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Who are you?

Hi! My name is Steve and I'm a bookseller in Potts Point. If I'm not selling books I'm most likely reading or reviewing them over on my instagram @whatstevereads 

Steve Stein

What are you watching?

I spend so much of my free time reading that I don't always get the chance to dive deeply into finding interesting things to watch. I rely a lot on my boyfriend to bring me stuff that I would otherwise have missed, his recent find is @bonappetitmag's youtube channel, which is pretty much filled with a bunch of chefs trying out and sharing new recipes and cooking techniques - it's light and funny and genuinely useful too.

Elsewhere in my viewing I like to switch my brain off and be transported elsewhere; Bob's Burgers is a constant re-watch and I just finished off the final season of Schitt's Creek. If you're out of things to watch and need a quick, uplifting distraction just check out the YouTube channel of @junobirch.

 

What are you eating?

I love to eat and I love to cook at home and I get the bulk of my fresh produce each week from The Locals Market (a brilliant organic marketplace which operates out of the rooftop at Paramount House in Surry Hills) which tends to make my culinary attempts much more successful.

The Locals Market

Ironically when I want to make an effort with my food at home I tend to keep things simple. I don't eat meat so I love finding flavours in unexpected spices and fresh herbs - dhals and soups are one of my favourite ways to do this (check out Meera Sodha's recent cookbook East for endless inspiration), but I also love to just pulverise some stuff and make a super fresh salad dressing, or to roast a bunch of vegetables in the oven and smother them in tahini or mustard.

When I'm not up to the challenge I love eating out, for lunch my current obsession is Smalls Deli, which is a recently opened deli offering an array of sandwiches and salads and pantry essentials. For dinner I'll do Don't Tell Aunty for the best Indian food in the city or Muummaam for a veggo Thai green curry.

Smalls Deli

What are you drinking? 

Truthfully, the current situation has got me drinking a lot. As so many of my favourite restaurants have had to adapt to closing their doors one of the things many of them are offering are good priced and brilliant quality bottles of wine - I'm frequently stopping in to Arthurs on Bourke Street to try new things, I almost always go for a Pet Nat, but with the seasons changing over I'm being drawn more and more to thicker, juicier reds, but they have a brilliant selection to keep even the pickiest of drinkers happy.

 

Alternatively I'm broadening my cocktail repertoire and have moved swiftly into margarita territory. Negronis, espresso martinis and a trusty gin and tonic all hold their rightful places in my heart too. When I'm feeling lazy I go to Bart Jr. Redfern and get a cocktail in a jar, or more frequently get my boyfriend to make them for me.

negroni

If it's too early for a drink then I'm always on the hunt for good coffee, my current favourite haunt is @primarycoffee_ on Ward Street in Potts Point, it's where I get my daily coffee and pastry from and my beans for when I'm at home.

 Primary coffee

What is your favourite book and why?

I could talk about books all day (and frequently spend most days doing just that) but I'll keep this fairly short and sweet. My favourite fiction read is Ruth Ozeki's A Tale for the Time Being, the story of what happens when a Hello Kitty lunchbox washes ashore on a remote Canadian island holding the diary of a schoolgirl from Japan. Ruth opens it up and reads it and becomes wrapped up in the young girl's story and the novel flits back and forth through time and from place to place and becomes a wonderful story to get lost in; thought-provoking and uplifting and just a beautiful balm for the current world.

a tale for the time being

For those who don't like fiction I'd recommend Bill Hayes's Insomniac City, Hayes is the widow of Oliver Sacks and this memoir is filled with tidbits from their time together but also more largely it is a poignant study on city living; the crowdedness, the loneliness and all the shocking and beautiful things a city can hold when you take the time to look for them. 

What you can’t live without at the moment? 

With the world how it is I'm trying my best to keep a sense of normality and routine in place. One thing I do pretty much every day is unfurl my yoga mat out and roll around on it, in the past I would go to a yoga studio but I've now perfected the art of practicing from home thanks mostly to necessity and through trial and error.

I usually clear a lot of space so that I'm not worried about knocking anything over, light some my Provider candles to set the mood and get on Spotify to get a yoga playlist happening (for those who need some yoga jams I'd suggest checking out Sam Belyea and Christian Ralston). I practice mostly with Body Mind Life, a Sydney based studio who are currently live streaming a bunch of classes a day for all different levels (they offer mat pilates classes too).

 

Body Mind Life

What are you looking forward to? 

It's quite tough at the moment to know what there is to look forward to. I suppose instead I'm focussing on enjoying life's little luxuries; finding an excuse to get a new tub of gelato from @cicconeandsons ,a box of doughnuts from @wearenutie or finally cracking out a handstand in my home yoga practice.

Mostly I guess I'm looking forward to stuff getting back up and running, people getting back to work, being able to be creative and productive and seeing what the world and our local communities become after this shared global experience.