘opt-out’ family-friendly filter, as well as crack down on child porn, extremely violent porn and simulated rape. His heart’s in the right place, but is this really the best method? Plus, as one 21-year-old UK commenter pointed out, young people everywhere have to embarrassingly ask their parents to turn on the porn. Awkies.

bans porn

Then we get to the shock value posts (because it’s all about the clicks, people). I came in early especially to write about Rolling Stone putting the Boston Bomber on the front cover, because a) I was so fired up about it, and b) I wanted to do the thing properly. For a uni assignment I researched the general media-wide cock-up that was the Boston Bombings, so I a bit of what I was talking about (and I like to talk smart sometimes). Then there was the barrel-of-laughs wedding that ended in a family-wide brawl, that caused more than one commenter to reference ‘My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding’.  And here is a video (and accompanying words, but mostly the video) of why it is very important not to do things like stick your head in a crocodile’s mouth. Sadly, I also wrote about a baby that was stabbed 90 times by his mother (warning: graphic images). As awful as this was, I wanted to talk about mental illness and post-natal depression, because a mentally sane person simply does not stab their baby. I knew this would attract comments such as “don’t stigmatise mental illness like that” (which it did), but I also thought that for every outraged person, there would be a mother nodding along thinking of the times they’d wanted to throw their baby out the window because it didn’t stop crying.

And so we get to the uplifting part of this tale! Here, watch Zach Braff help a man propose to his girlfriend, or read about the social media that only allows images of happy things, whether great or small.

Of course, there’s a bit of celebrity gossip along the way. Every morning we do a post called ‘Hot Mess Threesome’, which is some kind of celebrity scandal, gossip, or just plain funny news. It’s good practise in ‘how to be a funny writer’, which isn’t one of my strong suits. What do you think of these little ditties?

  • Hugh Jackman ‘admits’ to wearing Wolverine suit in the bedroom [link]
  • Michelle Bridges and the Commando split up [link]
  • Kochy tries to skateboard and breaks his co-host’s ankle [link]
  • A reporter draws a massive penis on live TV [link]
  • Kim Kardashian and Kanye West spend almost a mill on gold-plated toilets [link]
  • Kelly Rowland became an actual ‘survivor’ and had to get rescued while at sea [link]
  • The View come to the defence of butt sex [link]

And, of course, we wrote about the Royal Baby. I still can’t believe they went with George.

Rolling Stone made an excellent journalistic move – but we’re still allowed to be angry.

rolling-stone-magazine-Jahar-Tsarnaev-boston-bomber-cover

I’m just going to preface this by saying that – like many others – I’ve already expressed by disgust at the all-round dick move made by Rolling Stone.

Writing that first article (read: venting) was therapeutic. I got most of the anger out of my system and let it out into the world. But that was about 13 hours ago and I’ve had some time to calm down, process, and think about Rolling Stone’s decision to feature Dzhokhar Tsarnev on the cover. And I hate to say this, but it’s actually a brilliant move. That’s not to say I agree with it, but I think we need to look at a few more issues at play.

First, it’s a story that needs to be told.

I’m not going to use the kind of language they did – that he “fell into” radical Islam and that “his family failed him” – because after a certain point we all accept responsibility, and bombing the Boston Marathon was no passive act of a young man irresponsible of his actions.

Still. We need to investigate why someone with no connection to radical Islam from birth committed such heinous acts, if only to prevent similar events in the future and similar lives being destroyed.

Second, from a PR perspective it’s an enormous success.

Even those who had never heard of Rolling Stone are now aware of the publication. It’s enforced its floundering reputation for being edgy. They could have used a dozen different covers and run with the same story, and received no way near the same level of attention.

Third, it has attracted an entire new customer base.

While many people will no doubt boycot the magazine, I’d wager a greater number of people who rarely or never buy it will grab themselves a copy. Circulation figures will boost. Those readers might be inclined to buy the magazine the following month, and in this economy no publication can laugh off sales figures.

Fourth, it forcibly subverts the idea of what a terrorist is supposed to look like.

In the collective consciousness of today’s world, a terrorist looks something like Sadam Hussein – Muslim, bearded and with evil looking eyes. Twenty-Thirty years ago, a terrorist was Irish, and therefore looked like the white, Western world. Times are changing again. It also feels like a small “fuck you” to every media source that reported, in the confusion of the immediate wake of the bombings, that the suspect was male and brown. At the time of the bombings, there was no reason for any media source to report that the suspect was “brown” (particularly when that wasn’t true) other than to give a giant conspirational wink to everyone who was thinking “Al Qaeda”. Sloppy, sloppy journalism.

The fact that Rolling Stone have made what is probably a very smart move does not mean it wasn’t also a dick move. We are allowed to be shocked and angry; it is the exact reaction Rolling Stone were looking for. People are not ignorant or hateful for being angry. They are rightly so. Anyone glancing at the cover could have been mistaken that Tsarnev was a good-looking front man for a band, rather than the terrorist responsible* for the highest number of deaths from a US-soil terrorist attack since September 11th.

The greatest thing Rolling Stone have done is incite discussion, both in the media and amongst friends. I was furious this morning, but now that has given away to curiosity. I don’t know if I’ll buy the magazine – I don’t want to support what were a blatant dismissal of ethics – but I will be interested in what it has to say.

We’ll just have to wait until August.

Urban Society Roundup #1

So here’s a bit of news: I’m the new Deputy Editor at Urban Society! Or, as my email signatures reads, a ‘Well-Worded Woman’.

No longer an intern, I actually get to manage our interns. I want to say to them “I’ve been where you are! It gets better!” but for now will keep my mouth shut (unless of course they stumble onto this blog.) I feel frantic enough in my new role without worrying that hungry vulture-like interns are circling my job, waiting for a sign of weakness.

The best part is that I get to write something every day. It may not be the most thought-provoking piece you’ve ever read, but it’s fun. I’m officially paid to write. I saw the money go into my bank account on Friday and felt giddy with all the dollars.

I also spend my days doing a lot of things that are not writing: editing everybody else’s posts (which, if they’re an inexperienced writer, can take a long long time), sourcing content, scheduling posts, uploading everything to Facebook and liaising with what seems to be half the PR people in Sydney. I’d happily be content sitting in a little bubble for eight hours writing whatever I felt like, but that doesn’t pay the bills unless you are J. K. Rowling a total genius.

The point isn’t that I’m a struggling twenty-something wannabe creative. The point is THAT I’M GETTING PAID. MY PARENTS NO LONGER DISPAIR. I CAN AFFORD TO FILL UP THE CAR WHEN I BORROW IT.

I bought two (two!) ridiculously overpriced cocktails on Saturday, just because I could. And a kebab later in the evening, but that was mostly because I shouldn’t.

I’ve decided to do a weekly roundup where I post up the bits and bobs I’ve written for Urban Society, in case you feel like a looksie. For those who don’t know (and if you don’t live in Sydney, I’ll wager that you don’t know), Urban Society is a young person’s website with pop-culture, local eateries, a what’s on of Sydney, a little bit of travel, and the occassional news piece. It’s a little bit of everything, all rolled into one. (I’M A BITCH, I’M A LOVER… yeah.)

So here we go:

1 Forever Alone

Urban Society Roundup #1

World’s First Forever Alone Restaurant - This actually looks pretty good. (Check out the image above.)

Patient opens her eyes moments before organ donation - Chilling.

Rebecca Black covers Miley Cyrus’ ‘We Can’t Stop’ - Woah, Rebecca Black can actually sing now?

Daft Punk releases ‘Get Lucky’ condoms - Too. Many. Puns.

Are we taking Instagram selfies too far? - This was actually a hard one to write. It was in response to a Sydney Morning Herald article by a 17-year-old girl, who I thought wrote brilliantly. Everything she said was true and perfectly articulated, yet quite possibly not realised by SMH’s core audience. If I had written the article for me, it would have been called “Every 17 year old girl should look up to this one because she’s got her head straight and is wise beyond her years.” But you have to present a fair and accurate viewpoint, after all.

Gay marriage ad under fire for ‘sexualisation of children’ – I would have called this one ‘Fuck yeah, Queensland’.

Daft punk

 

The top 10 Aussie celebs to follow on Instagram

Sometimes we all need a little pick me up, and sometimes that involves stalking scrolling though a celebrity Instagram feed. It’s addictive. They invite us in and offer us snippets of a Charmed Life, one well away from student loans, dirty dishes and that feeling that you really ought to go to the gym.

For your viewing pleasure, here are the top 10 Australian celebrities to follow on Instagram. Warning: gratuitous selfies abound, people, but what would an Instagram feed be without them?

You’re not even reading this, are you? You’ve jumped straight to Miranda Kerr’s face – she’s just that damn beautiful, folks.

1. Miranda Kerr

Miranda KerrFollowers: 1, 831, 524

What you will get:
Gratuitous Selfies
Family Time
Editorial
Behind-the-Scenes Photo Shoots
Insta-Arty Shots
Inspirational Quotes

2. Jennifer Hawkins

Jennifer HawkinsInstagram Followers: 241, 865

What you will get:
Gratuitous Selfies
Wedding Shots
Aren’t-You-Jealous-Of-My-Holiday
Inspirational Quotes
Doing Sydney Media-Type-Stuff

3. Kylie Minogue

Kylie MinogueInstagram Followers: 218, 715

What you will get:
Professional Shoots
Promotions For New Release ‘Skirt’
Insta-Artsy Shots
Passion For Fashion

4. Lara Bingle

Lara BingleInstagram Followers: 216, 530

What you will get:
Gratuitous Selfies
Beach Life
Magazine Editorial
Insta-Artsy Shots
Passion For Fashion
Inspirational Quotes

5. Samara Weaving

Samara WeavingInstagram Followers: 117, 481

What you will get:
Gratuitous Selfies
Beach Life
Hanging With Friends
Insta-Arty Shots

6. Isabelle Cornish

Isabelle CornishInstagram Followers: 106, 158

What you will get:
Gratuitous Selfies
Passion for Fashion
Hanging With Friends
Insta-Arty Shots
Yummy Food

7. Jessica Hart

Jessica HartInstagram Followers: 101, 834

What you will get:
Gratuitous Selfies
Hanging With Friends
Behind The Scenes Photo Shoots
Adventure

8. Ruby Rose

Ruby RoseInstagram Followers: 96, 804

What you will get:
Gratuitous Selfies
Hanging With Friends
Inspirational Quotes
Funny Shit
Cute Animals

9. Stephanie Rice

Stephanie RiceInstagram Followers: 83, 036

What you will get:
Gratuitous Selfies
Hanging With Friends
Inspirational Quotes
Editorial
Just Keep Swimming

10. Delta Goodrem

Delta GoodremInstagram Followers: 73, 899

What you will get:
Gratuitous Selfies
Hanging With Friends
Behind the Scenes (The Voice)
Editorial
Doing Sydney Media-Type Events