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Luck of the Irish

14 Mar

Happy St Patrick’s Day for the 17th!

PJ Gallagher’s
195 Victoria Road

Percentage of surveyed men who were single: 33%

Percentage of surveyed men in a relationship who have single friends: 100%

Meat-o-metre: A good venue for some light-hearted flirting over a glass of champagne (earlier), turning into a true meat-market later. Slip on your sexiest outfit and have fun.

Prime time: Friday and Saturday nights

Crowd: Very straight, sports-loving locals in their 20s-mid 40s.

Wing-girls: As many as you like.

Wears: Casual with heels you can dance in.

Top tip: Keep to the main area around the downstairs bar. Be sure you don’t get lost in one of booths.

A typical Irish pub where locals wind down with a pint. Attracting far more men than women, you’ll find sports teams commiserating or celebrating on the weekends and amateur gamblers enjoying poker nights during the week. Trivia and pizza nights keep the men happy. With $5 cocktails during the week, you and your girlfriends will be in a good mood too. There’s live music downstairs on Friday and Saturday nights, so take your dancing shoes. Since the guys tend to leave the dance floor to the ladies, make sure you spend some time mingling at the bar.


Ages of single men:      
<20: 0%
20-30: 100%
31-40: 0%
41+: 0%

Professions: Hospitality; health

Interests and hobbies: Socialising; sport; reading

Clubs: Drummoyne Rugby                                 

Values: Family and friends (100%); happiness (50%); fulfilment (50%)

Cross Pollinate: Löwenbräu Keller

Best ‘burbs: Balmain; CBD; Drummoyne


Love songs

15 Feb

The Annandale Hotel
17 Parramatta Road

Percentage of surveyed men who were single: 43%

Percentage of surveyed men in a relationship who have single friends: 100%

Meat-o-metre: Connect with men over great conversations which will hopefully lead to dinner dates in the courtyard, and a good venue for some light-hearted flirting over a beer inside.

Prime time: Whenever there’s a band playing that the men love.

Crowd: Lovers of live, original bands.

Wing-girls: As many as you like.

Wears: Funky casual with dancing shoes if you’re staying for the gig.

Top tip: Catch someone’s eye as you eat your Pad Thai in the courtyard.

Meccafor music lovers, this is the place to go if you’re looking for your rock god. With a predominately male crowd, you’ll think you’ve entered Heaven. Edgy and cool but friendly, men gather in the courtyard for a beer and dinner before heading inside. It’s the perfect opportunity to check out the crowd, even if you’re not staying for the gig. Other activities like Pub Cha and free movie screenings will help you get to know the locals. Visit the website before you head over to make sure the line-up is aimed at the boys.


Ages of single men:
<20: 1%
20-30: 33%
31-40: 33%
41+: 33%

Professions: IT, pilot

Interests and hobbies: Exercising/surfing; music/reading; sex/socialising/bushwalking

Values: Family and friends/health/work (67%); music/justice/truth (33%)

Cross Pollinate: Clubs in the CBD

Best ‘burbs: CBD; Rozelle;Newtown

Fertile plot for singles

8 Feb

3 Weeds
197 Evans Street

Percentage of surveyed men who were single: 78%

Percentage of surveyed men in a relationship who have single friends: 100%

Meat-o-metre: Connect with men over great conversations which will hopefully lead to dinner dates.

Prime time: Friday and Saturday nights or Sunday for the locals

Crowd: Interesting, funky, intelligent men with a sporty slant and a laid-back attitude.

Wing-girls: Maximum four. Kick the night off with a round of pool and invite a few guys to challenge the winners.

Wears: Funky casual during the day, glam casual at night

Top tip: Spend some time in each section so everyone gets to check you out.

Not convinced a Balmain man is right for you? Cross The Border (aka Victoria Road) and head to this fabulous pub, which attracts men from all over Sydney. Funky younger guys can be found in the upstairs pool room or in the courtyard if it’s warm. The older crowd heads for the front bar, which also has pool tables. The food’s delicious but don’t linger in the dining area. Mingling is tricky when everyone’s seated. Check out the talent while you eat, then suss out which room it heads to after. Music remains at a civilised volume, perfect for flirting.


Ages of single men:
<20: 0%
20-30: 72%
31-40: 14%
41+: 14%

Professions: Finance, construction, trade, healthcare, engineering, IT, entertainment, corporate strategy

Interests and hobbies: Sport; drinking; being outdoors/beach

Clubs men belong to: Rugby; water polo; baseball

Values: Family and friends (57%); work (57%); honesty/trust (29%)

Cross Pollinate: Tank Stream; Hunters Hill Hotel; Ivy Bar

Best ‘burbs: Paddington; Drummoyne

Frock philosophy

3 Aug

Once upon a Friday night in winter, three wing-girls set out for a round of mapping followed by dinner. For the sake of story-telling, let’s name the wing-girls according to hair type: Curly, Straight and Short. Mid-dinner, Curly was struck by a strong desire to dance to a cheesy covers band in the Rocks. The others were happy to oblige, even though Short wasn’t particular thrilled by the idea. She was dressed for warmth, not dancing. Lugging a huge coat around a beer-soaked pub wasn’t a particularly appealing idea.

When the trio arrived at the nominated pub, Short went straight to the bar. She was already feeling self-conscious and over-heated thanks to her 900 layers of clothing, so a nice cool vodka seemed to be the best solution. The pub was cramped with people in the mid-20s to early 50s. A strange assortment of office workers, tourists and ‘girls-night-out’ groups mingled on the dance floor, vying for space. It was exactly the kind of scene Short wasn’t into, but since her friends did nice things for her she realised it was a good opportunity to return the favour. She collected her drink, pushed away the negative chatter and slapped on her happy face.

Before long the wing-girls were on the dance floor. Straight was getting all kinds of attention without having to do much other than be her Lovely Self. This was interesting because Curly was also a very Lovely Self and after another vodka, Short was starting not to worry so much about looking out of place. Yet it was Straight alone that caught the men’s fancy. The bolder ones jostled around trying to get a better position of the floor to dance with her and the not so bold ones gave her little sideways glances of appreciation.

Being an avid student of human nature (ie. someone who enjoys staring at people), Short found this fascinating. To her, Curly and Straight were both equally attractive and charming. And yet Straight was chalking up all the points. What was going on? And then Short realised. It was all about outfits.manMap recommends avoiding convent wear

Short herself wasn’t getting any attention from the guys. She was dressed like she was being sent to a convent in Austria: shapeless shift dress over jeans and a skivvy, with ballet flats designed to withstand the walk home from the station. Nothing about her outfit said, “Hello Man, I think you’d like to talk to me because I’m a woman.” Curly was nicely dressed in a feminine little top and jeans but, being thin-blooded like Short, she was wearing a coat. Yes it was a lovely, fitted red coat, but it was still a coat. On a dance floor. It said to the guys, “I’m not even taking my coat off so don’t bother talking to me.” Straight on the other hand was dressed in her casual Friday work-wear: jeans, heels and a cami under one of those light cardi-top arrangements. She had enough flesh showing to remind men she was a woman but not enough to make her trampy like a lot of other women in the pub. And the men couldn’t get enough of it.

So the moral of the story is this: make sure you wear what’s appropriate for the venue you’re going to. If you’ve never been there before, do a bit of research. Look at the website or ask someone who’s been before. Over-dressing is just as dangerous as under-dressing. You don’t want to turn up at the Old Fitz or Cricketer’s dressed like you should be at Marble Bar. Make sure your clothes are pitched to the right market so you feel comfortable and confident when you get there. That way you’re more likely to get the kind of attention you’re hoping for.

Size matters

10 May

manMap ponders if size mattersThe advent of the small bar has been tremendous gift to Sydney women. We now have a myriad of civilised, social options. There are cosy places we can share wine and conversation with a few friends. Comfortable places with great music and tapas give us a burst of joy after a day at the office. Places with refreshingly quirky décor and delicious cocktails reinspire us if we’ve been exposed to too many hard-lined, modern bars. And best of all, the smoking laws mean none of the new places have that whiff of yester-year’s nicotine, which older venues are still trying to purge.

But, as with many aspects of contemporary life, Sydney women are now even more saturated with choice. With new small bars opening every other day, how do you know where to go? Which venue is going to suit your mood? And more importantly, which venue will help you meet single men?

Bar Zine’s Dan Kaufman is Sydney’s expert on bars. Kaufman spends his evenings exploring Sydney’s bars, new and old, and reviewing them on his website with an honestly that comes from working independently. Although Kaufman doesn’t question people about their relationship status à la moi, his knowledge of the Sydney bar scene means he knows what makes bars popular. And as I’ve said before ladies, it’s all about the bait.

When I met Kaufman last week, I was delighted to hear him echo some of my own theories about the features a bar needs to help strangers mingle and flirt (oddly enough, room for palm-flashing didn’t come up). If you’re socialising with just one or two wing-girls, or if you’re enjoying a wine alone, Kaufman believes the essential ingredient is the humble bar stool. By sitting along the bar, you’re in the space that nearly everyone will enter at some point. It makes you easy to approach if someone likes the look of you and you might end up speaking to a nice guy sitting next to you. Plus there’s the benefit of flirting with the bar staff. Kaufman uses The Grasshopper as the perfect example of this set up. It was only later that I remembered I’d sat along the bar with a wing-girl when I was there. I was early and chatted with the lovely barman until my wing-girl arrived, and two guys ended up sitting next to us. We should’ve embraced the opportunity to speak to them.

For some time I’d been thinking the target for small bars was women like me: thirty-somethings wanting somewhere where the music isn’t blaring so they can chat, where the menu and wine list are good and the furniture comfortable and interesting. Speaking to Kaufman, I realised I was wrong about this. Lots of guys are looking for the same thing (although they probably wouldn’t use the word ‘chat’). After a few walk-throughs of small bars in my area, I realised he was right. Lots of small groups of guys were there. And a small group is always easier to infiltrate.

Kaufman explained that Sydney’s experiencing an ‘anti big bar movement’. It seems that despite our harbour and sunshine, we’ve been craving what Melbourne has known for so long: a smaller bar unafraid to have personality. Sydney-siders have been so deprived that any new little bar is going to create interest, meaning people will go to them. Meaning men will be there. Meaning you might want to go there too. And in Kaufman’s opinion, one crucial element for meeting new people is the ability to make eye contact. In a small venue, where everyone is contained in one main area, this is so much easier.     

So where does Kaufman think single women should go to meet men? If you’re after a suit, he recommends The Argyle, Ivy or Establishment. “Show enough flesh and at some point someone will hit on you, how quickly depends on your body language.” Not into the meat market? Head to the small bars in the CBD, Monday to Friday. Kaufman’s picks are Grandma’s, Stitch Bar and The Grasshopper. If you’re looking for a more suburban vibe on Saturdays, try the Green Room in Enmore or Vice Bar in Balmain. And of course, if you’re not in the head space to meet men and you just want to enjoy the company of your wing-girls, visit Kaufman’s website and take your pick.

Sydney’s quintessential bachelor

26 Apr

Our rainy long weekend was the perfect opportunity for me to spend some quality time with my enormous spreadsheet. And so, without further ado, I thought you might like to learn more about the single men I surveyed in the CBD.

What’s most important to them

In response to the question, “What are the three most important things in your life?”:

  • 68.69% listed family
  • 58.59% listed friends
  • 21.21% listed work

Only 8.08% listed money. More men listed sport than money.

Top jobs

The most common jobs among surveyed CBDers are:

  • Accountants
  • IT consultant or engineer
  • Construction or demolition
  • Finance

As many men were bar managers as bankers. 

CBD men’s favourite Sydney suburbs to socialise in are:

  • Bondi
  • CBD
  • Coogee
  • Darlinghurst
  • Paddington


 Favourite watering holes:

  • Verandah Bar
  • Argyle
  • Edinburgh Castle
  • Est
  • Ryan’s Bar

The most popular sports for CBD men to participate in are:

  • golf
  • tennis
  • football
  • soccer
  • gym.

I’ll send through more information once I’ve finished analysing all my delicious data.

Hope you all enjoyed your long weekend and happy ANZAC DAY to all the brave men (and women!) who are serving, or have served, in our armed forces.

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!

A single girl’s three course dog’s breakfast

12 Apr


On Saturday I attended a lovely and enlightened wedding. Apart from everything being beautiful, personal and carefully considered, the wedding was entirely inoffensive to single guests. There was none of the following:

  • Putting of all singles on one table
  •  Humiliation associated with throwing of bouquet/garter
  • Dancing designed for pairs only, which inevitably leaves singles feeling self-conscious/excluded.

So I just wanted to say snaps to the happy couple. It was so refreshing to be at a ‘singles-friendly’ wedding.

manMap's dog's breakfastSecondo

On Friday night I witnessed an interesting flirting technique at The Occidental. A woman in her mid-20s, clad in a short pleather skirt and clutching a pint in one hand and a cigarette in the other, did her best to attract guys by singing I touch myself.

At first, we were confused. But then we saw her slow-grind dancing and realised she was trying to seduce one or all of the guys sitting near her. The technique can’t be that great though because she was still at it when I left an hour later, although she’d moved on to Wind beneath my wings. This confused me more than the singing in the first place. Would any straight guy fall for a woman singing Bette Midler to him?


Drum roll please…after spending some quality time with my enormous mapping- spreadsheet, I’d like to announce that the CBD venue which had the highest percent of single men is The Harbour View. And just in case the Harbour View isn’t to your liking, you’ll be happy to know that in nearly half the CBD venues I mapped, at least 50% of the male patrons were single. Embrace ladies, the single guys are out there!

The reason behind the excuse

15 Mar

manMap ponders at PumphouseOnce upon a Friday evening six women in their 30s gathered in a CBD bar. They hadn’t seen each other for a while and were keen to catch up, have a laugh and embrace happy hour. For the sake of convenience they met at Verandah Bar, which was central and known for its mapping success, drinkable house white and not being overrun by girls in their early 20s.

The women sat at a table along the rear wall, near the entrance of the bathrooms. It afforded a good view of other patrons, particularly those at the bar and on their way to the loo. As the evening passed, the crowd thinned as others moved on to more fashionable locations or dinner dates, and it became easier to check out the guys at nearby tables.

As per usual, the women were fairly loud. A combination of sitting near the DJ and $5 drinks made them even louder. Their occasional bursts of song and hip-hop moves probably drew unnecessary attention to them, but they didn’t care. They were having fun. They all enjoyed a bit of silliness at the end of the week.

Sitting at the table nearby was a pair of men. Glances had been exchanged but the men were at an awkward distance, being on the other side of the aisle to the bathroom. Ms Italia whispered to Ms mM that she liked the look of the one in the striped shirt.

“They won’t come over here,” Ms mM said. “The other one’s on crutches. Too tricky to mingle.”

Not long after, the table in front of the women’s emptied and the two men quickly moved to it (well, as quickly as a man on crutches can). Glancing continued but talk had shifted to a potential romance Ms PP was involved in, capturing the women’s attention. Not long after, the ladies decided it was time to head home, and they parted ways having spoken only to each other and the bar staff.

As Ms mM walked home (I’m in a third person mood for some reason), she wondered what had stopped the women from speaking to the pair of men. There had clearly been some attraction on the men’s part and Ms Italia was tentatively interested. Ms mM realised that her research had given her insight into why the men hadn’t approached the women, but not the reverse. Her assumptions about women were based on her knowledge of herself and her friends.

And so she decided it was time to delve not into the psyche of the man, but into that of the woman. What were the main reasons women wouldn’t speak to men they didn’t know? Perhaps if we knew the answer to this question, we’d have a better idea of how to help ourselves through our social stagnation.

Please vote below, selecting up to two responses you feel best describe why you don’t approach men. (If you do approach men, snaps to you!) Feel free to leave another reason and be as honest as possible. The poll is anonymous, so no one will be able to connect your response with you. Beloved subscribers, please visit my blog so you can vote. 🙂

Please share this post via Facebook/Twitter etc with all the single women you know so we can get as many responses as possible. I’ll leave it open for a few weeks and then report back on how most women feel.

Outside love

8 Mar

It’s a terrible thing when you feel out of step with someone you love, be it a partner, friend, family member or city. As you may have read in previous posts, since my return from NYC I’ve felt what I best describe as discontent. My life in Sydney just wasn’t doing it for me. Fairly major problem since I’ve invested myself in a massive Sydney-based project. 

There was no particular reason for my mood. I’d only been away for four weeks. Nothing major in my daily life had changed. I had no valid excuse for how I felt, and yet I couldn’t help it. I knew I loved Sydney, but the memories of happiness in Manhattan were making me pine.

Then on Friday, something changed. As I walked through the post-dusk air along Macquarie Street, I realised my restlessness had quietened. I felt a flush of affection for my city which I hadn’t felt in months. By the time I reached the Hyde Park fountain, I realised I’d fallen back in love.

What had changed in those last few hours to shift my feelings? Yes, it’d been a stress-free day at work. Yes, I’d been running on almost a decent night’s sleep. Yes, I knew Saturday was a rare day off in view of Mardi Gras. And yes, I’d just ordered a large pizza from my favourite pizzeria. But it was something more, something entirely Sydney that had drawn me back.

I’d planned to survey in the Rocks on Friday. A few spots there needed revisiting, to ensure my first round of mapping hadn’t been a fluke. Keen to compare the Friday and Saturday night scenes, I jumped on a train and prayed to the Mapping Gods that the straight men of Sydney would be out in force.

But I didn’t make it past Circular Quay. As I got off the train, I looked down at the street below. This is what I saw:

manMap holds the Quay

Ok, my phone camera doesn’t have a zoom (that I can find anyway…) so it’s a little hard to tell, but there are several groups of nice-looking guys drinking at Quay Bar. My prayer had been answered. I decided to ditch the Rocks and embrace my good fortune.

I’d never been to Quay Bar before. I don’t generally socialise in that part of town, unless I’m mapping. But I have to say, I really liked it. It felt like we were hanging out in someone’s back terrace (someone very rich with a harbour view and a well-equipped bar). No loud music, all outdoors, everyone was friendly and relaxed. I couldn’t detect the slightest hint of social pressure, which in the words of Miss Bingley was ‘so refreshing.’ A number of big groups of guys were there, along with mixed groups and some nice but not stuck-up looking girls (bait, ladies, bait!). My surveys were done in no time, with one guy even pulling his work mates over to speak to me. And what’s more, it didn’t feel like hard work, which it sometimes does after a busy week. The guys at Quay Bar were friendly, interesting and funny without being sleazy. In fact, they reminded me a little of the guys in Manhattan.

So as I paused by the fountain in Hyde Park, admiring how attractive my beloved city is, I realised my experience at Quay Bar had won back my love for Sydney. The openness and enthusiasm my surveyees made me remember why I started this project in the first place: we live an amazing city and we all deserve to share it with someone wonderful. NYC is fabulous for a fling, but deep down Sydney is my true love.