Wednesday, 31 May 2006

Whiteley sculpture

This sculpture by Brett Whitely rises from The Domain, behind the Art Gallery of NSW. It's called "Almost Once" made of blackbutt timber and fibreglass consisting of two large ‘redhead’ matches, one live and one burnt, on a concrete base (conceived in 1968 and finished in 1991).

Whitely was one of Australia's pre-eminent artists of the second half of the 20th century. He died in 1992.

I'm heading home across the Pacific from LA today.

Tuesday, 30 May 2006

Sydney City Library

The former Customs House at Circular Quay is now the Sydney City Library. The foyer is beautiful, like some sort of club lounge. The day I visited there was jazz music playing. Unfirtunatley, I think the ambience is marred by the red plastic 'spaceship' Inquiry desk.

Monday, 29 May 2006

Battery charged

A battery-charged busker at Circular Quay.

And for me, a last stop on my trip - to Los Angeles for two nights.

Sunday, 28 May 2006

Ferris wheel

Ferris wheel at Luna Park. there's another photo posted on Sydney Daily Photo Extra. I just couldn;t decide which I liked best.

Saturday, 27 May 2006

Luna Park - Just For Fun!

Luna park is a funfair right on Sydney Harbour, practically under the Harbour Bridge. Alongside it there is a boarwalk around to the next little cove, Lavender Bay. All along the boardwalk are some little sculptures. This one is of the famous "laughing face" entrance to Luna Park.

It is part of a "Comic Walk" of12 sculptures created by Peter Kingston, who was an artist at Luna Park until the 1979 fire.

You can find out all about the real thing here. It's been there since 1935. I used to love going there when I was a kid, but sadly my two favourrite rides are no longe rthere: the Ghost Train (closed after a tragic fire which killed seven people), and the Big Dipper (closed after nearby residents complained about noise.) The Big Dipper now runs at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast, apparently.

Friday, 26 May 2006

Chinese market garden

This market garden has been in existence continuously since 1892. You can rad all about it on my other blog here.

Thursday, 25 May 2006

Sydney sandstone



This is a detail of the Frazer fountain in Hyde Park. I like it because it shows pretty well the texture of Sydney sandstone. It's a beautifully warm stone which many of the best buildings in Sydney are made from. There are a few masons around still able to work in it, especially necessary for restoration and conservation work.

Everywhere you go around Sydney you see this beautiful stone in outcrops, the bush, road cuttings, etched with Aboriginal carvings, and made into some of our most beautiful buildings.

On to New York City today, via London. Looking forward to the brownstone of NYC.

Wednesday, 24 May 2006

Frazer fountain, Hyde Park


This is one of two drinking fountains gifted in the 1880s to the people of Sydney by John Frazer. It was a time when many houses lacked water connections, Carved in Pyrmont stone by Lawrence Beveridge.

Tuesday, 23 May 2006

Victoria Bitter


The beer bottle known as a "long neck". VB is Australia's most popular full-strength beer. It's one of the brand names brewed by Foster's. So next time an Aussie tells you they "don't drink Foster's" tell them they're full of it! What they mean is the Fosters lager with the blue label which is brewed and distributed overseas.

Monday, 22 May 2006

Moss


Water has to go somewhere. This is in Hickson Road, Sydney, opposite the wharves. A large cutting was carved out of Sydney sandstone to enable a road. Seepage holes are provided all along. I got dripped on several times. This was the most luscious example of the moss that grows from the seepage holes and along the base of the cutting.

Sunday, 21 May 2006

Mosman Bay

A favourite Sydney walk of mine is to catch the ferry to Mosman Bay, and then walk around to Cremorne Point. There are beautiful views of the harbour the whole way.

I'm off to Istanbul today, another city with a beautiful waterway and ferries.

Saturday, 20 May 2006

Empty till


This is what you do when your restaurant is closed and you want to discourage robbers.

Friday, 19 May 2006

Olive grove

This is a grove of olives planted in a park near where I live. It was in appreciation for the contribution made by people of Greek background to the development of the area. It is such an unexpectedly delightful thing to come across in a suburban park.

In the background is the city; in the middle, the ,ong slender tower is Sydney Tower, and to the left you can just make out the rounded arch of Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Thursday, 18 May 2006

Peugeot graveyard

I wonder if it is being restored? I spotted it through a chink in the fence at a nearby car repairer's workshop.

Wednesday, 17 May 2006

Wheel away watermelons

Outside one of my local shops, right before the halal chicken shop and the Lebanese pastry shop.

Tuesday, 16 May 2006

Brolgas


This fountain at Darling Harbour has a series of dancing brolgas ringing it.

The "Brolga Dance" fountain" is the work of Terrance Plowright.

Brolgas are a type of crane native to northeastern Australia, noted for their elegant coutship dances.

There's even an Australian Christmas carol about brolgas. You can listen to it here.

Monday, 15 May 2006

Sydney Tower from Hyde Park

Sydney Tower is atop an office and shopping centre in the centre of the city. It is a popular tourist site giving some great views for the city. You can even walk outside as part of a commercial venture - Skywalk.

I just liked the way the "wires" were framed by the trees in Hyde Park.

Sunday, 14 May 2006

Daisy, Daisy


When I worked in Sussex St in the city, this was the assembly point when we had fire and evacuation drills. Now it's isolated in a traffic island, due to road changes in the area necessitated by the cross-city tunnel.

Now THERE's a Sydney controversy : is it a road no-one needs to use? Or is it that people object to the hefty toll? Whatever, it's not carrying nearly the capacity predicted. Yet.

Whatever the issue/s, the state government is copping a hiding from the public, mainly due to its ineptitude with the Public-Private Partnership contract which saw it built.

What wikipedia says. And here's a blog.

Saturday, 13 May 2006

Spanish Quarter


The Liverpool Street area west of George St of Sydney is dubbed "The Spanish Quarter". There are lots of Spanish restaurants there. This sign is on the side of The Spanish Club. Some friends and I got very, very ill there one night, and it couldn't possibly have had anything to do with the 22 jugs of sangria and numerous bottles of wine that were consumed...

Friday, 12 May 2006

Terra Australis Incognita

Today I'm off to Barcelona.

This fella dressed in the Shakespearean outfit is Pedro Fernandez de Quiros (1565-1615). Portuguese-born, in the service of Spain, who some claim discovered Australia (highly disputed). He did reach one island of the New Hebrides (Vanuatu) and call it La Austrialia del Espiritu Santo. . . the name "Australia" was apparently coined by his translator. He took it to be part of the mythical Great Southern land (Terra Australis Incognita). What Wikipedia says.

This statue is in an untidy little square called the Plaza Iberoamericana near Central railway station. I often wondered what these statues were about and stopped to have a look. The plaza was established as part of Australia's 1988 Bicentennial celebrations to recognise the contribution of Spanish speaking people to Australia.

Monday, 8 May 2006

Place de Sydney


OK, it's not in Sydney, but it's a little piece of Sydney in Paris. Which is where I am today. Thanks to my partner, Piero who is at home "pushing the button" !

Sunday, 7 May 2006

Chinese garden


This tranquil scene is from the Chinese Friendship Garden at Darling Harbour. It's a really beautiful and restful place in one of the most heavily touristed areas of Sydney.

The garden was designed by Sydney's sister city in China, Guangzhou and adjoins Chinatown. It was initiated by the local Chinese community to celebrate the Australian Bicentenary in 1988.

I love coming here.

Today I'm in Hong Kong. Thanks to my partner, Piero, who is home "pushing the button" while I gallivant around the globe. XXX Piero.

Saturday, 6 May 2006

Imperial Chinese Ladies


These two young women were at the Chinese Friendship Garden in Darling Harbour. They are visitors from The USA, and were enjoying themselves immensely dressed up in outfits from the costume shop. They told me they hadn't intended to come to the garden today, but "had gone where their hearts led them".

Not my heart, but an airline is leading me to Hong Kong this afternoon, where somehow I think life is a little different these days!

Friday, 5 May 2006

Three wise monkeys


Pub on the corner of George and Liverpool Streets. The Australasian Bank branch was established on this site in 1879 and the current building dates from 1886. It was a bank until 1998.

The building is a good example of Victorian Italianate architecture.

Many bank branches have closed in the past few years, and all the while the banks have been making massive profits.

I think the "Three Wise Monkeys" may have been equally appropriate for its former life as a bank, too!

Thursday, 4 May 2006

Apartment zig-zag

This apartment building is one of many in the Chinatown / Darling Harbour area. It looks over the Chinese Friendship Garden.

Wednesday, 3 May 2006

Ibis


Media release - 15 November 2003 (National Parks and Wildlife Service)

Families, picnickers, joggers and dog walkers were asked to count ibis numbers in their local areas to provide the first estimate of their numbers across the city.

Ibis numbers appear to have increased in recent years the city and suburbs, probably due to drought in traditional breeding grounds in Western NSW.

The ibis are native to NSW, where they follow water as it moves around the state's constantly changing inland waterways. They started breeding in Sydney in the late 1970s and are now seen evrywhere in parks.

I got up close to this one at Darling Harbour.

Tuesday, 2 May 2006

MacCallum Pool, Cremorne


To me, swimming is an integral part of growing up in Australia. I couldn't imagine not being able to swim anytime I wanted. Most people know Sydney for its beaches, Bondi in particular. I love pool swimming, and this idyllic setting is MacCallum's Pool at Cremorne, on Sydney Harbour. It's free.

Monday, 1 May 2006

Speakers Corner - May Day

Every Sunday, in a corner of The Domain, near the Art Gallery of NSW (background), speakers with a point to make set themselves up and have a go at espousing their views. This fellow had about ten people sitting on the grass being mildly entertained by what he had to say.

The "Speakers Corner" idea was inherited from Hyde Park in London. Compared to its heyday in the 1930s, and then again in the 1960s, Speakers Corner is a rather pale shadow these days.

Traditionally, May Day (International Workers day) rallies ended here.

You can read more about it here.