Billy Joel’s Cold Spring Harbor

How did this guy date Christie Brinkley?

When I was a young, extremely straight-laced and conservative mainstream kid of 12 or so, I told my parents I liked Billy Joel – and my parents, being the extremely straight-laced, conservative cheap parents that they were, bought me a budget tape of Billy Joel’s Cold Spring Harbor for Christmas.

Oh, how I loathed that cassette. There I was, with dreams of Piano Man and Uptown Girl, left with an album made by a young pre-MTV Billy Joel with a bad moustache and long hair singing songs I’d never heard. Continue reading

Four Melbourne bars you have to visit

The Everleigh bar in Fitzroy

The Everleigh

This is a bar for cocktail nerds like me. As soon as you walk in you’ll see a cabinet containing what they claim is one of the largest classic cocktail book selections in the world (which I believe after seeing it) and great cocktails to match – for example, their buttered rum hot toddy was the best I ever had.

Then again, you’d expect no less considering this is the little sister of New York’s Milk and Honey, considered one of the best bars in the world. The décor is straight from the 1920s, with chesterfield sofas, wood panelling, a gramophone, and … well, you get the gist, and the service is friendly. If you go on a Sunday night, you might also catch a small jazz band playing in the corner.

Upstairs, 150-156 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne. See The Everleigh website 

Open 7 days, 5.30pm – 1am. Continue reading

The Swinging Cat – Sydney CBD


It’s finally happened: a Sydney bar opened up that not only has a whole menu page dedicated to sazeracs, but also has a cat in its name.

The Swinging Cat is a New Orleans-inspired small bar lurking underneath the Subway franchise on the corner of King and Clarence.

They have:

  • jazz playing on the sound system
  • a swish, subterranean jazz-bar feel
  • friendly, knowledgeable staff.

Ignoring all the food, the non-sazerac drinks, as well as the variations of sazeracs on offer (such as a smoky chocolate sazerac, and a minty sazerac), I simply order a straight sazerac. After all, ordering anything else would be like getting seafood in a steak house. Continue reading