weeknotes #33: and so vegan tacos called my name

As I’m writing this, I am also thinking back on the previous few weeknotes I’ve written, where it seems like I have popped in a social event or two, or “gone out” at least once a week, whereas before that, I felt like I was stuck in some weird rut. It seems like I’m busy and have a lot going on, and that maybe things are going great – and they are! – but we can’t forget the fact that I’m an introvert masquerading (or at least, trying to masquerade) as an extrovert. Or at least someone who goes out and likes to socialise.

I suppose last week wasn’t really all that long ago, and I have been trying to do my weeknotes weekly, but I felt pretty destroyed once that time of the month hit, and then what I remember since then is trying to deal with a whole bunch of bloat and gas pain, and then Nick and I were able to see both our families in one weekend. Woohoo! 😊

Last Thursday we stopped by one of our favourite (if not just our favourite) bars, Jacoby’s Tiki Bar, because they were launching a new cocktail menu. We enjoyed a couple of them and then went for vegan Mexican at Vandal.

Two cocktails, one in a clear large cocktail glass with a stem, and the other in an opaque mug shaped like a face. In the background is a bar with yellow lighting and many bottles of alcohol.
Nick got the “Rapa Nui Nui” and I got the “Funky Monk”
A plate with two servings of a small Mexican appetiser, corn chip with some tomato and avocado
We ordered the set menu and this was one of the starter plates
A selfie of me, Georgie, an Asian woman with short dark hair, and Nick, a white man with short dark hair. I am wearing a blue jacket and Nick is wearing a red floral shirt
Might have been a little loopy from the drinks 🤫

Nick liked the food a lot more than other vegan food he had tried in the past, so that was good! 🌮 The churros were so naughty, but very good, made with a lot of rich coconut flavours for the sweet syrup and the ice cream.

Two small spring rolls served on a plate, garnished with a drizzle of sauce
Little “sausage” spring rolls (vegan!)
A dish with two soft shell tacos, served with mock meat and vegetables
Soft “bulgogi beef” tacos
A bowl of dessert with churros and ice cream
A decadent dessert

So, about ten years ago (long-time followers of my blog will remember), I was a concert photographer, and although I didn’t find myself in Newtown/Enmore often, I did go to a bunch of gigs there. I often went to concerts alone, and juggling that voluntary job with my full-time work and full-time study, along with living so far out from the city, I was always on the lookout for places to kill some time after work and before a gig. It was pretty damn miserable hanging out in the office, I’ll tell you that much. I would love for there to be more chilled-out cafes to work in (in Sydney), in the hours around 4:00pm—8:00pm. You get Starbucks, and that’s about it. Plus, franchises and chains don’t feel as warm and cosy as a cafe. A library or study area at university doesn’t cut it either…

There was a cafe near what used to be Newtown Social Club – the club is now an entertainment venue with a mini golf course, called Holey Moley. I actually kind of liked the vibe at Newtown Social Club! Anyway, I had forgotten the name of this cafe nearby. Recently, I really wanted to find out what it was, and was certain it had closed. All I remembered was that it had a cosy vibe, cushions on the chairs, and was one of the only cafe-like places I’d ever seen. It felt, at the least, vegetarian-friendly, generally selling health-conscious stuff. I would stop by there before a gig, to relax and have a cup of tea. It was unusually dark, the doors to the place were floor-to-ceiling glass, and they had some basic food on offer too.

I couldn’t for the life of me remember this place. I couldn’t remember the name of the place, nor the logo or signage. I remembered roughly that it was near an entertainment venue, and when I say “near”, I mean almost basically next door. I think the name had numbers in it, but couldn’t be too sure. I had asked in our Sydney Slack channel at work, and people jumped on to help me figure it out, but we didn’t have enough information. Prior to meeting up with Nick to go to Jacoby’s, I walked around the area of vegan restaurants on King Street, trying to see if I recognised any of the restaurant fronts or interiors. Vandal caught my eye not only because of the glass doors (that looked similar to the cafe I was looking for), but because the interior looked bright and inviting.

While I was waiting for Nick, I watched a band play near the community centre, only to realise that the bassist was Murray Cook, previously from Australian children’s music group The Wiggles. 😂 We watched them for a little bit before continuing with our plans for the night.

A band playing in front of an old community centre hall. There is a man playing bass and a woman singing. Some people are in front of the small stage, dancing.
They drew a small crowd, including some children and an elderly man who enjoyed dancing to the music. Murray is the bloke on the far left

I looked back at the front of Vandal before we went home that night. The giant street number caught my eye for some reason (probably because it was giant), and out of curiosity I just looked up the address. It turns out that there was a cafe there before Vandal, a cafe called 2042 cafe. I looked it up, to see if I could find photos of it. And lo and behold, the photos confirmed that 2042 cafe was the cafe I had been trying to remember. It was a pretty simple deli/cafe, it didn’t look all that fancy, and I knew it wasn’t amazing in the grand scheme of things, but it was just nice to remember it.

I caught up with my friend Olivia since she was visiting Sydney for a short period of time. We had vegan ramen and vegan ice cream! 🌱 We also had some time beforehand before the restaurant opened, so we actually did end up going to Holey Moley. I’d never been there since the old club became a golf course.

A close-up of a woman’s hand holding a cup of ice cream in an ice cream shop with bright yellow decor. The ice cream is pink and matches some of the woman’s fingernails.
I love Mapo for its vegan options
A selfie of two Asian women, one with short dark hair and a light blue jacket, and the other with long dark hair and a black jacket. They are both smiling.
Me and Olivia! 💜

Somehow I have come full circle in this post – holey moley! (OK, bad joke) – linking several different places in the same area of Newtown, and then coming back to my feelings of introversion. 🔋 I like hanging out with people I care about, but now it’s time to recharge my batteries all over again.

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