Like many people, I don’t deal well with too much choice. It’s paralysing. At the supermarket I can easily blow five minutes trying to decide between the yoghurt with 0.5 per cent fat and the yoghurt with two per cent fat. I just want real, normal yoghurt, damn it.
Restaurants are the same. As the waiter moves around the table taking everyone else’s orders, I sometimes find a mild panic rising from my gut. Everything looks so good, maybe I’ll just have the – oh God, she’s getting closer, what do I want?
Putting this issue together felt a bit like that.
It’s been almost a year since Broadsheet’s physical papers returned to the streets of Sydney (how are you enjoying them, by the way? I’d love to hear your thoughts – firstname.lastname@example.org) and while you’d think the process would get easier, it hasn’t. In a city of 4.6 million, there are an almost infinite amount of stories clamouring to be told. Choices, choices, choices.
Okay, choosing to write about violin-maker Harry Vatiliotis was a no-brainer. For 65 years he’s been making some of the finest instruments in the country, out of a tiny workshop in Concord.
But “A Closer Look” was tougher. Every two months we confer with food writer Max Veenhuyzen to decide which restaurant he should examine for the series. This time we chose Arthur, a newish restaurant in Surry Hills from an exciting young chef who’s running a set menu, thereby eliminating choice almost entirely. I’m very into it.
Likewise, deciding on a dish for “How It’s Made” is rarely easy. There are just so many good ones out there. For this issue we chose an old faithful, Black Star Pastry’s popular watermelon cake. In the process I learnt what an ultrasonic cutting machine is and does.
But by far the hardest aspect of this issue was choosing which threads to pull from the enormous tapestry that is the life and work of art philanthropist John Kaldor, the subject of our cover story. Over the past 50 years the octogenarian has completed 34 public art projects in Sydney, challenging, delighting and confounding the public in the process. Where to even start?
One of the great things about newspapers is you don’t have to worry about any of this paralysing choice. Online, there’s always a dozen articles shouting for your attention. Here, all you have to do is turn the page.