Best of the 2010 MCA Zine Fair!

Saturday, May 29, 2010 2 Comments A+ a-

Rain, hail and no shine was not going to stop me from attending this years Sydney Writers Festival Zine Fair on Sunday 23rd May. The Zine Fair is the 'hub' for emerging talent in publishing and design, a self-publisher myself (just blog and freelancing at the mo) I have always been curious about the Zine industry. Here are my best picks for the day.....can't help but feel inspired now...........maybe 'My Life As A Magazine' should go Zine......mmm.

I guess the first question to ask for those unsure; what is a Zine? A Zine (abbreviation of the word magazine; pronounced "Zeen") is a self-published, non-commercial publication that is either handwritten, typed, computer printed, cut-up, photocopied, stapled or bound books that are written, designed by one person or a team of creatives. Zines contain peoples loves, obsessions and stories in article, fan-fiction, journal, comic or photographic form. They are made to project the authors thoughts, experiences and interests to share with a wide group of people. While you can make some profit from selling your Zine creations, Zine creators only make Zine's because they love it, it's a passion, not necessarily for the money. Zines can be sold, traded or gifted through various outlets (Sticky Institute, Bird in the hand Zine Shop) Zine fairs, mail order, online or from other independent media outlets.

Wanting to get straight into the heart of Zine-making, and learn what it's all about, what better way to start then at Susy Pow's Bird in the Hand store! I was familiar with Pow's work as she had been covered in a recent issue of Frankie magazine and in the May 16th Sun-Herald.

Pow is the owner of the Newcastle Zine store Bird in the hand. Some of her own personal creations include; Tea & Biscuits, Everything was beautiful-nothing hurt, Notes & Errata, My, Zines: I make them. Susy Pow is like the 'mother hen' of the Zine community, not only does she sell fellow Ziner's creations, Pow also runs regular Zine-making workshops and events. With all this happening, she still even makes time for Roller Derby! Pows Zine philosophy is "Zines are the voice for the story that every person has hiding in them".
From the Bird in the hand table I purchased a copy of; Make a Zine (Microcosm Publishing) by Bill Brent & Joe Biel. As far as I'm concerned, this book is the Zine makers bible. It contains info on; What is a Zine?, How to make a Zine, Brief history of the Zine and self-publishing, How to layout a Zine-type and publish, Zine pre-press steps, Printing Zines, Block printing, DIY Comics, finding contributors, How to generate Zine sales, mail order tips, How to promote your Zine etc. It also includes distributor lists of Zine stores, Zine Distros, Zine Libraries, Zine reviewers, Zine events and online resources. Make a Zine is a US published book, but it still includes Zine resources in Australia.

The Bird in the hand store also introduced me to the 'makers and doers craft title World Sweet World. Split into two parts, this beautifully illustrated zine includes; step-by step instructions for making cool and crafty things. World Sweet World focuses on peoples unique stories on sustainable living and other inspiring things. This little crafty title is the brain-child of Hannah and Thomas Schickedanz.
Also well known in the Zine community is Vanessa Berry. Known for her 2007 autobiographical stories novel Strawberry Hills Forever, which also includes stories from her Zines; I am Camera and Laughter and the sound of teacups. Berry shared the table with Miss Helen and Astro Press.
Situated on the next table I stubble upon a 'Spoonful of Happiness' ......a Zine titled Spoonful, an inspiring publication dedicated to the little things in life that can bring happiness. Reading it puts a smile on my face. Spoonful's Thea in the Zine's opening paragraph writes that Spoonful is a "bite-sized morsel of happiness. It's the light in our everyday, insanely busy lives, which can be finished by the end of a train ride. Beautifully soft, big enough to carry with you as a little reminder of what life's all about".
Spoonfuls first issue contains;Objects of affection (Hot air balloon craft creations) 'happiness collections and recollections' such as; Happiness is making time to do things you love- is playing guitar and discovering new chords- is jumping into puddles- is coming home etc. Poems by Hannah Stephenson (The Pleasures of Laundry), Jerome John (Simple), Maria Savvidis story of washing day (In the wash). Anthea Krook enlightens us about the glory of failure in Spilt Milk "Every magazine, newspaper and blog that we read focuses on people and their successes- But we'd just like to read about some failures for once". I found this story very comforting- I'm too sick of hearing about peoples successes, worse how easy things are for some people!

The 'Quality Row' bank of tables included Lee Tran Lam's beautiful Paris Zine (upset it sold out before I could get a copy :( . Making zines for 10 years now Lams' french themed Zine contains her fave French films, blogs, culture, fashion and her fave flavour crepes.

I also fell in love with Sonya Gees' 'Zomg your sick!' care packs. Each pack is a cotton bound lucky dip of remedies to help the ill get better. Gee a journalist by day, enjoys making small presents for strangers.
The last table I visited (one of the best) was Hon Boey which featured Zines Beef Knuckles by Girlfriend Entertainment Ed. Rob Moran and ex-Girlfriend Sub-editor Amy Richardson's Japan inspired Zine Waku Waku (meaning excited or thrilled). I have met Rob a few times now (at Girlfriend work experience, other events) little shy to say this, but I do look up to him as a 'publishing role model'. This is probably because his job is my dream job! Girlfriend Ent Ed.) Rob has always been known to embrace independent publishing in a commerical magazine. Rob's Girlfriend blog pages always feature a comic or indie film and references to the 80's (Andrew McCarthy).

Just like her yummy Japan blog, Amy Richardson's Zine also features info on all of Japans goodies and treats as well as; cute Japan terms (Fuwa, gachi, doki), interviews with Aussie expats now living in Japan (fave shopping area's, places to eat, best thing about living in Japan), a look at Canine couture, Hello Kitty quiz, unique Kit Kat flavours, Okonomiyaki (omelet) recipe, book & film reviews and interviews with international folks now on working holidays in Osaka, Japan (most are English sensei)-Amy herself was in Japan on a working holiday.
The interview with toy-addict Hon Boey, bought back more memories of Japan to me, talking about Osaka's Den Den town- I also visited the gachi vending machine toy store Super Position he mentions (I purchased some Studio Ghibli figurines) and their vintage game stores ARE insane! Love love loved this Zine!

iPad ignites the rise of the 'Blogazine'

Friday, May 28, 2010 0 Comments A+ a-

The release of the iPad today, introduces the possibility of blogs reaching a more wider audience than ever before. This is where blogs will now become 'movable' magazines, which will be now known as a 'Blogazine'. The custom digital creations iPad app 'Blogazine', will let you virtually flip through blog articles in chronological order (This app will also be available on the iPhone soon)- Now you can read 'My life as a Magazine' on the iPad!

All is not lost when it comes to magazines either. Digital magazine distributor Zinio (term must of been coined from self-publishing 'Zine' industry title) has introduced an iPad application which will provide readers with easy to access magazine digital subscriptions- like an online 'newsstand'! Some magazines already available include; US Paper, US Rolling stone, US Ok, UK SFX, Blender, UK Hello, Billboard, Milk, Seventeen, Nylon Guys, Nylon, Martha Stewart Living, US Marie Claire, US Elle,US Cosmopolitan, O- The Oprah magazine and even the Aussie indie mag Frankie!
This makes great access reading for those not able to get their hands on international magazines. Digital subscription prices range from 50-90% off normal newsstand prices!
You can get 12 digital issues of Seventeen magazine for $10.82 AU, 12 issues of Martha Stewart Living $30.28 AU, 12 issues US Marie Claire $8.65 AU same price for US Elle too! Oprah magazine also goes for a cheap $19.47AU for 12 digital issues! With cheap subscription numbers like these, it stakes up to be better value then one magazine alone on an Aussie newsstand!

It's not just the cost and international accessibility that makes the digital magazine different from a regular glossy. Some also include other content like videos and downloadable music!

While I would hate to see print magazines become obsolete (I don't enjoy long extensive reading from a computer screen), It's great to see the publishing world expand to help those talented but (un-paid) self-publishers create a wider audience.

Happy Geek Pride Day! From one Geek to the other!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 0 Comments A+ a-

May 25th is the day for celebrating the rights and the responsibilities of being a Geek or Nerd! Some Geek rights include; the right to show of your geekiness, the right to hate sports, the right to not leave your room, the right to have only a small group of friends, the right to be out of style. While Geek responsibilities include; to save and protect geeky material, always give your opinion, attend every nerdy movie opening, take over the world! etc. Wikipedia defines Geek as being ' a peculiar or otherwise odd person, who is perceived to be overly obsessed with one or more things'. While nerd is a more of a stereotype term and is referred to someone who is 'a loner by peers, who avidly pursues intellectual activities'. The term Geek community has now grown to become more accepted in society hence the new term Geek Chic. Geek Chic is about embracing the stereotypically unpopular geek characteristics and likes. I'm am proud to say I'm a Geek Chic, so to mark this day of Geek pride, I'm going to share with you a 'few of my favourtie Geeky things'!

Big Bang Theory, where has this show been my whole life? It's characters summarises what it means to be a Geek! Sheldon Cooper epitomes what it means to be a nerd, he is obsessive compulsive, is a genius but doesn't understand basic society interactions. His room mate Leonard is the most normal of the bunch and dates Penny from across the hall. Howard Wolowitz is the nerdy womanizer who still lives at home with his Jewish mother- always love the pop-culture belt buckles he wears; a Nintendo controller. He always tends to wear loud, vintage 1960 outfits and tight turtlenecks. Rajesh is from India and is so shy with girls, he can't even speak when they are around. Each episode is filmed in Sheldon's apartment, the comic bookstore, the university or their walks up the flight of stairs leading to their apartment. The lift has been out of order since the first episode. This was due to a rocket that Leonard accidentally fired off!

Chuck is a spy action-comedy series, a geeky comedy version of James Bond. Chuck works as an computer whiz in the 'nerd herd' at the Buy More (electronics chain store) by day, then as a spy by night. The Nerd herd is the computer and electronics technical support division of the Buy More. The 'herders' include Chuck, his best bud since childhood Morgan, Anna Wu, Jeff and Lester.

Dr who is the sci-fi show I have grown up watching. My fave Doctors and Dr fashions have been; Tom Baker (Long block coloured scarf), Jon Pertwee (also fan of his role as Worzel Gummidge) David Tennant as the 10th Doctor, this is when the Doctor became a more snappy dresser, wearing vintage business suits with Chuck Taylor's. David Tennant was the most handsome of the bunch including the new 11th Doctor played by Matt Smith. Bringing on a new writer and director for the 11th Doctor series, you will see the Doctor as never seen before- more affectionate towards companions. I love the Dalecks too! they are meant to be scary, but when the roll about and yell 'Extermintae! Exterminate!' I can't help but laugh! 

Freaks and Geeks was one of the first spawns of crass teen comedy writer Judd Apatow. It was a short series that aired between 1999-2000. The show centered on a 'Daria' like teen Lindsay and her nerdy brother Sam at high school in the 1980's. Their friends and acquaintances consisted of both freaks and Geeks.....obviously! The series featured a young James Franco and Seth Rogen.

My most loved geeky films include; Star Wars, The Matrix, Back to the Future, The Goonies, Juno (Michael Cera), Napoleon Dynamite and John Hughes classics; Revenge of the nerds, Weird Science, Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles and Ferris Buellers Day off etc.

Japan Geek culture; like the Japanese 'Otaku' (Japan term for people who have obsessive interests.) I'm obsessed with many Japan related things like; retro gaming, Anime- fave being any of the Studio Ghibli collection, collecting toys (mainly from the 80's-90's), Blythe Dolls, comics and other movie collectibles. Some of my fave haunts in Japan was Osaka's Den Den town and Tokyo's Nakano Broadway.

Vintage Gaming; I still play and collect games and gaming units of Amiga, Sega Mega Drive, and Nintendo 64. My favourite gaming genre is Adventure point 'n' click. In the early 90's and even now (thanks to PC Dos emulators) I often play games from the Serria Discovery series; Eco Quest, Incredible machine, Peppers Adventures in time, Kings Quest. Lucas arts; Maniac Mansion, Day of the tentacle, Leisure Suit Larry, Monkey Island, Indiana Jones. My all time fave game has to be, The Adventures of Willy Beamish. I have played these games over and over again, and till this day. My no.1 modern console today is the Nintendo DS, their format is now known for it's new voluminous selection of 'point 'n' click adventures' such as; Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Runaway and Professor Layton...just to name a few. 

My all time favourite geek has to be Family Matters; Steve Urkel. I would often treat family members to my impersonations of Urkel. I would even go as far as wearing jean pants with braces, pig snort and say "did I dooooo That' and call people my "macadamia nut".

This is a picture of me 'Geek Chic-ing' out.I have my Japan flannie on that I got from Uniqlo (in the guys section). The glasses are my hubbies (don't need glasses yet though. If i did I would get a Lisa Loeb pair!)

Hope you have all enjoyed some of my 'favourite Geeky things'. What are some of yours?

Loving Lisa Loeb and her Eyewear

Friday, May 21, 2010 1 Comments A+ a-

Why many may remember Lisa Loeb for her intimate and vulnerable acoustic tunes like the Reality Bites movie tune Stay. However she is probably just as well known for her 1920's inspired cat-eye glasses. Now 42, married and pregnant, Lisa Loeb is about to release her very own eyewear 'The LL Collection'. Working with Classique Eyewear Lisa has designed pieces she would wear and love that can be worn both day and night. Loeb states that her collection will be "classic and stylish, think sexy librarian not retro grandma". Each design is made to frame every face for any occasion featuring frames in black, tortoise shell, with signature accents such as temple designs, etchings and rhinestones. That's not all! Each frame will be named after one of her songs! I don't need or wear glasses, but this makes me want too!

It was Lisa Loebs music that got me through those awkward 'boy pining' high school days.
I would sing and play along to her Cd's on my acoustic guitar, while relating her songs back to my life- it was a comfort. Her songs seemed to sum up every relationship scenario. If I had a question or was looking for some understanding, Lisa would always know and have the answer. My most cherished albums of the Lisa Loeb collection are Tails (1995), Firecraker (1997), Cake and Pie (2002) and The Way it really is (2004).
Tails told me that Lisa was a cat lover (like me), if it's over It's Over, she asked me Do I sleep? She comforts me by telling me 'I'm not too tired for this life, and it doesn't matter if you fall down twice (Snow Day) but is she pulling Taffy? Not all the love songs have been written, each love is unique (Sandalwood) however sometimes you can't make them Stay.

Firecracker let me know that it's ok do be tired, done with thinking, done with crying - I do, I will be Falling in love with a boy with clear blue eyes-I did, live Truthfully and you will be finding 'your' finally,  don't be afraid to ask why or How, be careful of Furious Rose, don't let people stop or stand in the way of your Wishing Heart.

Playing Lisa's Cake & Pie you will find out The Way it really is, that she to has been the Underdog, I too don't want to be standing the last in line Everyday, maybe someday I will be noticed and become Someone you should know, I just need a Kickstart... Oh and the song We could still belong together is really catchy!

Say Hello to my friend....Babysitters Club

Thursday, May 20, 2010 0 Comments A+ a-

Now 26, It appears that I am still reading Ann M. Martins Babysitters Club books and eating through packets of Oreo's. The 176 million selling series Author not long ago decided to release...and rehash some of the first Babysitters Club titles. Not only is the first book of the series Kristy's Great idea available in novel form, but has also been released as a graphic novel by scholastic- not a fan of the modernised covers though!

What made Babysitters club popular among readers was that each teen could relate or want to aspire to be like one of it's main characters. Stacey and Mary-Ann were my favourite characters; I enjoyed Stacey McGills New York life ramblings and thought she was super stylish with her big blonde curly hair tied up to the side with scrunchies. Mary-Ann Spier was giving, friendly and shy and dated Logan, she was also able to stand up to bullies the 'three brunettes' which include the mean 'queen bee' Marcy.
Kristy Thomas; a tomboy and fearless leader of the Babysitters club was a bit pushy, bossy and outspoken, but was the heart of the babysitters club. Dawn Schafer the 'hippie do-gooder' of the group and a vegetarian from California who became Mary-Ann's step sister. Claudia Kishi the artist of the group who was addicted to candy and not really good at things like maths. Teens needed Claudia, to show that just because you may not be good at maths doesn't mean that you aren't smart and that being good at creative subjects was a smart talent too.
Mallory Pike and Jessi Ramsey were the junior members of the club; Jessi was the ballerina of the group who enjoyed speaking 'pig Latin' and Mallory was a bookworm from a family of gingers.

As well as following the book series I played the boardgame and watched the 1990 American series; which consisted of 13, 30 minute episodes. I have been collecting these on VHS tapes found at second hand stores and garage sales. Fave episodes included; Mary-Ann and the Brunettes, Stacey's big break (She becomes a model) and Claudia and the secret passage.
I did prefer some of the Babysitters actors in the TV series over the full-length 1995 full-length film. This was always my no.1 video to rent and loved it just as much as the series. It focused on the Babysitters Club setting up a day camp for their child clients in the American summer holidays. Starring Rachel Leigh Cook (She's all that) as Mary-Ann and Larissa Oleynick (Secret world of Alex Mack, 10 things I hate about you) as Dawn.

Deciding to open up my Babysitters Club horizons this month I read Ann M. Martins latest Babysitters Club release 'The Summer before' to find out how it all began!
The novel focuses on the main characters Kristy, Mary-Ann, Stacey and Claudia, with each chapter written from a different character point of view. Kristy is hoping her father will return for her next birthday whilst dealing with the prospect of having a new family (aka Karen- Little Sister books). Mary-Ann is trying to prove that she is no longer a little girl to her strict father. Stacey is leaving her New York city life for Stoneybrook and wonders if she will be able to adapt and make new friends, while Claudia feels like she is growing up faster then the rest of the girls and gets her first boyfriend. It's worth the read to find out how the Babysitters Club formed.

Note:Accessories and books on cork board available from Fred flare; Peanut butter and Jelly wallet, Floral glasses, books; Bike Snob, Whoopie pies and The Satorlist.

Jane Gazzo 'The Music VJ Queen'

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 0 Comments A+ a-

Reading through the May 16th, Sunday Telegraph's, Sunday magazine I was happy to see Jane Gazzo featured in their 'can't live without' section. Jane shares with us 'a few of her favourite things' aka can't live without items like her; Leopard print suitcase, celebrity doll collection (I have the Boy George doll too!), radio, chilli sauces, The Smiths albums, Letters and Converse 'Chuck Taylors' etc.
Jane might not be able to live without these items, well Jane the music industry can't live without you! Her career profile reads as a music journalist/ VJ dream, having worked in radio on Triple J as well as BBC radio in London (with Russell Brand!). Gazzo was also part of the talent on music video/review show Recovery as mentioned in my Aussie nostalgia TV show blog. Jane Gazzo is still an important force in the music industry working at Channel [V] and as a DJ....when she has time.

I was lucky to have met Jane when I did some work at XYZ Networks (Channel [V]). She is just as lovely and diligent in person- I would also often see Jane leaving the Channel [V] offices on her way to a music job....with her 'can't live without' leopard-print suitcase.

For me Jane Gazzo is the 'Music VJ Queen'- Who is your fave VJ?

Notable May DVD Releases

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 0 Comments A+ a-

US Releases
The day has finally arrived!! MTV cult animation classic Daria: The complete series, has finally been released on DVD!! Now we can relive Daria Morgendorffers, Lawndale high school moments through the eyes of a 90's sarcastic teen cynic. Who could forget her eccentric, artistic BFF Jane, Jane's Brother Trent (Daria's long-time crush) and her oversexed, self -absorbed sister Quinn. It's about time!

Leap Year; an Irish themed rom-com starring the lovable Amy Adams (Enchanted, Julie & Julia). Inspired by the Irish tradition that allows women to propose to men on 'Leap Day' influences Anna (Amy Adams) to propose to her boyfriend of four years. Like all rom-coms, this creates an obstacle that will lead Anna on an unexpected path to love.

Aussie Releases

Whitney Port's The City season 1: New job, new friends and New York. Standouts of the season included; behind the scenes look into Olivia Palermo's accessories Editor role at Elle Magazine ( Love her fashion sense, but she can come across as ungrateful and snobby at times), Whitney starts to realise her dream of becoming a 'fashion designer' (don't trust that Roxy girl though)- Love how this season focuses on 'creative industry jobs' over boys and relationships. 

Up in the air; Jason Reitman, and Oscar nominated director of Juno, adapts Walter Kim's novel about corporate downsizing and the cherished and isolating life of a frequent flyer. Reitman's films make you feel like you are watching a 'everyday' persons life unfolding, just meters an observer in a park, playground or airport.

Did you hear about the Morgans; A rom-com would not be complete without Hugh Grant! Like Sex & the City Sarah Jessica Parker plays a successful career woman in New York city, trying to come to terms with a falling relationship (marriage). After witnessing a murder Parker's character and her cheating husband (Grant) are taken into the Witness Protection Program....located in the middle of nowhere....with bears. Was not worth seeing at the movies, but makes for a 'good curl up rainy day' viewing.

Other notable releases include; Sherlock Holmes, Heath Ledgers last role in The imagination of Dr Parmassus and Bran Nue Dae.

May Movies

Friday, May 14, 2010 0 Comments A+ a-

Lets take a look at what's showing at the movies this month....well what's left of it!

I Love you too is shaping up to be the 'next best' Aussie film. A romantic buddy film written by comic Peter Helliar (Rove). A film about the 'courage to pursue' the one you love...from a man's perspective. About time the Aussie film industry does a romantic comedy. Also stars sexy 'Chuck' spy actress Yvone Strahosvski. It really annoyed me when Yvone was mentioned in the Aussie media, she kept being refered to as known for her role in 'an American' TV series'! It's not just any series, it's Chuck the best spy-comedy show on TV! Show some respect people!

Iron Man 2 da da dum dum da dadadada da da dum (attempt at humming the theme motif). The man....being Robert Downey Jr. dons the suit again in this Blockbuster Marvel epic. Iron Man is on an ego boost but Mickey Rourke, who nails the part as Russian Iron Man nemesis 'Whiplash', pulls him down a few pegs. His side-kick, a cockatoo, also did a great job!! If you think that Scarlett Johansson's character 'Black widow' is there to cause a love triangle between Pepper Potts (Gwenyth Paltrow) and Iron Man, you will be mistaken. The Black Widow fighting scene towards the end of the movie is one of the best and unique action fights I have seen in a long time! Tthis is a movie to go and see at the cinemas! worth the crunching $17.50 Just don't count on being able to hear at the end of it....the action was so loud my ears were ringing by the end. (nothing a few ear drops can't fix).

Robin Hood Russell Crowe takes a stab at playing the legendary hero, supported by Cate Blanchett as Lady Marion. The film centres on Robin Hood's humble beginnings, confronting corruption and rising up against the crown that will alter the balance of power forever. Expect lots of sloppy mud, archery, grunts from Russell Crowe and justice. A Ridley Scott production means we won't be disappointed....hmm I think I would love this movie more if Sam Worthington was in the lead! Stinky critics, I loved Clash!

The Back-Up Plan a case of real- life imitating movies in this J-Lo rom-com. Worried about not finding the man of her dreams, 'Jenny from the block' looks to artificial insemination which leads to her conceiving twins (Note: J-Lo has twins in real life....this the imitating life part). On the same day she meets the man of her dreams, played by vampire 'Moonlight' actor Alex O'Loughlin. The Wedding Planner and Maid in Manhattan are some of my fave rom-coms, so I'm curious to see how this one goes.

Letters to Juliet Amanda Seyfried must be the 'girl' of the moment; Jennifer's Body, Dear John, appearing on every Aussie mag cover; Cleo, Girlfriend...
Seyfried is able to pull off sincerity with finesse in her acting roles so this should not disappoint her fans. Seyfried describes Letters to Juliet as her rom-com 'fluff' piece. Ironically it was Claire Daines role as Juliet in Baz Luhrmanns Romeo + Juliet that inspired Amanda to become an actress. So there is no surprise in her taking up the role of Sophie a girl on a vacation to Italy, who finds unanswered letters to a girl named Juliet. Queue a quest to find the lovers referenced in the letters, re-uniting a long lost love.

Prince of Persia:The Sands of Time What does Prince of Persia and Clash of the Titans have in common? Both heroes embark on a perilous journey to stop an angry ruler, both feature UK beauty Gemma Arterton (St Trinian's, Quantum of Solace), Both based on something classic be it a video game or movie, Both set in Greece, Both fight mythological demons, Both need to find a special object to put an  end to evil ie. Medussa's head or for Prince of Persia 'The Dagger of time'. The main similarity to note is that they are; both MUST SEES!

Also coming to the movies in May; futuristic action-thriller remake Repo Man starring Jude Law, 3D dance drama Street Dance- I'd rather wait for Step-Up 3 in 3D though and a Nightmare on Elm Street horror remake.

Japan in Sydney City

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 0 Comments A+ a-

There were so many things I loved about Japan that made coming home from my trip very dismal. Lucky I have found some of my favourite Japanese things to buy in my nearest city- Sydney!

1. Japanese Magazines: Kinokuniya bookstores are in all of Japan's major cities. It is the destination for Japanese books, stationary and magazines. There's a Kinokuniya in Sydney City in the Galeries Victoria- across the road from the QVB. As well as selling English books, the back of the store is Japan heaven selling; books in Japanese (Kanji) craft and interior decorating books are the best! They also sell most Japanese magazines my faves being Popteen, Kera, Zipper, Cutie, Jelly and travel mag Rurubu (Closer look at these titles coming soon).
2. Morning Glory: These gift stores are scattered all around Chinatown found at Market City, Hay and Dixon Street. They sell everything from; Kawaii notebooks, stationary, bags, mobile charms, clocks, homewares all covered in popular Japanese characters like Cinnamonroll, Hello Kitty, Totoro (Studio Ghibli characters) and the 'Morning glory' mascot blue bear.

3. Breadtop: Many people may not know how amazing the Patisseries in Japan are (Better then Paris!). Breadtop is a bread and pastries paradise selling unique, quirky savoury and sweet items that would make anyone drool some include; red bean buns, sausage bun, tarco toast, mousse/ cheesecakes, chocolate marble bites and my fave crepes! The crepes come in all sorts of flavours; mango, blueberry and strawberry ( a cream, sponge cake, fruit wrapped in a crepe). Breadtop is similar to the other 'on-the-go' bread stores of Japan and can be found in any town. Sydney's Breadtops can be found on Sussex street Chinatown and in the World Square building on George street.

4. Miracle Supermarkets: Asian supermarket offering everything from sweets, chips, drinks, noodles, sauces, meats, fresh food. All items are imported from Asian countries like Japan! The sweet and chocolate section is the place to be where you will find treats like pocky, kit-kats with unique flavours like strawberry and Jasmine tea! I always go here to get my Hello Panda's -biscuit treat with chocolate or strawberry cream inside. The Sydney Miracle supermarket is also located in World Square on George street, Breadtop is actually connected to the store! Bonus!

More Japan related blogs coming soon...

For a closer look into some of the Japan Magazine's mentioned click here for my Japanese glossy scene update as seen on Girl with a Satchel