Category: Sydney


September 23rd, 2013 — 2:36pm

Friday night, I headed over to the Australian Consulate for a book launch party celebrating Indira Naidoo’s The Edible Balcony.

Indira Naidoo and me at the Australian Consulate

I had the pleasure of meeting Indira, one of Australia’s most highly regarded journalists and TV anchors, earlier in the week when she visited The Westin New York Grand Central for a story she’s doing about . When I mentioned my great affection for , and that I too am an alum of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, extended an invite to the event.

I was truly delighted to attend. The evening reminded me of why I so enjoyed my stint as a Sydneysider years ago — Aussies are such congenial, friendly people. During the reception, I chatted with several expats and enjoyed some delicious hors d’oeuvres inspired by the recipes in Indira’s book.

The Edible Balcony charts her inspiring journey to create a garden on the balcony of her apartment in Sydney’s Potts Point neighborhood.

Indira shared what she learned in a fascinating presentation that showcased how even small urban spaces can be converted to thriving gardens — and the important role of these green spaces in food security and healthier eating.

In just eight months, Indira grew 73 plantings of fruits and vegetables – 154 pounds worth! — on her balcony. What is truly amazing about this is she had no previous experience with gardening. During her talk, I found myself remembering the pride I felt when I managed to grow a small basil plant on my window sill.

The Edible Balcony is a great testament to the wonders that can happen when you’re bold and curious enough to try something new. And it proves that everyone, even city dwellers, can have a green thumb. You can find out more about Indira and order the book .

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February 24th, 2011 — 3:04pm

Last week, I headed over to the Empire Hotel on NYC’s Upper West Side for Paper Magazine and Tumblr’s Fashion Week soiree.

Held at the hotel’s spacious, swanky rooftop bar, the party gave me a chance to catch up with friend and fellow blogger, Giuseppe, in town from Sydney.

Catching Up: Giuseppe and me at the Empire rooftop

Giuseppe and I first connected a few years back, at the  of the first Sex And The City movie. His fabulous Cosmo Guy site about SATC has led to great success as a — Giuseppe was among a select few flown from Oz to cover various runway shows.

Over cocktails, we talked about the excitement and allure of New York (Giuseppe and his sweetheart are considering a move here). I admitted that, for as much as I still adore my hometown, all the traveling I’ve done over the last year has made me realize there’s much more to life than hustle and bustle.

Following your bliss, of course, is a big part of that, a subject that came up when we ran into Xavi, a friend of Giuseppe’s.

A native of Barcelona, Xavi told us about a chance encounter long ago on the subway with one of his favorite Spanish writers. That meeting produced an opportunity which eventually led to Xavi handling social media for one of pop biggest international superstars. If you believe and are willing to work hard, he said, everything is possible.

Good advice in both life — and love.

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September 25th, 2009 — 11:17pm

Monday night, my friend Rachel and I went to History Start Now’s Live Jazz cocktail benefit at Pranna in Gramercy.

History Starts Now: Rachel and me at the Live Jazz event

Held in the trendy Pan Asian restaurant’s inviting downstairs space, the semi-formal event featured hors d’oevures, signature drinks and fabulous musicians — and sobering statistics about child trafficking.

Founded last year, History Starts Now uses a multi-media approach to raise awareness for the fight against sex trafficking of minors in the U.S. According to the group, 300,000 children are trafficked in the U.S., with 10,000 trafficked in NYC alone. The average age of most victims is 12-14 years old.

After talking with charming and well-informed HSN co-founders Rachael Lechliter and Kristina Lee Grandstaff, Rachel and I caught up on recent events. I told her about the end of my summer fling and upcoming second date with cute photographer Ali. She filled me in about her trip Down Under to Sydney, her former hometown.

Another charming Aussie ended up joining our conversation, Perth-born musician Mark. Part of a trio called the Out of Towners (his bandmates are from Japan and the U.K. respectively), Mark and co will be performing at Sugar Bar on October 13th.

Speaking of upcoming calendar-worthy occasions, History Starts Now will be hosting a winter event, one of four annual fundraisers. For more info about the group, click .

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September 25th, 2009 — 6:17pm

Monday night, my friend Rachel and I went to History Start Now’s Live Jazz cocktail benefit at Pranna in Gramercy.

History Starts Now: Rachel and me at the Live Jazz event

Held in the trendy Pan Asian restaurant’s inviting downstairs space, the semi-formal event featured hors d’oevures, signature drinks and fabulous musicians — and sobering statistics about child trafficking.

Founded last year, History Starts Now uses a multi-media approach to raise awareness for the fight against sex trafficking of minors in the U.S. According to the group, 300,000 children are trafficked in the U.S., with 10,000 trafficked in NYC alone. The average age of most victims is 12-14 years old.

After talking with charming and well-informed HSN co-founders Rachael Lechliter and Kristina Lee Grandstaff, Rachel and I caught up on recent events. I told her about the end of my summer fling and upcoming second date with cute photographer Ali. She filled me in about her trip Down Under to Sydney, her former hometown.

Another charming Aussie ended up joining our conversation, Perth-born musician Mark. Part of a trio called the Out of Towners (his bandmates are from Japan and the U.K. respectively), Mark and co will be performing at Sugar Bar on October 13th.

Speaking of upcoming calendar-worthy occasions, History Starts Now will be hosting a winter event, one of four annual fundraisers. For more info about the group, click .

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September 6th, 2009 — 10:01pm

I recently had the pleasure of catching up with my former Fox News boss and good friend Jerry.

Over a delicious lunch at Ben’s Kosher Deli & Restaurant in NYC’s Garment District, we reminisced about our days together at Fox ten years ago. It should probably be illegal to have as much fun at work as we did.

Shepard Smith: This Fox News anchor fronts the primetime show that I worked on

As we recalled that magical time, I couldn’t help thinking about my former career path.

Before jumping ship to the world of public relations, I spent seven years working in TV news. From taking flight in a golf cart powered by an electric parachute to interviewing newsmakers big and small (Senator Bob Dole, Jared the Subway sandwich guy), I enjoyed plenty of adventures in pursuit of the day’s news. Here are some of the highlights — By The Numbers:

Number of jobs in TV news: 7
Number of TV news jobs that required moving out of state to small towns: 3
Number of on-camera reporting jobs: 2
Number of TV news gigs abroad (in Sydney, Australia): 1
Number of winter weather disasters experienced during TV news stints: 2

Back in ‘97, I was a morning news producer in Bangor, Maine when a devastating ice storm hit. Later, during a 2003 blizzard in Delaware that shut down the state, I did a live report on the disaster from a waist high snow bank.

Yes, producing the news may not always be glamorous but one thing is for sure — it’s one hell of a ride.

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September 6th, 2009 — 5:01pm

I recently had the pleasure of catching up with my former Fox News boss and good friend Jerry.

Over a delicious lunch at Ben’s Kosher Deli & Restaurant in NYC’s Garment District, we reminisced about our days together at Fox ten years ago. It should probably be illegal to have as much fun at work as we did.

Shepard Smith: This Fox News anchor fronts the primetime show that I worked on

As we recalled that magical time, I couldn’t help thinking about my former career path.

Before jumping ship to the world of public relations, I spent seven years working in TV news. From taking flight in a golf cart powered by an electric parachute to interviewing newsmakers big and small (Senator Bob Dole, Jared the Subway sandwich guy), I enjoyed plenty of adventures in pursuit of the day’s news. Here are some of the highlights — By The Numbers:

Number of jobs in TV news: 7
Number of TV news jobs that required moving out of state to small towns: 3
Number of on-camera reporting jobs: 2
Number of TV news gigs abroad (in Sydney, Australia): 1
Number of winter weather disasters experienced during TV news stints: 2

Back in ‘97, I was a morning news producer in Bangor, Maine when a devastating ice storm hit. Later, during a 2003 blizzard in Delaware that shut down the state, I did a live report on the disaster from a waist high snow bank.

Yes, producing the news may not always be glamorous but one thing is for sure — it’s one hell of a ride.

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July 13th, 2009 — 9:30pm


It’s that time of year again – when the sight of baby bumps and the sound of I Dos are as common as the mercury rising.

The other day, I spotted three pregnant women within a two-block radius. And I’ll be attending two weddings this month.

With all of this exposure to babies and happily ever after, I can’t help thinking about timing and what an impact it has on these milestones.

When I was in my twenties, I never imagined that I would reach my mid-thirties and still be single. Looking back at the trajectory my life has taken, though, I can’t imagine it having gone any other way.

Over the last decade, I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of following my dreams wherever they’ve taken me. From chasing on-camera stardom in Illinois and Delaware to living the good Aussie life as a Sydney resident for five months, I have truly enjoyed the freedom that comes with being unattached.

And, of course, along the way, I have made a few pitstops for romance. I’ve experienced my fair share of serious relationships and not so serious dalliances that have helped shape both the woman I’ve become and the partner I look forward to becoming someday. In the meantime, I’m happy to be single – and to be a part of the nuptial and parental rites of passage.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll even catch the bouquet.

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July 13th, 2009 — 4:30pm


It’s that time of year again – when the sight of baby bumps and the sound of I Dos are as common as the mercury rising.

The other day, I spotted three pregnant women within a two-block radius. And I’ll be attending two weddings this month.

With all of this exposure to babies and happily ever after, I can’t help thinking about timing and what an impact it has on these milestones.

When I was in my twenties, I never imagined that I would reach my mid-thirties and still be single. Looking back at the trajectory my life has taken, though, I can’t imagine it having gone any other way.

Over the last decade, I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of following my dreams wherever they’ve taken me. From chasing on-camera stardom in Illinois and Delaware to living the good Aussie life as a Sydney resident for five months, I have truly enjoyed the freedom that comes with being unattached.

And, of course, along the way, I have made a few pitstops for romance. I’ve experienced my fair share of serious relationships and not so serious dalliances that have helped shape both the woman I’ve become and the partner I look forward to becoming someday. In the meantime, I’m happy to be single – and to be a part of the nuptial and parental rites of passage.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll even catch the bouquet.

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July 3rd, 2009 — 4:11pm

It’s official — Single Gal In The City is one year old.

Much has happened since, at the prompting of my good friend Carla, I entered the blogosphere 365 days ago. From multiple first dates to old flame disappointments, from foot surgery to climbing Sydney’s majestic Harbor Bridge, I’ve covered a lot of ground. Along the way, I’ve fallen in love all over again with my beloved NYC, and with the joys of being single.

Sky high Smile: The view from Sydney’s Harbor Bridge, January 2009

Here are some of the highlights of SGITC’s first year — By The Numbers:

Number of blog posts (including this one): 386
Number of men mentioned: 22
Number of dates with men met online: 8
Number of encounters with old flames: 3
Number of Opening The Vault posts with entries from old diaries: 40
Number of trips: 9

A travelgirl at heart, I’m excited about the journeys coming up — including a trip to Chicago and, fingers crossed, my first-ever jaunt to California wine country if I make Murphy-Goode Winery’s Top 10.

And I’m looking forward to many more years of blogging about my adventures. Thanks to all of you out there for joining me in the fun!

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January 20th, 2009 — 7:08pm

As I write this, I’m in the middle of my 20+ hour journey home, sitting between two charming natives of Western Australia — an adorable aspiring actor moving to L.A., and the female owner of a strawberry field (WA is apparently renowned for them) heading to Miami and Key West.

Only a pair of Australians could make being in a middle seat in coach for 14 hours feel like an adventure instead of a sentence.

Over the last nine days, I’ve been fortunate to experience that signature Aussie charm over and over again. Here are some of the great memories I’m taking with me from my fourth jaunt Down Under — By The Numbers:

Number of islands visited: 3
Number of times snorkeling: 2
Number of flights (commercial and charter) taken within Australia: 8 Number of hotels stayed at: 5
Number of personal items lost (including — arrgh! — my camera and all of the pictures from Queensland on it): 7
Number of Aussie friends seen: 2

Longtime friend and Canberra resident Dave and I reminisced and caught up over cocktails next to Sydney’s Opera House

Number of press trip journalists who graciously gave me his camera to use for my stay in Sydney: 1
Number of hunky Aussie males who threw me over his shoulder (and patted my derriere) so I wouldn’t have to walk across a rocky shore: 1
Number of business meetings that might lead to a blind date with an Aussie: 1

That blind date would be courtesy of Charlotte, Hilton’s charming regional PR manager for Australasia.

During a three-hour lunch at Hilton Sydney’s chic Glass Brasserie, our conversation eventually moved from work and the many natural wonders of Australia to dating and the pitfalls of social networking websites.

When I mentioned that I’m single, Charlotte told me about a thirty something male friend of hers who happens to live in New York. She offered to connect the two of us. Yes, please.

Charlotte and I also talked about America’s new president and how his election has created a renewed sense of hope and optimism not just in the U.S. but around the world. On this historic Inauguration Day, I feel excited about the new beginning that President Barack Obama is ushering in for the U.S.

A whirlwind trip to Australia and a brand new president — two more amazing reasons to celebrate when I turn 35 tomorrow!

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