Ingrid Kesa is our newest contributor, here to grace us with her cyber presence on the Nasty Gal blog. For her first post, we asked Ingrid to take us on a tour of her hometown and share the A-to-Zs of heaven down under: Sydney, Australia.
Hi! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi! My name is Ingrid Kesa and I’m an editor, writer and ‘internet person’. I have a background in fashion magazines, and worked as Oyster’s Online Editor for two years. At the moment I oversee a styling project called You & Me with my friend Hayley and we’re launching a website soon called Off Top. I also edit Sometimes magazine and freelance for a bunch of legends. In my spare time I blog at Things We Don’t Need, drink a lot of coffee, and try to learn the dance moves to ‘Telephone’ by Lady Gaga and Beyoncé. I’ve lived in Sydney for six years.
What brought you to Sydney, and what’s made you stay?
I come from a small coastal town so it’s sort of a natural progression to move away after high school and see what else exists in the universe. I came here to go to university, and I stayed for the creativity, the energy, and the fun times.
What are the three best neighborhoods for wandering and getting lost?
I love walking through Chinatown and wishing I was a cute Asian girl while looking through the weird little shops in the arcades off Dixon St. Paddy’s Markets (Corner Hay St and Thomas St) are easy to literally get lost in, and you can find all sorts of things in there from incense and quartz crystals to bejeweled iPhone covers and fake Fubu tracksuits. Afterwards, I spend way too much money/time in the Japanese photo booths at Purikura Photoland in Capitol Square (730-742 George Street). Super Kawaii!
Potts Point is another cool place to wander around. Located directly next to infamously sleazy suburb Kings Cross, I’m always surprised by how quickly the strip clubs, sex shops and gnarly nightclubs turn into delis, espresso bars and florists. It’s worth walking down Darlinghurst Road until it morphs into Macleay St., just to witness the juxtaposition.
I wouldn’t be talking about Sydney if I didn’t mention Bondi Beach! Get lost in daydreams brought on by the epic views on the Bondi to Tamarama walk.
What’s a good place to sit and people watch:
Harmony Park in Surry Hills is a good one because not only do you get to people watch, but there is a very high dog to human ratio!
What museum should everyone go to?
The Museum of Contemporary Art (140 George St, The Rocks). I loved seeing their Annie Leibovitz and Yayoi Kusama exhibitions. The MCA also does a lot to support local creatives, especially through their annual Zine Fair, and Primavera young Australian artist showcase.
What’s a good smaller gallery?
Co-founded by Mark Drew and Edward Woodley, China Heights in Surry Hills (16-28 Foster St) is all about supporting emerging art stars here and abroad. Every time they launch an exhibition it feels like a party.
Where should you go for a really awesome meal?
Bread & Circus in Alexandria (21 Fountain St) does the best brunch. With big shared tables and an abundance of fresh fruit and succulents everywhere you look, it also acts as dream dining room inspiration. You can’t go past the coconut juice smoothie and pancakes. It’s organic you guys—it’s good for you!
What if you need a drink?
Nestled next to an Indian diner and on top of a tobacconist, intimate bar Ching-A-Lings (133 Oxford St Darlinghurst) is a diamond in the rough. Whether you’re after a 40’ of beer or a Negroni, Chings is where it’s at. There’s a good chance that ‘Hypnotize’ by Biggie Smalls will be playing when you walk in, which is, let’s admit it, every girl’s dream entrance song. The rooftop deck is perfect for chilling out on sweaty summer nights.
If you want to dance & stay out all night?
Goodgod Small Club in the city (55 Liverpool St). On the fringe of Chinatown, Goodgod has hosted international acts like Thom Yorke, Jamie XX and Toro Y Moi, as well as the best bands and DJs in town. Sit in the front bar first and share a jug of sangria and fries from The Dip, then crack a glow stick (or 20) and get into the rave cave Danceteria down the back to vogue on in to the early hours.
Who’s the unofficial mayor of your city?
Three great places to go shopping:
I’m definitely more of an online shopping person so it says a lot about a store if they can make me rather be there than at home on my laptop with no pants on. Incu is one such place. With outlets in the city (The Galeries) and Paddington (256 Oxford St), they stock excellent international labels for men and women like Acne, Comme des Garçons and Marc by Marc Jacobs. They have THE NICEST staff ever; sometimes I go in there just to chat to the sales assistants.
Estate of Mind (80 Oxford St, Darlinghurst) is another of my favourites. They really offer something fresh and unique to Sydney’s retail environment, showcasing designers like KTZ, Daniel Palillo and Human Potential. Sylvie, the owner, and Kurt, her main retail man, are always wearing the wildest clothes, and visiting the store will inspire you to have fun while getting dressed.
Koskela (85 Dunning Ave Rosebery) is homeware heaven. From the sofas to the serving spoons, everything is aesthetically on-point. One of my life goals is covering every inch of my lounge room with giant floor cushions and Turkish textiles, and when it’s time for that dream to become a reality, Koskela will be my first port of call.
What is a secret place that only the special people should go?
The backyard of this mysterious old mansion in Point Piper — complete with pool house, palm trees and inflatable swans!