ask Ian about
café • seafood restaurant • vegetarian • wine bar • upscale bar • art galleries • food markets
a bit about Ian
What do you do and why do you do it?
I work as a creative director/design director/ux specialist in advertising, film and communications. A good friend of my Dad's when I was a kid was an art director at an advertising agency, I thought he was the coolest guy ever, he drove a 2nd gen Dodge Charger, had lots of pretty girl friends and a B&O sound system in his house. I wanted to grow up to be just like him. I still don't have a Charger.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had and why was it so effing bad?
When I finished school I planned a holiday with some friends before we started college, great, but I didn't have any money. I applied for a job at a French bakery as a waiter but ended up working as a baker, it started way too early in the morning (mornings and I aren't friends), I burnt my arms multiple times and couldn't eat croissants for years afterwards because the smell made me feel ill. I quit the next weekend.
Were you born and raised in Sydney? If not, where did you grow up and what brought you to Sydney?
Sydney born, my family lives in the northern suburbs and I've lived most of my adult life in Sydney's east. I've lived overseas & love travelling but Sydney is a great place to come home to.
What’s your current hood in Sydney and what’s the best/worst thing about it?
Best: Elizabeth Bay is tucked into the harbour just a few minutes east of the CBD. It's one of the most highly populated areas of Sydney and it's packed with excellent restaurants, cafes, restaurants and bars. The foreshore includes some beautiful parks and the area is well known for it's art deco architecture. Just up the road is Kings Cross, once Sydney's notorious late night party strip, alive with clubs, strip bars and characters. Worst: Unfortunately the Cross is not what it once was, the government has introduced draconian laws that have killed off the night life, almost all the clubs have closed and it's no longer a late night hub.
What kind of music do you listen to and what kind of music do you absolutely HATE?
I have fairly eclectic taste, I can find something I like in most genres; hiphop, soul, electronica, rock etc. I'll listen to country if it's Nancy & Lee. The artists I can't stand are the really formulaic ones that have nothing to say, no vision, don't write their own music, have no artistry and that happens across genres too. I think that a level of creative involvement is important to maintain artistic integrity.
You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?
On repeat: Day 1: “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division; Day 2: " Tears Dry On Their Own" by Amy Winehouse; Day 3: “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette.
Name the best TV shows of all time, and what makes them so good?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Joss Whedon's dialogue is awesome and it has a political and philosophical point of view beyond it's pop culture facade. I really loved Californication too, laugh out loud entertaining and over the top relatable.
Name some spots in Sydney that are good for a Tinder date.
This is easy, I've discussed this with friends a few times: 'Big Poppa's' because everything is better with cheese, wine and hiphop; 'Golden Age Cinema Bar' because if you don't like the same films it's not going to work; 'Mojo Record Bar' because if you don't like the same music it's not going to work.
Which public figure would you want to see “roasted”? (every public figure is fair game).
Oh, wow, Ted Nugent comes to mind, any Fox News anchor…
Who’s your hero and where in Sydney would you take them out for a serious hang?
I really admire Elon Musk, his commitment to using his resources to affect huge positive change is truly inspiring. Assuming he's picking up the bill, we'd take a seaplane from Rose Bay to Berowra Waters Inn just outside of Sydney. Over lunch I'd pitch him my niche sustainable transport idea and together hatch a plan to save the world.
Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?
Why, thanks. Melbourne mostly ;) Sydney fashion, especially for men, does tend to be fairly conservative, but I shop most often at Harrolds, Acme, Bassike & Alfie's Friend Rolfe.
What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
The Star Casino.
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?
Get out on the harbour.
Where do you go in Sydney for a casual night out?
Our regular casual dinner date is probably Fratelli Fresh in Potts Point. It's a great little produce store with an italian restaurant just around the corner from home.
Where would you go in Sydney to celebrate some freaking good news?
Celebrations call for Champagne! We'd probably head to Monopole or Eau De Vie, or, more likely pop a bottle of something special at home.
What’s your choice of transportation in Sydney and why?
I ride a motorbike most days, it's so convenient for getting through city traffic and I just love riding. I can jump on the bike after a hard day and it's like therapy or meditation.
What are the Sydney spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
Sydney is a beautiful city and all the obvious tourist spots like the harbour and Bondi are worth a look but 1-1.5 hours out of town there's the Northern beaches, the Blue Mountains and the Royal National Park in Sydney's south too.
What are the Sydney spots tourists should run from screaming?
The Star Casino.
Tomorrow’s your last day in Sydney. How do you spend it?
I hope the weather's good because we're going for a long seafood lunch at Manta on Woolloomooloo wharf. Seafood and champagne on the harbour please.
What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?
I can never pick just one, New York and Tokyo because they're so alive and you can find whatever you want any day, any time. Barcelona because it's such a fun town, I love the late night lifestyle, food and creative culture. Paris because it's such a sophisticated, grown up, design conscious and beautiful city.