Tag Archives: inner city

Love: easy as A, B…

28 Mar

AB Hotel
225 Glebe Point Rd

Percentage of surveyed men who were single: 56%

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.  (daytime); A good venue for some light-hearted flirting over a glass of champagne.  (evenings)

Prime time: Friday night and Monday trivia nights

Crowd: Locals of mixed ages and persuasions. Younger, funkier crowd enjoys the courtyard on Sunday afternoons and cocktails at night. Older crowd enjoys good food and watching the game downstairs.

Wing-girls: No more than three so you can sit on a communal table or couch.

Wears: Funky casual downstairs, glam casual upstairs at night

Top tip: Visit more than once as different times in the week attract different crowds.  

Like a sample bag from a fashion show, the AB offers a cross section of inner west male society. Cruisy and laid-back during the day, you’ll find the locals unwinding after a round of their favourite sport or tucking into a meal. In the evening, men from the broader community indulge in cocktails while listening to live music. Trivia night is popular, so grab your girls, form a team and brush up on your general knowledge. Attending regularly will help you get to know your competition. The staff are worth meeting too. Friendly, fun and cute, your champagne will taste even bubblier.


Ages of single men:
<20: 11%
20-30: 44%
31-40: 34%
41+: 11%

Professions: Trade; accounting; hospitality

Interests and hobbies: Socialising; sport; drinking

Clubs: Martial arts, soccer, ski

Values: Family and friends (78%); Drinking (33%); Skateboarding/creativity/money (22%)

Cross Pollinate: Town Hall Hotel (Newtown); Edinburgh Castle Hotel

Best ‘burbs: Glebe; Newtown; Balmain


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

Courting for singletons

29 Feb

The Courthouse
202 Australia Street

Percentage of surveyed men who were single: 60%

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 nights and Sundays. Very popular on public holidays when lots of non-locals drop by.

Crowd: Mixed crowd of locals or people who work nearby. Good blend of artistic and sporty guys who are friendly and ready to chat.

Wing-girls: Three at most.

Wears: Artistic casual

Top tip: The courtyard is a great place for dinner but be sure to move back to the bar when you’re finished, where it’s easier to approach men and be approached.

The Courthouse is the Newtown equivalent of The London Hotel. After work, local residents and employees gather around the bar to wind down. Although the crowd’s mixed, there are plenty of straight men whose relaxed and friendly natures make them approachable. The pub attracts a broad range of ages too, helpful for the more mature lady. Sport is usually on the TV screen near the bar. Why not cheer on your team with the men? The pub has a strong Newtown personality: diverse, artistic, socially conscious and open-minded. If you like the neighbourhood, you’ll love the men at The Courthouse.


Ages of single men:
<20: 0%
20-30: 44%
31-40: 23%
41+: 33%

Professions: Media, community services, mining, corporate strategy

Interests and hobbies: Sport; socialising; beer/creative pursuits

Clubs men belong to: Writing group; live music group; cycling club, scuba club, sailing club, trivia

Values: Family and friends (56%); career/alcohol (33%); books and reading (22%)

Cross Pollinate: Kelly’s on King; Gaslight Inn; Toxteth Hotel

Best ‘burbs: Newtown; Erskineville; Glebe; Surry Hills

Marlie, manMap and me

25 Jan

The Marlborough Hotel
145 King Street

Percentage of surveyed men who were single: 77%

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

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

Prime time: Friday and Saturday nights

Crowd: Blokey, live music lovers. Younger crowd upstairs. Student nights during the week.

Wing-girls: As many as you like. The space is big enough for all your friends.

Wears: Casual downstairs, sexy casual upstairs

Top tip: Chat to guys before the music starts so you’ve got a reason to dance with them during the set.

The Marly is layered with possibilities. At street level, the boys are ready to appreciate live music over a beer. It might be too loud for conversation but bonding over a favourite song is a great way to make new friends. Venture upstairs to the Level One cocktail bar for more sophistication. If someone takes your fancy, lead the way downstairs to The Cellar where the lighting’s low and the leather couches are perfect for getting better acquainted. Check the website for events like State of Origin screenings. They’re sure to bring in the boys!


Ages of single men:
<20: 10%
20-30: 50%
31-40: 40%
41+: 0%

Professions: Sports industry, media defence, engineering, finance, IT, community services

Interests and hobbies: Socialising; sport; drinking/sex/watching Foxtel

Clubs men belong to: various sports clubs

Values: Sport (47%); work (40%); family and friends (33%)

Cross Pollinate: The Rose of Australia (Erskineville); Clock Hotel; AB Hotel

Best ‘burbs: Kings Cross; Newtown

The romantic history of a nerdette

7 Jun

There’s no point denying it. I am a nerd of the bookish persuasion. I was one of those conscientious kids, developing scoliosis from carrying around too many books. My taste in literature and music wasn’t quite in step with my peers. My eternal battle with acne and the inability to put together a decent outfit disqualified me from being cool. Luckily I had enough self awareness to realise this and in many ways relinquished myself to it. But in short, I felt I had nothing to say that would interest guys my age.

manMap seeks book nerdsIt was a blessing I went to a single sex school. There was no pressure to impress anyone. I dreamed that one day I’d meet a nerd like myself. I’d glimpse him in a corner somewhere, nose to page hoping to avoid the scorn of the cool girls. I’d psyche myself up, walk over and ask him what he was reading, only to discover it was my favourite book (I knew this was a long shot. I’m yet to meet a man who loves Room with a view the way I do).

It never happened, but I entered my uni years filled with optimism. I was studying writing after all. Surely my classes would be filled with row upon row of nerds like myself. And in one of those rows I might find him. But then I discovered an awful truth. Most of the people in my course were mature-age. The uni had only accepted a handful of school-leavers. And of the few guys, most were either taken, gay or way too cool for me.

After graduating, I hoped work might provide the elusive doorway to the opposite sex. I’ve met some wonderful people working in publishing, people who don’t think I’m slightly odd. But sadly, most of these people are women. And many of them single like me. And so, it was with mixed feeling that I made an important discovery on Friday night. 

The week had been pleasantly smooth: one big job finished at work, a cosy beverage at Grandma’s, delightful dinner with wing-girls at a new noodle bar, productive round of workshopping at my writing group and the purchase of a new book. By Friday evening, I felt like nothing lay between me and a successful round of mapping. But of course, there’s always the danger of A Bad Venue.

First stop: The London, Paddington. Empty and scarily well lit. Second stop: The Royal Hotel. Also empty. Third stop: Durty Nelly’s. Busier but not optimal, an uncomfortable number of women.

Nearing 7pm, I was starting to think the clear winter’s night was going to waste when I found myself at the well-packed Beresford. Always mindful that I run the risk of getting thrown out, I headed to the courtyard and away from the diligent eyes of the bouncers. After surveying every guy who wasn’t obviously gay or on a date, I decided a quick round inside wouldn’t hurt. If I got thrown out, it wouldn’t matter. I already had a healthy bundle of completed surveys in my handbag. Two guys were just settling into a table with their pints as I approached. What happened next will renew your faith in chivalry. I smiled and said hello and one of the guys said, “Oh I’m sorry, did you want this table?” Hurrah, I thought, here sit kind, decent men. Modern Mr Darcys. I asked them if they were single, thinking such nice guys must be firmly attached. But they were both available. Double hurrah! I asked them if they belonged to any social groups which meet regularly. One played tennis. The other spoke words that would make any single nerdette swoon. He was part of a men’s only book group.  

Surveys filled, I hurried off into the night, head filled with images of men sitting on comfy lounges discussing themes and character development. Mecca, I thought, If only I knew where they met.

But then I got cranky (partly because I was hungry). How could the man-nerds of Sydney be so cruel? Since adolescence I’d been searching for men who read. Now they were sectioning themselves off from their female equivalents. Were they afraid we’d force them to read chick lit or emasculate them with tea and iced vovos? I wished I’d ignored my hunger pains and thought to ask the surveyee before I’d left. On behalf of all the nerdettes out there, I’ll try my best to track down the exclusive book groups. They may not let us in, but we can always loiter by the door.

PS. Over 80% of the surveyed guys at the Beresford were single. Worth a visit ladies!

Where can a girl go when she’s feeling low?

17 May

manMap's feelin lowLast week, Saturday night was survey night. I find it harder to survey on Saturdays because people tend to start their nights later, rather than straight after work. This means I can fall victim to meeting friends for dinner first, losing track of time over a bottle of wine and then deciding that the only possible course of action is staying for a second bottle. So this Saturday, I thought it best to avoid temptation. I ate leftover schnitzel from my Friday visit to Una’s and forced myself out the door by 9pm.

The night didn’t start well. Hoping to investigate the theory that men like small bars as much as women, I headed to Love, Tilly Devine. This meant walking past the Lord Roberts, an inoffensive local. Outside the Lord Bob was a sign stating the football odds for the game being screened upstairs. I had a minor melt-down. I thought football was just on Friday nights. Why was it suddenly invading Saturday nights too? Although barracking for a team is an easy way to meet guys, they’re hardly in the mood to answer questions about their social habits while the game’s on. I took a few deep breaths, told myself that small bar guys might not be into football and pushed on into the laneway.

I had high hopes for Tilly. My boss had been there the week before and had told me it was packed. When I arrived, it was comfortably occupied with its patrons neatly arranged into pairs. ‘Man and woman’ pairs. A mapper’s worst nightmare. Abandoning hope of a blog-post about love in laneways, I headed back to Crown Street to see what was happening at The Owl House. Although busier than Tilly, it was dominated by multiple-couple groups. All I could hope was that there wasn’t some poor Last Woman Standing hiding in the bathroom, wishing she’d never agreed to venture out with her happily paired-up friends. Strike two for me.

Ignoring the voice in my head telling me to join my friends at the pub, I headed along Crown Street toward Oxford Street, with no firm plan of where I’d go next. As I walked past Crown Bar and Grill, I saw a table of seven nice-looking men dining with one woman. I considered barging in to remind them that while they were selfishly in a restaurant, women in bars all over Sydney were wishing men like them would ask them out. Or just speak to them. Or even just throw them a smile. Feeling lower and lower as the hill grew steeper and steeper, I decided I should head toward to light, Gaslight Inn that is.

I’ve always been fond of Gaslight and felt sure it wouldn’t let me down. But when I got there, it was empty. Strike three. I couldn’t understand what was wrong. Yes it was cold, but it was a beautifully clear night. Was I too early, too late, too ignorant about the habits of football fanatics? I decided I’d keep walking until I reached The Dolphin, before succumbing to the cosiness of my flannelette pjs. Then I heard the happy buzzing of male voices coming from a darkened bar. Begging the mapping gods to help me, I smiled at the bouncer and found myself inside the wonderfully busy Low 302.

Although there are no stools at the fairly short bar, Low 302’s set up is great for single women. With the exception of one room next to the bar and the smoking area out the front, the space is open and easy to move around. I intercepted a group of men who then introduced me to their mates, who then sent me on to another group of guys. They were so helpful, friendly and sincere that I met my quota in less than an hour. It was a new record for a Saturday night, where I’m often competing with loud music, special occasions which I accidentally intrude and alcohol-fuelled frivolity. A huge thank you to the guys at Low 302 who reminded me that not everyone is in a relationship or watching football. If you’re looking for a smart, kind professional guy in his 20s or 30s, slip on some heels and head to Low 302. More than half the guys I surveyed were single, so you’re bound to have a great night.

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 quickie!

24 Feb

Hi lovely readers,

Just a quickie today – I’m having a busy chores week!

The results are in for our first WWWtK question. The winning question is:

If a woman’s interested in you, what’s something/one thing she can do to increase her chances of you asking her out?

A big thank you to those who sent questions in, those who voted and even those who’ve taken an interest by reading. I’ll share the responses to this question at the end of March. What glorious knowledge we’ll all have by then!! I’ll put a post up soon for our April question, so put your thinking fascinators on.

In other news, I’m on the down-hill run to meet my CBD survey quota. Just a few more rounds in The Rocks and Darling Harbour and it’ll be mischief managed (for that hood anyway). Next on the agenda: the inner city and the Eastern suburbs, both of which I’ve already dabbled in. If there’s a particular venue you want me to check out or one you’ve had success at, drop me a line at mymanmap@gmail.com.

 Finally, it’s looking like it’ll be a beautiful weekend. Make the most of it ladies, summer’s almost over. Get your wing-girls together, go somewhere new and talk to a guy you don’t know. Could be the best weekend of your life!

Yours in faithful mapping,

Love outside The Square

6 Sep

During the week while having my eyebrows waxed I was told something disturbing, and for once it wasn’t about my problem skin. My beautician, who loves hearing my manMap tips, told me she thought Surry Hills was full of gay guys. I was horrified by this misconception. Had she said Taylor Square or Darlinghurst, I could understand. But if women who work locally think Crown Street only attracts the gay community, there’s a clear need to re-educate the public.  

Most Sydney-siders know Oxford Street is the heart of the gay community. A girl feeling mournful about singledom could do worse than a good dose of dancing in a room full of gay guys. Sure, they won’t want to take you home or ask for your number but you’ll get more compliments than at a straight bar. And you’ll feel better about yourself the next day than if you stayed home re-enacting the All by myself scene from Bridget Jones.

But just because the Darlo end of Oxford Street houses Stonewall and the Columbian, it doesn’t mean the entire area is rendered useless for straight women. In fact, growing numbers of straight men are heading to the hood for the live music at Spectrum and The Oxford Art Factory. Studios like BJB and the head offices of Sony and MTV have created a local music culture that’s growing by the album.

But not all ladies want to spend the night in a reverberating venue where it’s too loud to talk. A good alternative is a Sunday stroll down Crown Street to Surry Hills. There are delightful cafés and shops all the way along. And no, you probably won’t find your dream man drinking coffee on the sidewalk. If you spy someone of interest in a café, it’s likely he’ll be there with his girlfriend. But there’s no reason you and your wing-girls can’t go for a window shop, have some lunch and then head to one of the local pubs for an afternoon beverage.

And that’s where you’ll meet the men, making the most of the tail-end of their weekend.

manMap winds down at The ClockLast Sunday I spent my afternoon at The Clock, which reminds me a little of The London in Balmain. The balcony upstairs makes it ideal for enjoying a beer in the sun. And balconies are a huge blessing for women. Instead of men being clumped in corners or gathering around tables, making it difficult to interact with them, they’re lined up along the railing. You don’t even need to sit next to them because it’s likely that, at some point, you’ll have to squeeze past each other to get to the bar. And while there were a few gay guys there, the majority were straight and single.

Best of all, not one man declined doing a survey for me, despite my problem skin and crooked eyebrows (there’s only so much a beautician can do). They were primarily locals who were into music and sport. They all had single friends (even the partnered ones) and liked to hang out in Surry Hills, which has side-streets full of watering holes.

These pubs attract the laid back, unpretentious, straight men.

And it’s this set that’s often overlooked: they’re not the fashionistas in the social pages of the Herald, they’re not the gourmands attracted to the hatted restaurants nearby and they’re not the guys who live for the nightlife around Taylor Square. They’re the ordinary folk who could very easily share something extraordinary with the right woman.

Two train night

12 Jul

manMap takes a train or twoIt’s always disappointing when I head out somewhere, handbag packed with blank surveys, wing-girl by my side, only to discover that my destination doesn’t deliver.

In the spirit of supporting Sydney ladies detoxing for Dry July (you’re a third of the way there girls!) I headed off to Winterland at Carriageworks on Saturday, imagining Tommy Hilfigeresque models in beanies and matching scarves skating round the ice rink. With promises of markets, music and all things frosty, I was looking forward to a dose of winter frivolity in preparation for my trip to New York at the end of the year.

Perhaps wing-girl and I were there at the wrong time or on the wrong day, but the reality didn’t match my fantasy. There was no fake snow, no roasted chestnuts, no gingerbread, not even a cardboard cut out of a snowman. The massive disco ball was impressive but it made me think Priscilla Queen of the Desert, not winter. There were a few guys there but they were coupled up and clearly band groupies (I’m not knocking the band. Great place for a gig, even if there wasn’t a foil snowflake in sight.). As I looked about the fabulously expansive space that is Carriageworks, I was at a loss to pinpoint exactly what was wintery about the festival, other than its timing. And while there were half a dozen stalls selling gloves and socks, in the words of my wing-girl:

a few stalls does not a market make.

Disenchanted and with a pile of untouched surveys, we headed back to the city and to a place that never lets us down: our favourite sushi train.

Once installed in our carriage on the sushi train, we realised the tables on either side of us were taken by guys. I draw the line at interrupting people while they eat for my own selfish research purposes, but wing-girl did wonder whether the guys were like us: single and looking for something delicious on low-key Saturday night. I considered stalking them after they left to find out but thought that might be taking things a little too far.

The night made me realise how difficult looking for a man would be for women who don’t drink. So far, my surveys have revealed that most couples meet through work, a mutual friend or in pubs and bars. If you were working in female-heavy industry like childcare or education, had exhausted the options your friends could provide and didn’t like the pub scene, meeting men would be a huge challenge. Perhaps women not into wine should keep in mind the ever-growing number of restaurants and cafés with communal tables. You could always ask the guy sitting next to you to pass the salt…Here’s a few I’ve been to and enjoyed:

  • Din Tai Fung –  this place serves up the best dumplings in Sydney and is ridiculously popular. You can opt to a share table so you don’t have to wait too long for a seat. Getting the right ratio of vinegar to soy sauce is a great way to start a conversation with the people at your table.
  • About Life – this café and store is Mecca for people with intolerances, or anyone who enjoys local or organic produce. The big tables are great to share, so just take one wing-girl with you so there’s room left for the men!
  • Blue Ginger – delicious to the extreme, you could ask the man next to you for his pick of the menu.

If you know of any other places with communal tables, leave a comment so the list grows.

Thank you thank you thank you to my winter wing-girl for coming on yet another one of my wily schemes. Despite the lack of completed surveys, I still had a great night out.