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We’re already halfway through 2014, it’s certainly been a somewhat momentous year for both Adrian and I, as I’m sure it has been for many of you. For me, it’s shaping up to be a great year as I’ve got a new job, I’ve been shooting more, and I’ve been making friends and having adventures.

This Queen’s Birthday was no exception, as Adrian surprised me with tickets to Pet Shop Boys, a band that I’ve always somewhat admired for their great outlandish visuals, as well as their social commentary on gay life, as well as the peculiarities and quirks of modern British urban life.

The last time I saw Pet Shop Boys would have been at the old V-Fest music festival [Do you even remember that??] sometime in the mid 2000′s. I’m going with 2006. It was a warm and sultry Summer evening, and after seeing the standards of that era [Cut Copy and Sneaky Sound System], Pet Shop Boys came on stage and started doing their thing. I was getting into it, and of course everyone wanted to go see some awfully overrated DJ. In hindsight, I was sad I didn’t get to see the boys play as I had always been aware of them and their music, having been a kid in the early nineties, I still remember how much of an impact they had back then. You only need to remember Go West’s titanic anthem and it’s carry-over with bringing LGBT culture to the fore. Or the outrageously camp Absolutely Fabulous with its overtones of fun and silliness which matched perfectly the furore and frenetic humour of the show it was promoting. Or even Se A Vida E with it’s cool summery sound and message of universal love.

That was the Pet Shop Boys I knew growing up. They represented another world that existed within our own, yet for a Middle-Class Italian kid growing up in the quintessence of Australian family surburbia that was the Inner-West’s answer to Stepford, Concord, this world was unreachable, only to be seen in fragments like music videos, magazine articles or radio. I was always intrigued by this band who were so paradoxically different to the norm. They presented themselves with such conviction in their own looks, as though the rest of us were the ones who looked as though we were in completely ridiculous garb. They were the closest thing to a David Bowie-like figure of otherworldliness that existed at the time. So to say the least I was quitely eager to see PSB, as well as to see how they would differentiate themselves from the plethora of other ‘retro’ bands that are enjoying a revival.

Here, then lies the amazing thing about Pet Shop Boys. Their show proved to me, and I’m sure to the whole packed-out room at Carriageworks, that they are far from being a band that has had their ‘heyday’ 20-30 years ago and are simply riding on their coattails of success from decades ago. Having gone and seen one of my favourite bands, The Human League in 2009, I’m aware of the resurgence of  lots of bands from the 1980′s onwards who are touring again, with differing degrees of success.

It was safe to say that my notions of Pet Shop Boys being just another old band that’s had it’s day were completely blown away. I walked out of the place so impressed as well as energised. The show was, like the name of their latest album, purely ‘Electric’. The visuals they used were slick, impressive as well as really quite cheeky and smart. They wore their trademark uniforms such as their bright orange dunce hats, as well as new and equally outrageous outfits.

The music itself was perfection and sublime. They played both newer and classic tracks, which got the crowd energised and moving. No need to explain further just how impressed I am, or how happy I am that I got to go see such a great act live.

And how do you follow up something like Pet Shop Boys? Loose Ends of course! I love going to Phoenix for the purely dinge-factor of the place, as well as the crowd and music. And this time was no exception!

 

Wild Porteno, Pet Shop Boys & Loose Ends on a Queen’s birthday. We’re already halfway through 2014, it’s certainly been a somewhat momentous year for both Adrian and I, as I’m sure it has been for many of you.

My first post for a very long time, I know. It can be so difficult to carry on with a project like a blog, but I wanted to post up something special; that being that Adrian and I have just recently celebrated our 5 year anniversary, and we decided to spend it relaxing in sunny warm and heavenly Far North Quensland.

I still can’t believe that I’ve spent 5 years of my life with Adrian. Everyday I wake up I still feel extraordinarily lucky to have someone as caring, sweet and adorable in my life. Cliche as it is, this is the truth. I met him when I was 25, studying at art college, and getting over a very dark period of my life. I feel as though I really wouldn’t be quite the same person had I not met the guy.

We decided to do something relatively cheesy and have a fun, relaxing holiday up in Qld, which meant getting a gigantic and oversized holiday house in Trinity Beach on a hill. Upon arrival, I christened our new home for 9 days ‘Little Rivendell’, as like the Elven abode in Lord of the Rings, our Little Rivendell was a hideaway sanctuary  complete with two pools, and 7 bedrooms, 6 of which would lay dormant as we spent our time laying by the pool in the sun and taking in the amazing views.

Having been up this way in the past, I was already looking forward to being amongst the ever-present verdant and lush sub-tropical landscape, and this time time was no exception! I love this part of the world for the fact that there is so much that is overgrown and wild up here, and it’s such a contrast from the bitchumen streets of Sydney.

Green Island was a destination I had been looking forward to for years since I was last there almost a decade ago. A small island just off the coast from Cairns, Green Island is a lush and idyllic tropical paradise. The water was so clear, the sky such a vibrant azure and the sun scorching yet pleasant. Schools of fish swam by our feet amongst coral formations, the sand soft and fine. Reachable by ferry or catamaran, it was like almost going on a mini holiday for the day.

One hidden thing about this region was the great food that was on offer. I always had an idea that Far North Queensland could never compete with the more built up metro cities like Melbourne Sydney and Brisbane, but we had great meal after meal. Standouts would have to be Watergate Restaurant in Port Douglas, and Nunu in Palm Cove, where the Apple Cider Sorbet with Salted Caramel Dougnuts with Rubarb was fricken insane. Pardon my crass language. The food here was so fresh and places like Nunu have great menus which showcase local produce and ingredients.

The other standout destination was Mosman Gorge, which is on the fringes of the Daintree Rainforest, which has a great circuit track to walk on that gets you up close to the rainforest life. We followed this with a swim in the nearby river, the water was so fresh and actually delicious to drink. Another reason I love coming up this way , as where can I swim in a crystal clear river back home?

We also made friends with a lovely fellow named Petrique who took us along to a 90′s rave birthday party, which alas, I wasn’t able to let loose as much as I would usually, we still had a great time with our new friend!

Holidays are great for recharging the batteries, and re-centering yourself to get back to reality and life. This time was no exception, but made even more special by the fact that I got to share this holiday with someone special to me.

5 Years, Sun, & Fun in QLD My first post for a very long time, I know. It can be so difficult to carry on with a project like a blog, but I wanted to post up something special; that being that Adrian and I have just recently celebrated our 5 year anniversary, and we decided to spend it relaxing in sunny warm and heavenly Far North Quensland.

And so it came to the end of Laura’s trip. Although it was only a short two weeks which certainly flew by it was great fun showing our great friend our city. Sadly missed I can’t wait for her to come visit again so we can show her a lot more of our country and explore into the outback one day which I haven’t even done myself (Blue sky and Red soil is apparently exciting) We ended our trip with showing her what we should have done at the start which was show her our beautiful harbour. I suppose we were waiting for the perfect day to do it and Sydney sure did put on a show when we did. A beautiful sunset shone on the Opera House in a brilliant gold and we watched all of this whilst sipping on a glass or 2 of Sauvignon Blanc and watched the sunset dance across the harbour. It was truly magical.

Highlights of the trip included celebrating my mums birthday in Darling Harbour whilst watching the weekly Saturday night fireworks show.

Walking from Coogee beach along the coast up to Bondi Beach but settling on beaching on the harbour at Milk Beach.

And going to a beautiful art exhibition of Amy’s friend whom knits amazing pieces out of felted wool the thickness of your arm followed by an amazing dinner at Cafe Sydney above Customs House! Truly magnificent!

Miss you already Laura!

Laura’s Australian Adventure Pt 4 – GOODBYE AUSTRALIA And so it came to the end of Laura’s trip. Although it was only a short two weeks which certainly flew by it was great fun showing our great friend our city.

Being such a highpoint for the LGBT community both here in Sydney and abroad, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, [or Gay Christmas as it is now days affectionately referred to], has become the absolute high point of the year for both LGBT folk as well as the wider community in general. For one night in early March every year, Oxford St, near the heart of the city, plays host to a massive parade of ever-increasingly outrageous and ostentatious floats, as well as Parade-goers who are all outrageously clad! The thing that I love about the Mardi Gras event is that the Gay Street of Sydney, [Oxford St], turns into a lush Brazilian Carnivale-style atmosphere. People are out to have fun, revel and enjoy themselves. For me, I’ll never forget that the history of the Mardi Gras is based on hardship and fighting for our rights to be heard and considered as equal first-class citizens in our society. If you’re not aware, the origins of the Mardi gras are a far cry from the glitzy and glittery glamour and pizazz of the parade we know and love today. Rather, it began in the late 1970′s as a protest rally for LGBT rights. ‘Out of the bars and into the streets’ was the catch-cry for the inaugural protest parade that became and evolved into today’s much more colourful Mardi Gras. As someone who was lucky enough to have been raised in Sydney as a local, [and as well as someone who has such a wickedly cool dad that would round up my sister, myself and two of our cousins and take us to the parade as kids], Mardi Gras has been an ongoing almost tradition since I was little. I remember first going as a kid being so confused as to who these people were, and why they were dressed so colourfully and walking down the street so happily in speedos. Dad was always a big fan of presenting many diverse perspectives on the world. He’s a big believer in life as being a unique experience from person to person, which in hindsight is such a wonderful thing. I don’t think I know of any other father who would have taken their kids to see something like the Mardi Gras, but I’m so proud of my dad for having done so as it became something normal to us all, in a sense. The best Mardi Gras nights seem to be the ones that are left unplanned, where you simply let the night take you where it will. I always loved being in the street amongst the crowds, even if you don’t necessarily see all the pretty and perfunctorily perfect people on parade floats. It’s still a great feeling and atmosphere to be amongst, and this year was no different. For me, Mardi Gras is about being with friends both new and old, and having these friends as family. This year was no exception, as Adrian and I left home in our vintage-inspired Beach-goers outfits. We watched the parade on towers of milk crates, drank on the streets [to which we did get into a little spot of trouble by a polite police officer who told us to simply be more discreet], and danced the rest of the night away in a bright neon glow. I think the buzzwords of the night would indubitably include the terms Neon, Disco and Glow. We’re so unbelievably lucky to be living somewhere where I won’t be persecuted because of who and what I am; yes, there are many problems still with our society, but I’m so grateful that we are in a place and time where sexual identity is less and less important, as I like to say, whether you’re into boys or girls, its inconsequential, like what cheese you prefer. I like Brie, the next person might like Camembert. In the end, love is all the same, [My French cheese analogy notwithstanding], and Mardi Gras night is a grand celebration of those most hallowed and storied tenets of Bohemian life: Love, Beauty, Truth and Freedom.

Mardi Gras Fun & Frivolity! Being such a highpoint for the LGBT community both here in Sydney and abroad, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, , has become the absolute high point of the year for both LGBT folk as well as the wider community in general.

Continuing Laura’s journey in Australia our next stop was Melbourne! We left sydney on a very wet day and arrived in Melbourne on a chilly but sure enough sunny morning. (ps Adrian writing i know its shit) We booked a cute little air bnb on flinders lane a few doors up from the infamous cumulus restaurant. It was on the ground floor but from the apartment it seemed we were on the third level looking down an alley. The place was so character filled; full of books and music that both Laura and I spent one night listening to all night long whilst it poured down rain (perfect) We did what every tourist does venture out through the city’s winding and secret laneways; degraves and central place to name a few.

Laura was astounded by the cute boutiques and the art that seemed to be littered around the city. We looked at drawings and paintings went to the NGV and shopped down all the streets I could think of that had the most interesting shops. A shop full of door knobs (which Laura purchased); a barber and an old english sailors shop owned by a northerner. Very cute indeed. I bought black boots from Jack London and boy did we eat.

Laura claimed to have eaten the best steak sandwich she has every had, had pesto pasta which she adored and we had amazing Asian infusion at Chin Chins (after having several drinks at Cumulus of course whilst perving on the hot bar tender which we both seem to have giggled about for hours on end)

It was freezing and it rained a lot but I don’t think a great trip to Melbourne would be a sunny one. We ended the trip by taking Laura to my favourite bar. Captains of Industry. Secreted down a dumpster filled laneway through an old wooden door up 2 flights of stairs and you find yourself in a charming old world yet decrepit cafe. Cute bartenders, unique fixtures and furniture and small stores of leather goods; mens apparel and a barber line the walls. I had a coffee whilst I grabbed Laura a cola. The best dam cola we have ever had named Fentiman’s. Seriously do try it.

It was such a great few days! stay tuned for the final update!

Laura’s Australian Adventure Pt 3 – MELBOURNE Continuing Laura’s journey in Australia our next stop was Melbourne! We left sydney on a very wet day and arrived in Melbourne on a chilly but sure enough sunny morning.

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I made this the other day. It’s all the things that are cliche in Tumblr rolled into one. I call it Tumblr Vomit Kitsch

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Adrian at the #park #spring #sydney #gay #gayboy #gaybeard #cute

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#sydney #harbour #harbourbridge #sydneyharbourbridge #sydneyoperahouse #operahouse

#sydney #harbour #harbourbridge #sydneyharbourbridge #sydneyoperahouse #operahouse