This pub is a Gemini

5 Apr

Endeavouring to provide Sydney-siders useful* information, I like to return to venues at different times. I try to be open-minded and give each spot the benefit of the doubt. A pub/bar/beach/park could be heaving with single men most days, but I might turn up on the one day there’s some Man Convention on that I don’t know about and the place might be empty. Or I might show up at a bar where there’s a huge bachelor party and assume the venue’s better than it is. So in the hope of creating an accurate venue profile, I do my best to be fair to everyone.

One thing I have noticed about going to a venue at different times is that the scene can change dramatically from a week night to a Friday night to a Saturday night to a Sunday afternoon. Which is fabulous. I wish I could open my wardrobe and find the same set of clothes magically changing depending on the day of the week. And while not all venues switch vibes on different days (I like to call these Libra bars – as in the horoscope, not the ‘lady-time’ brand) there are definitely some Gemini pubs out there.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve made two visits to the Lord Dudley, the first visit on a Saturday night. I was fairly nervous about transitioning from mapping in the CBD to mapping in the Eastern Suburbs, even though lots of guys I’d surveyed in the city said they lived in the east. Those of you who know me know I’m not an Eastern Suburbs girl. I feel more comfortable at the dodgy Darlo end of Oxford Street where I live. Even working in Woollahra has been a transition for me. The bus is always full of women so perfectly dressed they could be mannequins. I realise shopping at Big Bargain where everything is $10 makes me stand out in a bad way. So the thought of having to approach men on the turf on these Alana Hillesque girls made me feel somewhat anxious. Luckily the walk down Jersey Street to the Lord Dudley was long enough for me to numb my nerves by mentally chanting, “men are just people” a million times.

I rounded the last corner hoping to be met with the sight of a dense border of men around the pub. I’d seen this wonderful vision before when I’d driven past on a Friday evening. But alas, the vision was not a reality. I did what I always do when I show up somewhere potentially disappointing. I headed straight to the bathroom to give myself the, “you’re already here, just get on with it” lecture. So I did. I hit my survey quota despite the crowd being thinner than I’d hoped. And the results weren’t bad. In fact, I met a few really nice guys. So I felt I owed the Lord Dud. the opportunity to prove he wasn’t a dud. I decided to return on a Friday night.     

My next visit to the Lord Dudley proved it was a Gemini pub. Men filled the footpath enjoying a beer and the complimentary sausages. There was a strong contingent of men in their late 30s-early 40s, as well as a few younger guys who showed up around 8pm. Suits, tradies, business owners and creatives, there was a nicely balanced blend to enjoy. And although one woman told me men from the east would only speak to women from the east, I have my doubts since they all spoke to me. Plus I didn’t see a single person wearing a badge stating where they were from. The best tip I got was from a long-term local. He told me all the women usually show up around 10pm. Ladies, you know the old saying about the early bird…     

* I am eternally infuriated by the enormous number of books that have been published which provide insightful information about meeting men: sign up to RSVP, go speed dating, go to a nightclub and get drunk. Oh what splendid ideas, I’m so glad I spent $29.95 on such generic information. How would I have ever thought of that all by myself! Would the Cheap Eats Guide get away with filling its pages with McDonalds and KFC locations? Bitter, twisted, moi?? Well, I am a single woman in my 30s… 🙂

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4 Responses to “This pub is a Gemini”

  1. Steven April 5, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

    Whenever I read about you heading out and spending a tough night mapping, I like to think that one night you’ll be in a pub handing out surveys, and there will be your Mr. Lovely also handing out surveys for his own woman of Sydney research. The two of you will exchange surveys and sit at a table together to fill in the sheets.

    • Lucie Stevens April 5, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

      Oh thanks Steven, that’s a lovely thought! 🙂

  2. Lauren April 8, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    I just had to say how much I agree with your asterisk! This advice also comes in verbal form. How about the ‘go where men go’ chestnut. Oh you mean the football games, cricket, pubs, blues and rock gigs I’ve been going to my whole adult life? I’m not bitter… I just don’t think life (nor meeting a long-term bloke)can be organised into a set of rules and cliches.

    • Lucie Stevens April 10, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

      Oh hurrah! Nicely put Lauren. I feel much better knowing it’s not just me having publishing/friendly advice related hernias…

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