Tuesday, 27 February 2007

The Royal National Park Part One

The Royal National Park, on Sydney's southern edge, is the second oldest National Park in the world (after Yellowstone). Here is the boatshed at Audley, where picknickers can enjoy rowing a boat on the Hacking River.

Apologies if I cannot visit other sites as often as I'd like at this time. Unfortunately my home computer has crashed and is in for repairs. Hope to be back visiting everybody soon!

Monday, 26 February 2007

Georges River at Taren Point


A rainy day, Sunday. I took a wrong turn and ended up at the Georges River. Fortuitous, as I managed to take this shot in what was otherwise a hot, humid, grey and rainy day.

Sunday, 25 February 2007

Saturday, 24 February 2007

Hollywood Hotel, Surry Hills

These beer signs used to be found outside every pub. They are becoming rarer nowadays, but here is a beautifully preservd one at the Hollywood Hotel, Surry Hills.

Friday, 23 February 2007

Mao Art

I don't know what the artist is trying to say. Any guesses?
It is made from light globe boxes

Thursday, 22 February 2007

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Paragliding


Did you hear about this story: German woman, Ewa Wisnierska, in Australia for the world paragliding champisonships, got sucked up 10 000 metres in a storm system . . . and survived. That's higher than Mount Everest! [Unfortunately a Chinese man also captured by the storm cloud, He Zhongpin, was not so fortunate and died of a lightning strike].
The home of paragliding and hangliding in Australia is Bald Hill, at Stanwell Tops, the lookout where I took the photo 2a few days ago. There were no paragliders there on Sunday - probably all at the championships. But this relief mural adorns the toilet block! It's all I can post as a tribute to Ewa and Zhongpin.
When they are gliding, its great to sit and watch. And that I'll show tomorrow!

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Two Queens in Sydney

Swimmers at Andrew Boy Charlton pool with the Queen Mary 2 in Woolloomooloo Bay (Garden Island) in the background. The Queen Elizabeth 2 arrives in Sydney Harbour. The flotilla includes the replica of sailing ship The Bounty.


Two Queens in Sydney. . .not all that unusual during Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras season. But these two were queens of a different kind. The Queen Mary 2 docked this morning, and her sister ship, the Queen Elizabeth 2 arrived this evening. We went down to have a look...and there's heaps more photos here.

Monday, 19 February 2007

Sea Cliff Bridge

If you click on yesterday's photo to enlarge it, you will see a road/ bridge over the water in the distance. This stretch of road used to be quite dangerous, with reasonably frequent land slips and falling rocks. It led to the road's closure in 2003. In December 2005 this new stretch of road was opened to take the road away from the escarpment face. It includes a walkway / cycleway. Here is the view from the bridge, looking north. The bumpy headland in the distance with the beach below is where yesterday's photo was taken from. You can see an aerial view of the bridge here.
In the photo below, you can see the old road cut in the rock midway up the cliff face.

Sunday, 18 February 2007

Six weird things


Just south of Sydney, at Stanwell Tops (Bald Hill Lookout), looking down the northern Illawarra coast towards Wollongong. The beach and town in the foreground is Stanwell Park. I took Mum for a drive along here today.
***************************************************************
Taking up the challenge from Nathalie to list six weird things about myself...

1. My iPOD contains mostly Barbra Streisand songs (I've loved Babs since I saw Funny Girl as a youngster - aged about 10?)

2. My iPOD contains tunes by Akon, Eminem, Snoop Doggy Dogg , 2Pac, P Diddy ...all of whom I play and like, and 50Cent, who I don't like. That's cos my son and I share the iTUNES section on the computer, so I uploaded his stuff too, and once I listened to it, I came to like a lot of it.
I like Green Day better, though, cos thy remind me of the Ramones - and that was MY era!

3. I live in famous-for-its-beaches Sydney, not far from the sea, but I much, much prefer swimming in pools (as I may just have mentioned once or twice!) I put it down to parents who hated the beach, and growing up in Melbourne....

4. I don't own a dress, and haven't since a maternity dress I had in 1993. I gave it away. I have a couple of skirts I rarely wear, and one good 'going out' outfit (lacy skirt/sequinned top). I call it my 'ballgown'.

5. Many people think it's weird that when I travel I prefer art galleries and museums, the theatre and reading to going out to pubs and clubs. I like to hit the pavements early (often before the shops are open - Paris is marvellous at that time, for example), walk and walk, then relax in my room reading at night.

6. And, I love travelling on my own, moving at my own pace, going wherever I please whenever I please (well at least for a while before I miss my own family).

Saturday, 17 February 2007

Icons and Ice Creams in a little Greek village

There I was driving around Rookwood cemetery (featured yesterday), when I came across what looked like a scene from a typical Greek village: eucalyptus trees, cypress pines, shop with smoking owner, Orthodox church, memorial reliquaries, and, of course, cafe tables. It was undoubtedly the Greek Orthodox section of Rookwood. It was a hot day so I went in to buy an ice-cream.







Friday, 16 February 2007

Crook as Rookwood (blackbird on grave)


One meaning of "crook" in Australian slang is "to be sick". Rookwood is the name of a huge general cemetery in Sydney. Hence, to be "as crook as Rookwood" is to be pretty bloody sick!
I was pretty surprised when I visited Rookwood to find that real rooks (or ravens, or crows; some blackbirds anyway), do indeed believe it is Rook Wood! (There's a bit on the Wikipedia entry about how it might have got its name - nothing to do with birds mentioned)
On this grave in the Macedonian section, I love the Santa snowstorm and mug.
For some more birds, and pics of the Chinese and Islamic sections of the cemetery, have a look at my additional photos here.

Thursday, 15 February 2007

Full House


Yes, we were part of tonight's full house at the Capital Theatre where we saw a fantastic show. What an amazing performer is Billy Crystal (for those who might not recognise the name, he might be best known as Harry in When Harry Met Sally). The show is a one-man play about his family and family friends. I can't tell you how much we laughed! More about the show inside the comments.

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Look! Autumn's coming!

The leaves in the avenue of oak trees I pass in the park on my walk to the station are starting to show the first signs of autumal browning. I noticed it for the first time this morning. Autumn is my favourite season; still warm, not too humid, cooler nights, and the sea temperature is usually at its best for swimming. What's your favourite?

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Co-Freemasonry (Le Droit Humain)

Until I went past this old building in Regent St, Chippendale, which was being gutted, I had never heard of Co-Freemasonry. It turns out it is a form of Freemasonry admitting both men and women, and so not recognised by most Orders and Grand Lodges. Apparently it originated in France in the late nineteenth century, during a period of strong feminist and women's suffrage campaigning. Co-founders were a Senator, Dr Georges Martin, and a feminist author and politician, Maria Deraismes. Given that the building is gone, and the contact phone number decades out of date, I wonder if they still exist?




Monday, 12 February 2007

Sunday, 11 February 2007

Year of the Golden Pig

Chinese New Year festivities began today in Sydney. There was a street parade (which I missed) and a festival in Belmore Park.
As I arrived a woman was singing on the stage.

I had no way of knowing whether she was good, as the sounds were only vaguely familiar to me - it sounded a BIT like traditional Beijing opera, perhaps.
Anyway, this couple clearly liked the performance, and I heard the man say "Very Good", so I felt a bit sad to be unable to fully appreciate the performance.

Nevertheless, the non-Chinese members of the audience showed their appreciation by clapping and paying attention.









Saturday, 10 February 2007

The congress of the shopping trolleys


What are these trolleys conspiring about? Planning a mass demonstration? Plotting a coup, or just turning their backs on the world and taking a breather from the frantic pace of wobbly wheel transportation? Watch out! There seems to be one behind the pillar heading off alone to wreak who knows what havoc.

Friday, 9 February 2007

Priscilla Is A Tram


Priscilla was a bus in the hit 1994 movie , Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Now Priscilla is a stage musical, and one of Sydney's light rail trams is decorated with advertising.


Thursday, 8 February 2007

Ambulance Service motorbike


There are two of these BMW bikes as part of the New South Wales Ambulance Service rapid response fleet. Until today I hadn't seen one. However this morning someone collapsed at Central Station. The bike paramedic could gain access to the concourse where the ambulance couldn't, and provide immediate assistance. When I went past, the patient was being transferred on to a trolley and then to a conventional ambulance parked outside the station.
Do you have motorbike paramedics where you are?

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

When the wind changes

When I was out at Olympic Park on Sunday, a wedding group camealong for photos. Someone had the bright idea of standing under the arc of the jets....a great idea for an arty shot, until, that is, the wind direction changed...
Here's a panorama of kids frolicking in the fountain (you can trace the path of the one in blue!) And there's more of my fountain shots if you click here.

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

The Circle Walk


The former state brick works at Homebush, between the Olympics site and Bicentennial Park, was seen in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. Home to endangered frogs, and with an integral story to tell about the industrial development of Sydney,as well as some of the oldest geological evidence, it is now a tourist attraction by virtue of the Circle Walk. Here's an interesting Blog about it.
And there's the Olympic Stadium popping up behind it! History of the State Brickworks.



Monday, 5 February 2007

Vietnamese Cao-Dai temple, Wiley Park



Located in the southwestern suburb of Wiley Park, this temple is the first Cao Dai temple to be opened outside of Asia. Cao Dai is Vietnam's largest indigenous religion, according to this website.
You can find it right next door to Lakemba Public School, and across the road from Wiley Park Public School, on the very busy King Georges Road.

Details of entrance:




Sunday, 4 February 2007

Saturday, 3 February 2007

Sydney Town Hall


I was so struck by the resemblance of the clock tower of Sydney Town Hall, and the one Curly posted yesterday from South Shields, that I just had to get this one out of the vault for comparative purposes! This was built from 1968 to 1889 in High Victorian style, of local Sydney sandstone. It has an 8000 pipe organ and lots of stained glass and tesselated tiling inside.
Lots of similarities with similar Victorian buildings round the world, I guess. Italianate influences, and Second Empire French beaux arts. There's some history of it to be read here.
The first eagle-eyed person (who may or may not follow Nathalie's or my blogs), who can guess with a degree of accuracy which time of year this photo was taken, will get a postcard from Sydney...

Friday, 2 February 2007

It's tough....but someone has to do it


Just spent the past two days at a conference with work colleagues. The setting was a retreat on the outskirts of Sydney at Windsor. Sorry I didn't get into Windsor, which is an historic colonial era town, to take any pictures, so you'll have to make do with these.



Thursday, 1 February 2007

What annoys me most in my city

Bad, low-quality development that is designed to make a fast buck for the developers, and does nothing to enhance the quality of life of the residents. And the councils and governments that allow it to take place.
At the bottom of this entry is a pic I have published before (on October 15th 2006), which typifies this. Sometimes it is called the "meritonisation" of Sydney, after the chief culprit, a company called Meriton. Link.

But I am not opposed to change and development, and acknowledge it is necessary to build high rise in places where once there were single family houses. This development, in the suburb of Kogarah, is an example of an attempt to do the right thing - and to enhance ecological sustainability.

Kogarah is a southern Sydney suburb dominated by a few large organisations - a large public and private hospital, the corporate headquarters of the St George Bank and a large technical college. This area was recently re-developed using passive design principles to maximise the use of natural flows of light, energy and heat.

85% of rain and storm water is collected and re-used on site, including in town house gardens, toilet flushing, car washing and the water feature seen below.

Most of the living spaces are north-facing (the ideal in the southern hemisphere) , and most of the apartments are cross-ventilated, eliminating the need for air conditioning. As well, solar cells are built into the fabric of the building. Apartments include screened clothes drying balconies and areas, aimed at reucing the use of clothes dryers by apartment dwellers.

In this dry country, in the grip of the effects of El Nino, in a city running out of water, where global warming means energy use is going to have to be cut, but where huge downpours of rainwater run straight into the oceans, and airconditioning is fast becoming a "fact of life", this kind of development is going to have to become more prevalent.


A reminder of a meriton travesty: ugly buildings built without adequate infrastructure (like narrow, already traffic clogged-roads, lack of electrical capacity, no recycling or water saving measures...)
There's lots of stuff to love about Sydney, and there's other things that annoy me: like police sniffer dogs, racism, dodgy public transport, people who chuck rubbish around, sewerage being pumped into our beautiful ocean...but development without aesthetic quality or environmental concern tops my list!

Have a look at what other Daily Photo Bloggers around the world say annoys them in their cities. Due to world time differences, the theme photo may not be displayed until later in the day:
1 (Porto (Portugal) ) -2 (Stayton, OR (USA) ) -3 (Albuquerque, NM (USA) ) -4 (Tenerife (Spain) ) -5 (Greenville, SC (USA) ) -6 (Dubai (U.A.E.) ) -7 (Evry (France) ) -8 (Jakarta (Indonesia) ) -9 (London (UK) ) -10 (Sequim, WA (USA) ) -11 (Buenos Aires, (Argentina) ) -12 (Seattle, WA (USA) ) -13 (Minneapolis, MN (USA) ) -14 (Stavanger (Norway) ) -15 (Joplin , MO (USA) ) -16 (Nelson, New Zealand ) -17 (Milano, Italy ) -18 (Singapore (KeropokMan) ) -19 (La Antigua Guatemala (Guatemala) ) -20 (Nottingham UK ) -21 (Singapore by Zannnie (Singapore) ) -22 (Budapest (Hungary) ) -23 (Not Strictly Seattle, ) -24 (Bandung (Indonesia) ) -25 (Vantaa (Finland) ) -26 (Hyde (UK) ) -27 (Madrid by Dsole (Spain) ) -28 (Oulu (Finland) ) -29 (Saarbr?cken (Germany) ) -30 (St. Paul [Carol] ) -31 (Sydney (Australia) ) -32 (Tokyo (Japan) ) -33 (Kyoto (Japan) ) -34 (Trujillo (Peru) ) -35 (Shanghai (China) ) -36 (Rotterdam (NL) ) -37 (Chicago, IL (USA) ) -38 (Nice, (France) ) -39 (Naples, Florida (USA) ) -40 (Hong Kong ) -41 (Santa Clara, CA (USA) ) -42 (Quito, Ecuador (South America) ) -43 (Cottage Grove, MN (USA) ) -44 (Paris, (France) ) -45 (Manila (Philippines) ) -46 (Brussels (Belgium) ) -47 (Auckland (New Zealand) ) -48 (Newcastle upon Tyne(England) ) -