I've been living in and servicing the electrical needs of residents and businesses of Chatswood now for eight years, and I've got to say, I love the metropolis that it has become.
It's easy to rest on your laurels in your home suburb and get into a routine of go to work, go home, order UberEats and Jimmy Brings and watch Netflix without really appreciating what's on your door step.
Recently, I stopped and reflected for a moment on how lucky we are to be able to enjoy life's luxuries without even leaving our comfort zone.
I know it's a bit out of scope from your local electrician to give you a guide to the city, but I'm a human too. I'm a son, a brother, an uncle, a friend and a neighbour, and I've got this website, so there's no limit to how I can help you.
I want to share with you some of the things I love most about Chatswood.
Next time you've got a visitor come to town, and you're wondering what to do with them, try a few of these simple pleasures.
1. You can buy an envelope any time of the day.
Okay, you got me, your visitors probably won't care about this. But if you have a whim to send them a written invitation to visit you in Chatswood, then they'll appreciate that you had the convenience of buying an envelope and a stamp so as you could act on your spontaneity any time of the day.
Chatswood Post Office has a vending machine that's accessible 24/7 where you can buy satchels, stamps and envelopes. So now there's no excuse to not send your Mum a hand written invitation for Mother's Day!
2. You can stop and smell the roses.
With 10,000 people living in 3 square km, it gets hard to find some personal space where you can sit and think and reflect.
Just up the stairs from the post office is the Garden of Remembrance.
An oasis of serene smelling roses where you can take time out from the bustle of work or shopping for personal reflection, or some precious alone time for a few minutes.
3. You can be in a rain forest.
The rose garden is right next to the train station and busy Albert Avenue, so while it's good for a quick time out, if you want even more serenity, there is a little known bush walk on the other side of the highway.
No word of a lie, in just 10 minutes, you won't be able to hear the traffic, or see the buildings.
The Ferndale Park loop will keep you out of trouble for at least an hour and a half depending on how far along the river you want to go.
No matter what time of year it is, the green ferns, trickling streams, protective canopies and cackling cockatoos will make you forget the manic megalopolis that is Sydney. You can stroll through there with your friend and catch up on life with easy going conversation.
4. You can eat pretty much anything you want.
If there's one thing Chatswood is known for it's food.
Chatswood has fast become one of Sydney’s leading dining precincts, and there's even a Chatsfood website dedicated to keeping us up to date with what's on offer.
Any chain worth it's salt will give Chatswood a go (think Mamak, Krispy Kreme, Shanghai Stories, Peppa Lunch, Din Tai Fung), but with the ever-growing competition they've got to be constantly on game to survive.
I know I'm going to kick myself for dropping this, but one of our hidden gems, is a little family run restaurant that makes the best hand made noodles.
Xin Jiang Hand Made Noodle may not be where you take people that are impressed by flashy decor and expensive menus, but it is where you take good friends who are impressed by simple, stand out food and good conversation. BYO bottle of wine, order the fried lamb noodles and the chive pancake, and catch up with your visiting friend in what feels like a family dining room.
5. You can catch up for a cold one.
At first glance, Chatswood doesn't seem to have a bar culture, but there is actually more liquor licenses per capita here than any other suburb in Sydney.
Not only are most of the hundreds of restaurants licensed, allowing you to have a delicious entree and a beer, but there's also ten bars in walking distance from each other where you should be able to find the right vibe for you.
The Avenue, The Chelsea, The Chatswood Club, The Melting Pot, The Orchard, The RSL, The Barvarian, The Monkey Bar, The Great Northern, and The Willoughby Hotel will keep you hydrated and entertained late into the evening.
6. You can sing your heart out.
The benefit of having the Asian demographic in Chatswood is that as a community we appreciate the therapeutic benefits of singing.
After you've lowered your inhibitions at one of our fine establishments and loosened up your vocal chords by chatting with some locals, you can let loose for a bit of a sing song.
If singing in the privacy of your own booth is what you're after, Strike has decent sized rooms with a song selection that will keep you busy for about two hours.
If you're a bit braver and want to show off your talents to the crooner community, visit the RSL on a Friday night from 8pm.
7. You can be pampered.
After you've spent the day bushwalking, eating, drinking and singing you might be a little bit worse for wear and in need of a 'pick me up'.
Never fear, we've got you covered there too.
The number of restaurants in Chatswood is closely rivaled in number only by massage parlours, nail and hair salons and day spas.
I can't vouch for all of them, but if you're looking for clean, quality, professional (no funny business) pampering, I'll give you my top picks.
Pat at Jazmine Massage is a magician sent from heaven. Honestly, I'm a big guy, and after a week on the tools my shoulders and lower back can really lock up. Pat is one of the best masseuses I've ever come across. She is tiny, but she packs a punch.
A good foot rub can be a game changer. If you've had your friend exploring Sydney for the weekend and you're both just over it, you can sit next to each other for some hushed conversation and a reflexology foot massage at Siam Escape. I can't guarantee that there won't be a wince in pain moment when they find that spot where you're holding the tension, but I can guarantee that you will walk out of there with a spring in your step.
When my female friends and relatives come into town, and they are looking for a little extra special pampering, a facial at the The Oriental Spa never fails to leave them fully blissed out. It's not really my scene, but they do have couples rooms where you can share the experience together if you're into that sort of thing.
8. You can picnic while you star gaze
You think I'm joking don't you? You're thinking there's no way you can see stars in such a built up area!
Trust me. After about 5pm (especially in winter), brew a flask of hot tea, pack a picnic blanket and comfy jacket, buy a container of BBQ pork from the many vendors on Victoria Ave, take yourself down to Beauchamp Park and set yourselves up on one of the park benches.
Before the sun goes down it's an off leash dog park, and nothing brings me more joy than watching man's best friend have the time of their life with carefree running and sniffing and wagging.
Once the sunsets, there's something about the elevation of the park, the position of the trees and the suburban neighbourhood around it that lends itself to getting dark enough to see the Southern Cross and other well known constellations.
Make sure you take your friend with you, because you don't want people to wonder what you're doing sitting in a dark park by yourself!
There's way more to do in Chatswood, especially when there's festivals on, and I could go on for days, because I am so proud of this city, but I've just been called out to look at a faulty switch board, so I'll leave it there for now.
P.S. If you're having problems with your safety switch tripping, check out this blog to find out the first thing we get apprentices to do which works 80% of the time.