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Happy 2012 singletons!

28 Dec

Hello lovely readers,

Well it’s been an age and a bit since I last posted, which is very negligent but I hope you’ll forgive me when you hear why. The end of 2011 turned out to be a wonderful succession of good news for me. After I received my ASA mentorship, my novel and I were awarded a fellowship from the NSW Writers’ Centre. And after that I was offered a job at the Australian Society of Authors. All these events made me realise that it’s time to put manMap aside and focus of finishing my novel, which is my true (writing) love.

manMap has been a fantastic experience and although it’s ending prematurely, I don’t regret any of the nights I traipsed through Sydney alone, in search of single men. I feel more confident talking to strangers and I visited places I’d never ventured before. Over the course of my 623 interviews, I went to 55 different pubs, bars and public spaces and of course, entered the Land of Blogging. I met some great people and only had a handful of bad experiences, which goes to show that at the end of the day, we’re human beings and most of us are willing to help someone else out.

To give manMap the ending I feel it deserves, I’ve decided I’d post the sections of my manMap guidebook which I’d already written, in the hope that you’d find it useful. I’ll post once a week until I run out of manuscript. Apologies for any double-ups that occur because I’ve posted info as I interviewed over the past eighteen months.

Thank you so much for your support, comments, emails and well-wishes. I hope 2012 is a year filled with all the things you’ve been hoping for.

All the best,


A different kind of love

6 Sep

Dear lovely readers,

Well, what can I say, I’ve been a BAD blogger the past week: failing to post, then promising to post, then not posting. I apologise. I hope the guys out there don’t think this is a reflection on how I’d behave in The Land of Dating…

The reason I’ve been so unreliable is because last week I had some ENORMOUS news, which occupied most of my head space and a large chunk of my time. You see, while manMap is a project that I love and have been working on for some time, I have a confession to make: manMap is not my only love.

For what feels like about a lifetime, I have been working on another writing project, a novel. manMap pushed my novel to the sidelines, demanding my time for surveying and blogging and the making of enormous spreadsheets. Like an attention-seeking child, it occupied most of my non-working time while my poor little novel waited in the corner for the moment it could spring back into my arms. Last Monday, this moment came.

As previously blogged, I’ve been busy chores with a few applications. One of these was the Australian Society of Authors mentorship program, where 15 emerging writers each get adopted by a published author to workshop their writing. On Monday, I found out that I was one of the lucky ones to be awarded a mentorship.

I’m beyond thrilled about being one of the chosen few, but this means I have Much Work To Do. I really want to make the most of this experience, so I need to spend the next month or so spending some quality time with my novel, so she’s ready to be ripped apart and analysed by my mentor.

So I hope you will forgive me, lovely readers, if I hang up my blogging and mapping hats for a space. Big apologies particularly to my new subscribers. I feel like you’ve been drawn in, only to be dumped. I hope you’ll keep reading in October, even if it’s quiet in September.

Keep an eye on the manMap facebook page so you know when I’m blogging again. I’ll drop by in an non-official capacity now and then. Until next time, I’d like to share with you a funny story.

A single guy-friend of a wing-girl was out with a mate the weekend before last. His quirky sense of humour inspired him to write this:

manMap embraces coasters

on a coaster and stick it on the table in front of him. Sure enough, it caught the attention of a few girls, who he invited to join him and his friend at their table. He hit it off with one of them and ended up going on a date with her on Saturday night (not sure how the date went, but snaps to him for his novel approach to dating). There you have it ladies: lateral dating strategies at work!

Happy Spring to you all and be sure to drop me a line if you have any adventures of your own,

News flash!

31 Aug

Hi lovely readers,

Earlier this week I had some BIG and EXCITING news which has swallowed up all my blogging time I’m afraid. Check in over the weekend for my explanations and apologies…

Happy Spring everyone!

Sorry for standing you up…

25 Aug

Hi lovely readers,

Sorry for standing you up last night without so much as a facebook update to explain my absence. I’m still in hardcore application mode, but this will come to an end on Sunday afternoon with a bit of luck, and I’ll be back on the mapping trail next week.

In the meantime, I came across something interesting on the 7pm Project. A rural community in Victoria called Harrow has been actively addressing their woman drought since 2003, when they hosted their first Beaut Blokes weekend. Eighty city ladies were invited to spend the weekend in Harrow to meet rural blokes who had to meet the following requirements:

A bloke must be single, love his Mum, be kind to his sister and live in rural Australia.

Beaut Blokes has seen twelves marriages, a number of engagements and numerous friendships, so maybe if you’re keen to meet a farmer without going on national television, you should check out their website. If not, I’ll be back next week with hints of where you can find men in Sydney.

A big hello and thank you to my new subscribers. Seeing a notification in my inbox telling me I have a new subscriber always makes my day. 🙂

A single girl celebrates

3 May

Hello lovely reader peeps,

This week will be a post-less week (other than this one!) because it’s Birthday Week and I’ve decided to give myself the week off. Drop by next week to read my interview with BarZine’s Dan Kaufman. As the expert of Sydney’s bar scene, Dan shared with me some really interesting ideas about how different bars can help you meet new people.

If you’d like to give me a birthday present, please vote for me in the Best Australian Blogs competition. It’ll only cost you a few minutes and I’ll be oh so grateful!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to finish eating an enormous cupcake…

manMap likes cake

PS. A very happy birthday to my cousin! 🙂

It’s raining, men!

19 Apr

manMap enjoys a man-ly downpourOne thing I really enjoy about being in my 30s is not feeling pressured to go out and have big weekends. Spending my non-work time surveying random men has seen my alcohol intake plummet dramatically. I was always a light-weight. Now I’m a feather-weight. And I don’t bounce back like I used to. But I don’t feel the need to go out and have vodka-fuelled party nights anymore, so it doesn’t worry me. Plus, a whole day on the couch recovering feels like a waste of a precious day.

Unfortunately, this is a double-edged sword. Every now and then, particularly when it’s pouring (with rain, not booze), I feel like I deserve a night in. My internal dialogue goes something like this:

“You never just relax and do nothing. You’ve worked hard all week. If you have an quiet night in, you can get up early and hit that huge pile of surveys you’re hoping will magically insert themselves into your enormous spreadsheet. The couch and the DVD player miss you.”

And while we all need some downtime, staying in means we’re not meeting anyone new or (for those of us who live alone) socialising at all.

When I was in NYC, nothing stopped me going out to explore: not the freezing temperature, jet lag, lack of sleep, snow, the fact that my boots were being held together with superglue. In Sydney, the sky can cloud over and suddenly going out seems like a major effort. Excuses come thick and fast and fantasies of hibernating seem both wonderful and achievable. But I know that if I give myself a little shove and go out, I can have a great night either with friends or mapping. By picking a venue that’s comfortable and cosy, the colder weather is no longer an issue. So in the hope that I can help you get motivated, despite our long summer days being over, here’s a list of five winter venues filled with single men who are waiting for you to warm up their night:

The Oaks Hotel
Although The Oaks has a huge courtyard, there’s still a maze of rooms inside, particularly upstairs. Make sure you don’t block yourself off in one of the smaller rooms, or guys won’t feel comfortable coming in. Rooms with pool tables are great, because you can always challenge the guys to a game.

Town Hall Hotel, Balmain
Almost entirely inside, other than the verandah, this is a popular venue for buck’s nights on Saturdays. If you’re up for some friendly flirting, this is the perfect spot. Friday nights are also fun with the local crowd.

PJ Gallaghers, Drummoyne
This pub attracts lots of the sporty guys who live in the Drummoyne area (and there a tons!). If a big footy game’s on head elsewhere, unless you’re happy to join in and bond over barracking.

The Hero of Waterloo
This small, friendly place can get pretty crowded on Saturdays, making it easy to bump into guys. The live classic rock near the bar gets people on their feet. It’s easier to mingle in this area than the room around the corner with tables and chairs, but do a recon lap because anyone sitting down will need to come to the bar at some point.

The Fringe Bar
Drawing a crowd that reflects its name, The Fringe is the perfect winter venue for the creative and the cool. While you might be a little intimidated if you feel you don’t belong, after a few drinks (or just one in my case) everyone’s more relaxed and happy to enjoy the night.

If you’d like to help spread the word about My manMap, please vote for me in the Best Australian Blogs Competition by clicking the big blue badge (or brooch as I like to think of it) on the righthand side of the page. It’s quick and easy and muchly appreciated!

Vote for women (or at least one woman…)!

18 Apr

Hello reader peeps,

Some of you may have noticed manMap’s home page is currently sporting a new accessory: a Vote for Me badge for the Best Australian Blogs 2011 competition.

So here’s the part where I ask a favour. In the words of Anne Shirley, I would be indebted to you for life (or thereabouts) if you’d please vote for My manMap. It’ll only take you a few minutes. Just click the badge and go through to the second page in the survey (yes, the competition is frighteningly abundant) using the ‘Next’ button, tick My manMap, then click through to the end of the survey to submit your vote. Easy! By voting for manMap you’ll feel a joyful glow knowing that you’ve not only helped me, but you’ve helped your single sisters by getting word about manMap out there. Tell everyone you know and don’t know to vote for manMap, so they can partake of the joyful glow too.

Thank you thank you thank you in anticipation! And in the keeping with the title of this post, here’s a bit of sister suffragette fun with a lovely line about men as a group:

Love, Manhattan-style

1 Feb

[With apologies for my terrible formatting…I need to learn html!]

A very belated Happy New Year to everyone and thanks for your patience while I was away. I hope you all had great New Year’s Eves and that a few of you had someone lovely to kiss at midnight.

Today marks the official beginning of manMap 2011. Other than continuing my research and writing my book, I have a few other plans which I’ll tell you about once I’ve got the details in place. The first of these plans is something I’m hoping you’ll find very useful … stay tuned for more news at the end of the week.

Everyone keeps asking me if I fell in love while I was in Manhattan. In truth, I did. I fell in love with a tiny island which is about half a Bay Walk wide and two Bay Walks long (inner west-ers will know what I mean!). The people are friendly and helpful, the men delightfully flirty and the city is oozing with history, culture and delicious baked goods. Three weeks was nowhere near enough time, particularly since I fell in love with Brooklyn too.

In my role as the over-zealous visitor desperate to see and do everything at any cost, I didn’t end up with much time for manMap chores. But everywhere I went, I was reminded that NYC is a city which hopes for love.

manMap: Love in the time of blizzards

Cars became canvasses for love post-blizzard. 





manMap: Manhattan love in the 40s


A couple scratched their love into a staircase in Central Park (or Hyde Park as I accidentally kept saying…).





manMap: Love in a potplant

A pot plant reminded people crossing West 16th St that a snow storm is no match for love and a good marker pen. 






manMap: Love downtown


Even in the thick of the financial district, there were hints of love on the fire hydrants.





manMap: Heart of Queens

Love in Queens was quirkier, but some people like it that way…

Reminders of love weren’t just on display, they were in the air too. A Broadway musical about the Beatles prompted shops, diners  and restaurants to fill the air with Beatles music. Love is all you need, She loves you, Can’t buy me love, Love me do and Hide your love away (ok…maybe not that one) provided a fitting soundtrack as we explored a city filled with the most unapologetic flirts I’ve ever met.

So there’s a little taste of manMap in Manhattan. Don’t forget to stop by at the end of the week for the grand-unveiling of manMap 2011’s new and exciting feature!

Mapping milestones

20 Dec

manMap hearts ChristmasIt’s around this time of year that many of us take stock. When you’re single, there’s always the temptation to fall into the trap of ‘another year alone’ instead of focusing on all the good things that have happened.

So in the spirit of celebrating what’s been a busy but fabulous year for me (despite my singledom!), I thought I’d share some mapping milestones and memories:

  • Number of men surveyed to date: 531
  • Percentage of men surveyed who were single: 49%
  • Number of venues/places visited so far: 47
  • Favourite mapping moment: being invited to share a bottle of champagne with four lovely men at Verandah Bar (who extended the invite to my wing-girl).
  • Funniest mapping moment: being asked if I was ‘in the mood’ by random a stranger (I wasn’t technically surveying but I’m sure I can bend the rules a little since I was on the way to a bar).
  • Scariest mapping moment: being followed by a crazy man out of the Warren View Hotel.
  • Number of blog hits to date: 10,573
  • Most exciting blogging moment: being Freshly Pressed after only four months of blogging (if you’re not a blogger you might not understand this one but believe me, it was VERY exciting).
  • And finally, something to look forward to…number of men left to survey: 469. I’m hoping my Mr Lovely will be among them.

As this will be my last post before Christmas, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who’s supported manMap so far: my wing-girls, family and friends, readers, subscribers, Facebook fans, my wonderful writing group and most importantly, the men of Sydney who have offered me their time. Without you, manMap wouldn’t be possible.

Next on the agenda: manMap takes Manhattan, or perhaps it’ll be Manhattan takes manMap. Either way, I’ll be in New York during January. I have a few manMap events organised and will do my best to keep you updated. Be sure to check in every now and then to find out how the NY dating scene compares to Sydney’s.

I hope you all have a fabulous Christmas and a 2011 filled with happiness and love.

Putting the O in lOve

13 Dec

Hi lovely readers,

My report on the weekend’s mapping activities is running a little late this week. I’ve been busy taking Oprah surveying with me so I’ve been a little distracted …

I wish! Just a bit tied up with some other chores this week but I’ll aim to have my post up by Thursday. Be sure to check back later in the week.

Hope you’re all making the most of the festive season. If you’ve had a secret crush on a guy from work, be brave and chat to him at your Christmas party. 🙂