Friday, 30 June 2006

Bus shelter and kiosk

On Monday I showed you one of the newer JC Decaux bus shelters. Here is one of the more traditional shelters and kiosks (selling newspapers and snack foods) , a hundred metres or so along the same street. It is at the corner of Elizabeth and Liverpool Streets in the corner of Hyde Park.

It dates from the early 20th century and is an example of the "Federation" style of architecture, so named because it was popular at the time of Australian Federation (1901), when all the former colonies were federated as a single country. The architectural style, sometimes also called Edwardian, was a version of the Queen Anne style from England. It is an extremely popular style and Federation houses command high prices.

Thursday, 29 June 2006

The Shell Garage - Vanishing Icon Number 2 ?

In homage to Ham's London photo from a couple of days ago, I offer up this shell garage, in the front of the Catholic church presbytery in Homebush. Apparently it featured in a TV ad for a bank some years ago. In the front yard there is an equally gorgeously festooned fountain, with a madonna on top, which, apparently glows at night. It seems like a night time trip may be in order some time soon....

There's another picture of the garage, and one of the fountain here.

Wednesday, 28 June 2006

Your Rights At Work march and rally

Since the federal government introduced its new Industrial Relations laws earlier this year, there has been much disgust and dissent about how far they screw workers and favour bosses. Today rallies were held around Australia. In Sydney it was in Blacktown, a western suburb. The orange bus is the Unions NSW bus, which has been touring the country spreading the message. Here at the rally you could stock up on t-shirts for the campaign.

There 's more info about the Sydney rally here, and about the campaign against the laws in general here.

For some more photos visit my spillover blog : Sydney Daily Photo Extra - here and here.

Tuesday, 27 June 2006

Vanishing (?) icons Part One

I set out to photograph a few icons of Sydney which I tip will be swallowed up in the progress of time (ie property development) before too long. The reason this one may disappear is that this end of the city (Surry Hills) is rapidly being gentrified with new apartments and warehouse conversions. These sorts of urban areas in any city fascinate me.

This sign is clearly visible from the elevated suburban train line out of central. I used to love watching it as a kid as the golfer 'hit' the ball and a coloured light showed its progress all the way over to the hole. It is a fine example (last remaining in Sydney) of an animated neon sign.

It is listed on the State Heritage Register - which does not guarantee its survival. The only thing I can compare it to is the old 'Skipping Girl' vinegar factory sign in Melbourne, which has gone.

You can read all about its history and significance here.

Monday, 26 June 2006

The French Connection

Sydney City's "street furniture" is provided by French company, JC Decaux. This includes bus shelters (which some people complain don't shelter you from the sun in summer, or rain!), power poles, rubbish bins, toilets, telephone booths.

Here's an example in Elizabeth St in the city. You can see Hyde Park through the glass.

There's some pics of a Decaux toilet on my other site, Sydney Daily Photo Extra. Just quietly, they appear better maintained than the free toilets you find around Paris these days.

Sunday, 25 June 2006

Wrought iron and sandstone

In Sydney there are many buildings where there is a marriage between two building materials which I think go so well together - wrought iron and sandstone.

Here is a magnificent example at the front of the Great Synagogue in Elizabeth Street. The foundation stone for this synagogue was laid in 1875, and it was consecrated on 4 March, 1878. Regular Jewish services had begun in Sydney in the 1820s, and there were about 16 Jews amongst the 751 convicts in the First Fleet.

You can read more about the Great Synagogue here.

There are a couple more photos of the Great Synagogue here, at Sydney Daily Photo Extra.

Saturday, 24 June 2006


Here in Sydney we don't have too many foggy days - maybe one or two a year. Yesterday was one. Here's the effect in my local park as I walked by on the way to work. The avenue of oak trees looked especially enticing, especially behind the evergreen gum tree in the foreground. There's another photo at Sydney Daily Photo Extra, as well as a couple of shots of the central city.

Friday, 23 June 2006

Two men, an important announcement

Today I was wandering along Martin Place in the city when I came upon a smallish media pack and these two blokes getting quite excited about a joint annoucement they had to make.

No, they weren't challenging the Howard government's legislated ban on gay marriage.

Given they are the Premiers of New South Wales, Morris Iemma (left) and South Australia, Mike Rann (right), you might be forgiven for thinking it could possibly be some project of major significance like, ooooh, restoring the health of the Murray-Darling River system, joining forces to oppose the Howard government's regressive educational policies . . ., but no.

These two elected representatives are telling us that NSW and SA are "leading the bid" to host the 2018 World Cup.

Morris, I'd like you first to put back the money into public schools and public hospitals that was ripped out to pay for the 2000 Olympics, thanks very much.

There are a couple more photos at Sydney Daily Photo Extra.

Thursday, 22 June 2006

George St Pissoir

This pissoir in George St, Sydney dates from the 1880s.
You can read all about it here.

And there's some additional photos here.

Wednesday, 21 June 2006

Sydney Airport

Today I went to Hobart and back for the funeral of a very dear colleague. This is a photo of the International teminal at Sydney Airport, taken from atop a rocky cutting on the Princes Highway, looking over the Cooks River.

Despite what some people think, flights to The Apple Isle (Tasmania) do not leave from this terminal - Tasmania is a state of Australia and flights are domestic! (On a certain travel site I frequent, there are often requests for help from people announcing they are going to visit "Australia and Tasmania")

Sunday, 18 June 2006

World Cup

In honour of tonights's match, when Australia plays Brazil.

Last World Cup, Australia weren't in it. This wonderfully multicultural country had supporters for every team. It was so much fun, you could switch allegience as teams got knocked out.

This time, all those supporters (well, most of them) are behind Australia. If - !!!!- (when??) Australia gets knocked out, we can all support our 'second string' teams, but until then ...these flags are very popular around where I live!

Saturday, 17 June 2006

Opera House and Ferry

In contradiction to my aim of showing you a different Sydney to the usual tourist shots, I've got to admit that as a resident, I am sometimes astounded by just how beautiful Sydney Harbour can be. On a perfect, sunny winter's day, there's nothing nicer than walking near the harbour, or taking a ride on a ferry. So tourist Sydney makes up part of this resident's Sydney as well!

I took this shot from the walkway of the Harbour Bridge.

Friday, 16 June 2006


The carousel at Darling Harbour in Sydney dates from the nineteenth century. It is one of the few left in the world still operating with its original fittings. It was imported from England in 1894 and travelled the entertainment circuit around NSW for many years. In March 1932, it attended the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Last time I was down in Darling Harbour I went for a ride on it. Great fun!

Thursday, 15 June 2006

A new broom

This is the local shop the little green gnome sits near. It has the most eclectic range of stuff, from cheap ornaments to kids' ride on toys, to brooms and . . .

Wednesday, 14 June 2006

Free BBQs

Most parks in Australia have free barbecues, water and picnic tables. So if you come to visit, you can save lots of money cooking your meals along the way. On weekends and public holidays they become crowded with picknicking locals, so get there early!

Tuesday, 13 June 2006

Macedonian wedding

Here some Macedonian neighbours celebrated a wedding yesterday. A band welcomes the guests of the bride to the house before they head off to the church. As each new guest arrives, the band strikes up again. This process can last for several hours, from quite early in the morning.

Monday, 12 June 2006

Islamic garden gnome

This little fella sits happily in the sun in a potplant outside a neaby shop owned by some of my Muslim neighbours. I spotted him out of the corner of my eye as I came past yesterday. Today the sun came out and he seemed to have grabbed prime position and be waiting for a passing photographer!

Sunday, 11 June 2006

Keeping out the winter chill

Maximum temperature in Sydney today was 13 degrees. A good excuse to break out the daggiest footwear in the business - the Ugh boot. People in some parts of the world seem to regard these as high fashion items. To my mind they're great for the trip to the clothesline in the backyard, and keeping your tootsies warm at night!

But I buy the cheaper knockoff varieties! Better still, I'd rather a pair of warm slippers for Mother's Day than the electronic gadgets the retailers push. Fortunately, Mother's Day is in May, perfect timing for slippers!

Saturday, 10 June 2006

Rain, rain and more rain

We've been seeing a lot of these sort of skies in Sydney this past week.

Friday, 9 June 2006

Red Cross Blood Service

I'm not sure why all these people can't donate blood, but I know why I can't...because I lived in the UK between 1980-1996 for a cumulative period of 6 months or more. It's possible I'm a mad cow! It gave me something to think about while I waited for my train this morning, anyway.

Thursday, 8 June 2006

Window cleaning

Two days ago I posted the view from my (dirty) window. Well, the abseiling window cleaner came past today!

Wednesday, 7 June 2006

After the rain

It rained pretty solidly for two days here in Sydney. This morning when I left for work I saw a beautiful shaft of sun beaming through the foliage on the shrubs at the front of my house, making them glisten.

After years of drought, we need much more rain - it would help if more fell in the dam catchments, but longer term it would help even more if there were schemes to harvest Sydney's rainfall runoff, which all ends up running out to see via the stormwater drains.

Monday, 5 June 2006

Paperbark trees

These beautiful trees border some local playing fields. They provide much needed shade in summer. This photo was taken yesterday; today it poured rain all day - and shade was the least of our concerns!

Sunday, 4 June 2006

Winter cricket

Cricket is a summer sport, however the local cricket clubs have organised a winter competition this year for the real cricket tragics, like my son.

It's just a pity someone has flicked the switch to "brrrrrrr" cold this weekend, and being a parent on the sidelines is a bracing experience!

Friday, 2 June 2006

Museum of Sydney

This installation is in front of the Museum of Sydney. Called Edge of the Trees, it is by Janet Laurence and Fiona Foley. It is the first public artwork in Sydney to be a collaboration between a European and an Aboriginal Australian.

"From the edge of the trees the Cadigal people watched as the strangers of
the First Fleet struggled ashore in 1788. We can only imagine what their
thoughts would have been. This sculptural installation by artists Janet
Laurence and Fiona Foley symbolises that first encounter. Richly embedded with
materials and language, the sculpture evokes layers of memory, people and

You can walk among the massive pillars - some inscribed with the names and words of those who arrived with the First Fleet in 1788 or Eora people, others with glass panels through which you can see human hair, ash, feathers or other organic matter suggesting the physical traces of the past - and listen to the haunting, evocative sounds of Eora speech.

Thursday, 1 June 2006

Back sheds

There's a great tradition of backyard sheds in suburban Australia, and Sydney is no exception. In days gone by one may have been a "chook shed" (a chook is a chicken), but they're pretty much extinct now, what with smaller backyards and council health regulations. Some people kept racing pigeons. But the most commmon shed would be for tools and gardenning things.

I fancy the shed on the left may have been a chook shed - I put my eye up to a gap in the fence palings and saw it had an open front, and chicken wire on the sides. It's now a greenhouse / fernery.

I also loved the contrasting textures of the wooden fence palings, the chicken wire and corrugated iron. The only thing missing is a choko vine.