So last Friday, I found myself sitting in an old, upholstered wooden resting chair in a dimly lit small bar, a subterranean mezzanine enclave hidden in the heart of Sydney CBD. It felt like a dungeon. Actually, it felt like I was sitting in what seemed like the Gryffindor common room with the type of crowd you see walking down King St in Newtown on a Friday night, and also a bunch of strangers dressed as Pokemon characters. Oddly enough, I felt comfortable. The place has a pretty awesome name, Spooning Goats. As I sat there, I don’t know why, but I got the feeling that more than 20 couples must have made out in the chair I was sitting in. Either that or the ‘hot topic’ of the night, L-O-V-E, must have taken over and affected my train of thought. Let’s just call them A1 and A2. I used to work with A1 back in the day, and strangely enough we took a ballroom dancing class once upon a time to try to conquer our unco-ness. That’s umm well…still in progress. On the other hand, A2 was a friend of A1’s who tagged along after work. They once got mistaken for being a gay couple at T2, but in actual fact A2 is married. He seems to be madly in love with the love of his life, a girl who’s eye colour changes from one to another in different lighting conditions. Apparently, it’s a rare genetic or acquired disorder called Heterochromia (and yes, I did look it up on Wikipedia). Pretty cool I think.
They introduced me to ‘Nuts and Bolts’, which is a house made signature beer snack seasoned with what seemed like garlic, rosemary, sea salt and spices. Totally going with my senses on that one. Nuts and Bolts is the love child of Nutri Grain and Bhuja mix. As we munched on those and told some tales, I remember thinking this is like having two big brothers who seem overtly keen to give me their guy perspectives on the whole love thing. “Confidence is sexy”, “boys are stupid and insecure”, “you just have to go for it”. It was honest, and left my cheeks hurting from laughter. I was quite happy to listen. What have I got to say, love moves in mysterious ways, or so they say. No matter how old, no matter how weird, everyone has a their own opinion about love. We’ve all loved and lost at one stage or another.
So if you’re looking for an oasis, a place that feels a million miles away from the rat race and the chaotic rush of being in the City, then this is the place to go. Almost everything you’ll lay your eyes on there (except for the people of course), is recycled with care such as the furniture, the glassware and the retro pre-loved wall hangings. You can kick back, relax, and enjoy some good ‘ol hand-crafted tap brews, Australian wines, and creative cocktail mixes, and hearty warm pies served in bowls. Yes, bowls! Spooning Goats also brings in all the boys with their milkshakes. Just kidding, they bring in all the cool kids by hosting live music performances by local and emerging artists, from those who didn’t make it into Australian Idol to upbeat ukulele solos and DJ’s spinning old 45’s. To add the finishing touch, you can relive your 90s I’m-obsessed-with-video-game days by immersing yourself and your mates in a game of Donkey Kong, Pac Man or Space Invaders on the Atari. Whatever floats your boat.
Prior to this little underground bar adventure, the three of us checked out The Village Bizarre, a Friday night playground of markets and mystery held in The Rocks. It operates every Friday 6.30pm – 10.00pm between 1 November to 20 December. As a First Year university student, I was too shy to jump into the silent disco that was happening on campus one time. So this time, I didn’t miss the opportunity. I grabbed A1, we put on wireless headphones playing upbeat pop tunes, and we marched to the beat of our own drum in the silent disco happening there. So for 30 seconds of my life, I bopped my head and bounced my knees and called it dancing. What can I say, it was quite liberating. As the wise folks say, there’s always a right time for everything.
To be even more adventurous, we also surprised the world with other amazing singing in karaoke. So here’s the story, I was meant to do a solo to ‘I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing’ by Aerosmith. Piece of advice: never, I repeat, never choose that song for public karaoke. Actually, it wasn’t really a solo because this little girl, wearing an aquamarine fairy costume held the other mic. I used my charm to force her into being my back up singer. However, she left before the song started, and so did half the crowd [tearing up just a little]. I sang a few lines, then got embarrassed, so I desperately did a save-me-now hand gesture to A1. In the end A1 and A2 got together in a little bromance duet. There was just so much passion and raw emotion as A2 belted out to “Yeah, yeah, yeah”! You know the line that Steven Tyler is famous for, the one that goes after “And just stay here in this moment for the rest of time”. It was epic. You could just feel the chemistry between the two. The crowd roared.
One of my favourite finds from the markets that night was this neck piece ($20) from the AWH Studio stall. It’s a deconstructed wristwatch dial from a 1950’s women’s watch, so I guess whenever I wear this, I am wearing a bit of vintage wherever I go. It’s as if I’m carrying the soul of the one who owned this watch. It’s like her legacy lives on or something. Oh my…I also learnt a thing or two from that stall, that back in the days watchmakers would carefully position stones and rubies into the mechanical compartment of watches to reduce friction. My little treasure once had 17 jewels back in its hay days. What I also liked about this stall was that they customised the length of the chain to your liking. I chose the brass link chain to go with mine, but they also do black-gold, silver-plated and copper chains, which is kind of cool.
Other highlights of the night included, relishing in delicious pan-fried pork dumplings, discovering there is such a thing called a Gift Guru (mind you, it’s actually an employable career, where you pretty much act like a spiritual being, hand out flowers and recommend gifts to a certain someone you’ve never met, but you’ve been informed of their likes and dislikes), getting rejected when wanting to take photos of nicely decorated gingerbread cookies (their loss, they could have been mentioned on my awesome blog), and rooming the paved brick pathways in The Rocks while talking life with an old friend and his buddy, who I managed to instantly click with. Our unique quirks and random antics managed to mesh well together, leaving me with a delightful fuzzy wuzzy feeling at the end of a great night.
from a 22-year-old girl who loves finding small, but priceless treasures at markets.