Singapore Sojourn

“It’s like the Williamsburg of Singapore. Super hip, great food, cool fashion – no wanky hipsters as of yet but it’s only a matter of time.”

I stopped into Singapore on my way back to the US for a few reasons.

1. I scored crazy cheap flights from Australia to Singapore (Jetstar = $120) and Singapore to New York (China Eastern Airlines = $ 850).
2. I have family in Singapore – it was a great opportunity to hang out with the ‘Cheers’ clan plus I didn’t have to pay for accommodation. Hurrah!
3. I had never been. In fact…I haven’t explored Asia at all. Something I am keen to change.

What I loved…

The airport: It took 15mins from the time we landed to collect my bags and clear customs. 15MINS!!!! Comparatively, I spent 2.5hrs in customs in New York…hating life and everyone within a 100m radius. Get your shit together America!

The Food: Singapore is really all about the food. My foodie friend in NYC – Dave hooked me up with his foodie friend in Singapore. Locals know how is like gold when you are travelling. Thank you to Rashidah for force-feeding me. Highlights were the Mango Sago with Pomello and the Carrot cake – which interestingly enough is a savory dish that contains no carrot what so ever. Hmmm….

Marina Bay Sands: I am a bit of a hotel nerd. This place rocked my world. At $350 a night – the hotel operates at 90% occupancy all year round. As a splurge – it is definitely worth it …if only for access to the pool. This time round I only visited the roof top bar for champagne and an opportunity to lust after the pool. I will definitely return and rock out a sun lounge with my name on it.

What I did?

• Arab st: This was a highlight. I cruised around here with my camera, getting my stalk on and racking up some quality people watching time. It’s like the Williamsburg of Singapore. Super hip, great food, cool fashion – no wanky hipsters as of yet but it’s only a matter of time.

• Chinatown: So gentrified and clean compared to NYC Chinatown (which is pretty much like an Asian ghetto). If you enjoy a bit of baked lizard on a stick – this is the place to come.

• Little India: Hard to believe you are still in Singapore.

• Marina Bay Sands: As I mentioned….epic.

• Fullerton Hotel: Come here for a drink poolside and enjoy uninterrupted views of Marina Bay Sands…a true fete of engineering.

• Singapore Zoo: I’m not really a zoo type of person but the night safari is the no.1 recommended tourist activity in Singapore, so I felt obliged to check it out. As far as zoos go… I am sure this is one of the best and as much as I enjoyed the half naked fire breathing men…I stand by my former statement – zoos really aren’t my thing.

• Santosa: …is like a fake beach/island/theme park. When I arrived, I thought I would hate it. I had woken up that morning feeling terrible, practically dragged my arse out of bed and resented every bit of the $25 cab ride it took to get there. As it turned out…Santosa was exactly what I needed. I rented a day bed for $20 and passed out with a book. It was my last day in Singapore and the perfect opportunity to work on my tan and rest up before embarking on my 25hr long haul back to NYC.

Would I go back?

• Absolutely! I still have a long list of food to try and I plan to use Singapore as a base while I jet off to see the rest of Asia. I think you probably only need three days in Singapore and be aware that while cabs are cheap and the subway system is lux the rest of Singapore is pricey…. especially alcohol. Just plan not to drink. Don’t even bother unless you have an unlimited budget.

Fun Fact

• The ambulances stop at the lights…I actually saw this happen. The driver wound down his window and apologized to my cab driver for cutting him off….wtf?! Heads up…apparently life and death is no reason to break the rules in Singapore. Fellow expats actually recommend taking a cab to the hospital if you are in dire need.

Thank you to Uncle Cookie for funding some quality lady of leisure time. A shout out also to my home girl- Rashidah for helping me eat my way round Singapore.

TA

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Marry For Money and Love the Pool Boy

“I think Tinder has it all wrong. Choosing a partner based on looks alone is not the shallowest approach to modern day dating. Let’s all get real and create a dating app called ‘Husband Hunting’ that outlines a list of assets, perhaps a breakdown of their stock portfolio, annual income and of course…total net worth.”

Marry for money and love the pool boy…were the words of wisdom a friend of mine recently received as she closed the door on a former employer. No generic pleasantries to smooth the transition just a NYC fuck you on the way out and oh…heads up – you CAN’T have it all.

I think Fergie said it best …“if you aint got no money take your broke ass home.” Who knew Fergie was the voice of a generation? A modern day poet to trophy wives all over the world. Perhaps I should just give up this career bullshit now and focus on my ‘real’ goal of locking down a rich husband. Who needs independence and prospects when you have an unlimited Amex and a lifelong relationship with your manicurist?

I think Tinder has it all wrong. Choosing a partner based on looks alone is not the shallowest approach to modern day dating. Let’s all get real and create a dating app called ‘Husband Hunting’ that outlines a list of assets, perhaps a breakdown of their stock portfolio, annual income and of course…total net worth. Women all over the world can get swipe happy dismissing and selecting life partners based on their financial prospects. Women of course, will still need to include photos and perhaps additional information such as… cup size, height, weight and a photo of their mother – so that men can analyze their long-term investment.

In this dog eat dog world – who has time for old-fashioned concepts like integrity, commitment and family anyway? Romance means a brand new convertible sitting in the driveway of your holiday home in the Hamptons. If you feel your ‘real housewife’ life is lacking intimacy – there is always the pool boy to keep you warm on a winter’s night….right?!

To all those independent women with their drab hair and flat shoes who insist on having brains – I say… there is still hope for you yet!… as long as you are under 30 of course. Thirty being the age by which all women reach their expiration date. If you haven’t locked down a man by then, you are clearly damaged goods or a lesbian. We will still tolerate you but you will be confined to Brooklyn where all old maids are destined to live out their lives as desperate spinsters dreaming of the day their night in shining armor will come save them from their family of cats.

I write this article as a cautionary tale based upon my own experience. Believe me…travelling the world and living out all your childhood dreams as an independent woman isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. By all means…be all you can be but know your limitations…. as a woman. I have seen the error in my ways and will commence a penance of lifelong dieting in the hope of attracting a suitable husband with a fat bank account. I will gratefully accept his handouts and enjoy my servile role as the supporting actress. After all…behind every great man there is a great woman.

As a side note…there is an opening at my place for a pool boy. There is no pool but feel free to clean the bathtub. Please include a photo in your application.

TA
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A Distinguished Guest

“You get the feeling that if the walls could talk, they would whisper secrets of lux and love – of affairs and the type of debauchery that comes with wealth and status and occurs safely behind closed doors.”

I am all for a little luxury. After extended press trips I often get home and throw my towels on the ground only to realize no one will replace them with fresh ones. It is rude awakenings such as these that have led me to believe that reality is overrated. If I could live in my five star bubble permanently….I would.

My latest five star venture took me to The Windsor in Melbourne. I knew the Windsor by reputation. The name itself conjures up images of old world elegance, of ladies who lunch and a by gone era when class and distinction where of upmost importance. Certainly when The Windsor was first built in 1883 it embodied all these things and more. It was the destination for Melbournes’s socialites and the hotel of choice for dignitaries & celebrities such as Katherine Hepburn, Anthony Hopkins, Meryl Streep and Sir Richard Branson. I look forward to the day when they add Tempting Alice to their distinguished guest list – hurrah!

These days, The Windsor maintains it’s reputation and takes it’s guests on a journey back in time. Heritage listed, the Windsor is like a real life time capsule. You get the feeling that if the walls could talk, they would whisper secrets of lux and love – of affairs and the type of debauchery that comes with wealth and status and occurs safely behind closed doors. I…of course added my own flavour of debauchery. The nature of which…I will leave up to your imagination.

The Windsor is most famous for their high tea. Imagine buckets of champagne, and a tier of delights to tempt even the most selective sweet tooth. Yes… high tea was splendid but my favourite quirk was the afternoon tea etiquette booklet that guides you through the do’s and don’ts of the high tea experience. As an aspiring member of The Windsor’s distinguished guest list…I felt it was important that I mastered the basics and embraced the opportunity for self growth.

1. Always introduce yourself to unknown guests attending the Afternoon Tea

2. Your teaspoon should never be left in the teacup whilst drinking. If no longer needed, your teaspoon should be placed on the right hand side of the saucer.

3. Never gesture with your teacup or hold your teacup in mid-air. When not drinking, place your teacup on the saucer. The saucer should remain on the table or held in your lap.

4. When using your fork during your Afternoon Tea, the fork should always be set on the side of the plate when finished and not on the table.

5. In Victorian times, if you took milk with your tea you would pour it into the cup first as this represented good manners and protected the fine bone china from cracking.

6. Do not swirl your tea continuously. Rather gently fold the tea towards the 12 0′clock point two or three times. Avoid clinking the sides of your cup while folding your tea and do not tap it on the edge when finished.

7. When seated place the napkin on your lap. When excusing yourself from the table gently place your napkin on the side of your place setting and do not refold it.

8. Be sure to look into the cup as you drink and not over it at your companion.

9. Do not spread your jam and cream directly onto the scone. Rather, place them on the plate first and then spread onto the scone.

10. Never dip your biscuit in your tea!

Other pressing issues include…

‘to pinkie or not to pinkie’ 

“The Windsor recommends never holding your cup with your pinkie finger extended. This is improper and in many social settings can be considered rude.”

Phew…thank god for the booklet. Let’s be honest…my social graces leave a lot to be desired and if not for the ‘Afternoon Etiquette’ booklet I would have been a high tea horror show…descending into what The Windsor refers to as ‘Tier Panic’. As it stood…I tucked my pinkie away like a trooper and managed to scrape through with a pass. In the future, if I am to pursue a life as a lady of leisure and one day qualify as a ‘Distinguished Guest’ …I might need to lift my game. Mmm…practice makes perfect. High Tea anyone?

Thank you to The Windsor for the stay and the staff for the marvellous service. For more information and bookings…please visit their website.

TA

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Harvest

“I can envisage a tee pee on the back lawn, tea lights at dusk scattered through the garden, a tasting menu featuring local produce in the Old Bakery. A fire casting a warm glow and an environment that encourages intimacy and conversation.”

I love people who are passionate about what they do. I love businesses that develop relationships, appreciate their employees, operate with integrity and focus on creating an ‘experience’ for their clients. This is why I love Harvest.

There are a lot of venues/restaurants in Byron Bay, Australia but none that I believe currently match up to the ‘experience’ Harvest can offer. Choose Harvest for your weekend coffee ritual – I guarantee the staff will remember your name. Head on over on a Saturday morning for pastries and freshly baked bread. Enjoy a slow lunch on the verandah or stock up on the best produce the region has to offer at their deli next door. Take a stroll through the vegetable garden, chat to the locals or watch the bakers / pastry chefs hard at work in the ‘Old Bakery’.

Harvest is more of a community…a meeting place with a dedication to excellence. I enjoyed the friendliness from the staff and the intensity from the chefs. As a photographer, Harvest is the type of place I love to photograph because it has a story, a history that gives it substance.

As a wedding venue…I am excited by the possibilities the space has to offer. I can envisage a tee pee on the back lawn, tea lights at dusk – scattered through the garden, a tasting menu featuring local produce in the Old Bakery. A fire casting a warm glow and an environment that encourages intimacy and conversation.

Thank you to Harvest for inviting me to photograph their space. For more information and bookings…be sure to visit their website.

TA

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