Great Friday

Great Friday
Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia


I was meant to be helping my sister spring clean today, well, autumn clean. I just had to quickly pop into the doctors first for a shot in the arm – that’s where the adventure began. Bec offered to drive me and for her kindness, I talked her into getting a blood test she’d been putting off. Unfortunately our regular doctor wasn’t in but then again, neither where any of the patients! I’ve never waited less than an hour at the Darlinghurst Medical Centre, today, we waltzed right in! It was a Good Friday miracle!

All necessary fasting over with, we headed to Rueben Hills, the newest cafe/coffee roaster on the block on Albion Street in Surry HIlls design district. Since it opened little more than a month ago, I’ve been passing through (literally from Albion Street to the converted garage that opens onto the alley behind) on a regular basis for a caffeine fix but I’d never actually eaten there.

The place was full to overflowing with bearded hipsters with a wait list already in operation. It could have simply been because it was open unlike most other haunts closed for the public holiday, but more likely because it has already created quite a bit of buzz and deservedly so. The menu is tight with a mexican flavour that delivered on every promise it made. Delicious!

As an aside, caffeine aficionados may find it interesting to note that Rueben Hills are serving up their takeaway coffees in smaller than standard paper cups. I’m sure this is the next evolution in local cafe culture under the guise of providing quality over quantity, but the spendthrift in me does baulk a little at getting less for more. Having said that, I keep going back though because the coffee is great.

While we were chatting with the owner about the finer points of the industrial fit out, I got a Facebook update from Gelato Messina touting their special Easter flavour – Lick my Buns made with spiced egg custard gelato and buttered hot cross buns throughout – come on! We’re only human! In the car – back to Darlinghurst – add a scoop of Peanut Head to the easter treat and I am one very happy camper!

By this time, Sydney was shining under peerless blue skies. If you were here, you know what I mean. If you weren’t, you wish you were! It would have been a crime to go back indoors and sort out Bec’s bathroom! There was only one thing for it – take the top down (Bec’s car’s, not our own), pump up the tunes and hit the road!

We wound our way east to North Bondi, around the busy beach and stopped on the south side to make a splash – us and a few hundred others! From there we followed the postcard perfect coast line around to Tamarama, today living up to its nickname ‘Glamourama’ with bodies-beautiful strewn around its shore and onto Bronte for yet more views that never cease to take my breath away.

We took our time moseying home through the affluent and enviable eastern suburbs, up to and around Centennial Park genuinely marvelling at our good fortune to call this stunning city home. On a day like today, there really is nowhere in the world I’d rather be.

Across the day, a constant stream of updates from Sydneysiders making the most of this second-chance summer, spoke to me of the extraordinary lifestyle we’re afforded here, where spectacular nature meets a sophisticated city. Some may say Sydney is getting a little pretentious, but hey, when you look this good, you can afford to be!

This evening, I met up with my friend Karina for a casual dinner and catch up. The still warm weather made it feel like a Thai night so we rendezvoused at Spice I Am at the confluence of the CBD, Surry Hills and the area increasingly recognised as ‘Thainatown’. We were thwarted in our attempts to BYO by the absurd restrictions on takeaway sales of alcohol on Good Friday. Instead we enjoyed our very tasty pad see ew and lemon grass stir fry with the finest water they had on tap before going in search of a watering hole of a different variety. I had a few favourite places in mind hidden away in the streets behind but one by one found them all closed for the public holiday.

Desperate times called for desperate measures and luckily there’s always somewhere to serve the desperate! Tonight it was one of the dodgiest, dirtiest old pubs in town – The Triple Ace Bar below local icon – Harry’s Singapore Chilli Crab (though I’ve never met anyone who’s actually been there). I’ve walked passed it countless times but never been in before tonight… with good reason. We grabbed a couple of beers and perched at the cleanest and quietest table we could find just as the adjoining table of rowdy guys fled the scene leaving a fresh graffiti tag scrawled across the table in indelible ink so fresh we could smell it. The bar tender went to the trouble of smearing it over once. When the next group of people complained about it, he simply handed them a latex glove and bunch of napkins and told them to clean it themselves! As much as we enjoyed the anthropological insight, we drank up and called it a night.

From blue skies to dodgy guys, there’s no denying it ‘s been more than a Good Friday, it’s been a great one!


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