Melbourne: White Night


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I hope anyone and everyone in Melbourne this weekend checks out the thrill of White Night — I still have the greatest memories of exploring a whole new side of my hometown in the dead of night last year. If you’re not a fan of crowds (right here!) I recommend waiting until 3 or 4am to venture into the CBD. It truly is a magical night.

This year unfortunately I will be experiencing New York City’s version of white night instead — lots of snow!


Map: The Best Coffee Shop Near Every NYC Subway Station


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NYC Coffee Subway Map

This is awesome! Redditor Ricky Mikeabono has created a map of where to find the best coffee near every single subway stop. A few of my favorites are mentioned–Toby’s Estate, La Colombe, Queens Kickshaw, Bluebird… so I trust this guy’s opinion! What a legend.

The Church of Secular Coffee: Bad Morning Salvation in Melbourne’s CBD


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Pre-work coffee rush.

The coffee heroes came to my aid last week by way of the delightfully “So Melbourne” pop-up precinct that’s gracing the fancy end of Collins Street these days.

Rue & Co. consists of St. Ali’s coffee outpost (is it an outpost if it’s further “in” than the original?), along with pop-up versions of Chris Lucas’s Kong and George Calombaris’s Jimmy Grants’ establishments. Though it was sadly too early in the morning (and I was running far too late) to try the latter two, my soy flat white was as good as any in town, and the Mexican-style corn fritters they serve at brekkie were delish.

Throw in a heated courtyard and a barista who calls you “darl”, it’s a surefire way to turn a bad day around.

You’ll find Rue & Co. at 80 Collins Street, near the corner of Exhibition.

Corn Fritters

Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition, London


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Snow Moment by Jasper Doest

‘Snow Moment’ by Jasper Doest. Winner of the ‘Creative Visions’ category. Starring a Japanese macaque.

When I was eighteen, after six months of backpacking around Europe I arrived back in London from where I’d set off. I was well and truly ready to fly home to Australia: to clean clothes, a warm bed, and a break from my steady diet of baguettes, cheese and cheap wine.

For all the discoveries I made on my travels, one of the stand-outs was the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, held annually at London’s Natural History Museum. A decade after my first visit, the images are still with me. I’ve been to several of the exhibitions now, each year as impressive as the other.

the water bear by paul souders

‘The Water Bear’ by Paul Souders. Winner of the ‘Animals in Their Environment’ category. Starring a sneaky Polar Bear.

The images produced by the participants are spectacular and highly varied. From action shots, to wildscapes, to photojournalism–the breadth of the photographs is as diverse as nature itself, and nothing short of awe-inspiring.

confusing beauty by julian cohen

‘Confusing Beauty’ by Julian Cohen. Runner-up of the ‘Behaviour: Cold-Blooded Animals’ category. Starring a school of creative Silverside fish.

I also love the design of the exhibition — a gallery for each of the nineteen categories, the main lighting comes from the backlights of the photographs themselves. By blotting out the world around, the viewer becomes immersed in the presentation in front of them.

survivors by valeriy maleev

‘Survivors’ by Valeriy Maleev. Runner-up of The Gerald Durrell Award for Endangered Wildlife. The striking Amur leopards pictured here are tragically three out of only THIRTY left in the wild.

This season’s exhibition is now in its final weeks, closing March 23. Be sure to catch it if you are in, or can get to, London in time. I practically plan my trips around it.

mother's little headful by udayan rao power

‘Mother’s Little Headful’ by Udayan Rao Pawar. Winner of the ‘Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year’ award. Udayan, who is fourteen years old, captured this fantastic family photo of a mother gharial with her hatchlings in the Chambal River, India.

the greeting by richard packwood

‘The Greeting’ by Richard Packwood. Winner of the ‘Nature in Black and White’ category. Starring a couple of elephant friends having a chat by Lake Kariba.

Thanksgivukkah Donuts at Zucker Bakery, NYC


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If you happen to be in New York City this week, do yourself a favor and head to Zucker Bakery in East Village. In celebration of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah falling on the same date (an event which apparently won’t happen again for over 70,000 years!) the crazy kids at this cute shop on east 9th street have come up with an array of thanksgiving-themed sufganiyot.


I sampled the savory as well as the sweet — first I tried the turkey and gravy-filled donut, made with pumpkin-dough. Genius! Just as delicious were the sweet potato-dough donuts, which were filled with marshmallow. Served straight out of the fryer, these were warm little parcels of heaven.

Sweet Potato Marshmallow Donut



Breaking Bad Exhibition at Museum of the Moving Image, NYC


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As the world of Walter White slowly shrinks in the rear-view mirror of our TV lives, Breaking Bad fans keen for a sense of nostalgia shouldn’t miss the Museum of the Moving Image‘s exhibition of the show.

Until Sunday, MoMI in Queens is displaying “From Mr Chips to Scarface: Walter White’s transformation in Breaking Bad, which examines the metamorphosis of lead character Walter White, played by Bryan Cranston in his career-defining role.

Featured are a number of costumes; a side-by-side comparison of Walt—the schoolteacher and Heisenberg—the drug lord prompt viewers to contemplate just how different—or similar—the two personas really are.

Of the many props on display, key items include the ominous pink teddy bear, which reoccurs throughout the series, and the inscribed Walt Whitman book, which played such a pivotal role in season 5. A vial of ricin alongside a packet of cigarettes, as well as a bloody box cutter are sure to spark visitors’ interest and memories of malicious events in the show.

A must-see for Breaking Bad fans, the exhibition closes October 27.

View from Princes Street Starbucks: Edinburgh Castle


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edinburgh castle

One of the many impressive sights in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Edinburgh Castle makes Starbucks on Princes Street a prime location for enjoying a cuppa. Or being distracted from the work on one’s laptop…

As a self-confessed Starbucks devotee, I must say this is one of the best locations view-wise that I’ve visited. Here, along with the Starbucks that overlooks “The Scramble” pedestrian crossing in Tokyo’s Shibuya district.

How about you? Any Starbucks fans with a favorite? Or any cafe with a great view for that matter?

Cocktail of the Moment: Espresso Martini


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Espresso Martini

Lord knows how or why it’s taken me this long to combine two of my loves – coffee and alcohol – into one delicious drink, but I’ve discovered it now and there’s no going back. I’ve tasted the concoction from four different spots in the past week!

My inaugural espresso martini hit the tastebuds at SW9 Bar, near Brixton tube station. SW9 is a really nice spot for a quiet drink. Later that night, after a delectable eaton mess cocktail (!!!) I sampled an equally delicious espresso martini at Seven at Brixton, a bar located inside the Brixton Market. This place was really fun. I’d never been to Brixton Market; I’ll be sure to return.

This past weekend I visited York, and while there checked out Jamie’s Italian. To be honest, the less said about the food the better (Maybe an off night? Did I order the wrong dish?), though what I will say is that they make a pretty decent espresso martini.

The most recent espresso martini sampling occurred at The Caley Bar, located in The Caledonian Waldorf-Astoria in Edinburgh. I have a thing for posh hotel bars, and this one was quite nice. Very comfy chairs, solid cocktails.

For now, my body needs to recover from my first week of drinking like a Brit. Living in the US, I forgot just how much of a sport it is here! I look forward to this espresso martini love affair continuing after a mini health-kick. Whether that’s possible in Scotland is yet-to-be-seen…