Saturday, 31 March 2007

Australia Square Tower

I love this building because it represents part of my childhood. It opened in 1967, when I was ten, and making my first visit to Sydney, from Melbourne, where there was nothing like this. Everyone who visited Sydney made a bee-line for it. . . it was probably Sydney's second biggest architectural attraction after the Harbour Bridge at that time (the Opera House wasn't to open for another 6 years, and was far more controversial than this). It was the first office tower block in Sydney.

Rising 50 storeys (170m), the Harry Seidler designed round tower in Australia Square, was the tallest building in Australia from 1967 to 1976. There's a revolving restaurant on top (of course!) .

Culwalla Chambers, a brick building completed in 1912 at 50 metres in height, remained the tallest office building for many years. Its construction provoked a regulation limiting the height of buildings to 45 metres, a regulation which stayed in force until the 1960s.

Prior to this building, one of the tallest structures in Sydney (other than the Harbour Bridge arch) was the AWA Tower, which looks like a mini Eiffel Tower, and featured here previously.

The tallest building in Australia is now an all- residential tower block on the Gold Coast, called Q1 (323m) and the tallest office tower is 120 Collins St in Melbourne (264m) - midgets compared to Taipei 101, Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur and Sears Tower in Chicago.

Friday, 30 March 2007

An upside to global warming????

Reflection of your intrepid photographer and the Circular Quay area, as Guinness use global warming to advertise their stout , and have a bit of a "Pommy bash" at the same time! (The other up-side is that the curve of JC Decaux's advertising space makes my legs look long and lean! That's the real reason French women don't get fat - JC Decaux doesn't let them!)

Thursday, 29 March 2007

Walking all over Sydney!

Here are a couple of ways to walk all over Sydney.

You could decide to follow the example of 92 year-old Alan, who in 2003 set out to walk every street in every suburb of Sydney. Here is his fantastic website charting his journeys. Be warned - you can spend all day lost in this site! It's very funny (hint: start with the "Surprises" menu). If I have half as much energy when I'm in my 90s, I'll be thrilled.

Or, you could call in to Customs House at Circular Quay where this scale model of the city is under a glass floor. There's a light-filled atrium above, which makes it hard to photograph (but you get some great reflections), and the glass is a bit scratched.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Lunch in Martin Place

A city worker sits in the autumn sun, on the granite steps of the old GPO in Martin Place, catching up with a gossip mag, and eating last night's leftovers!

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Secret men's business

Here's the companion photo to the one of the women yesterday! In response to Kate who asked about the ethnic makeup of my city:

35% of Sydney was born overseas; in my suburb it is 43.3%. The top 10 places they come from are: Lebanon - 8.7%; Macedonia (former Republic Yugoslavia) - 6.8%; New Zealand - 2.6%; China - 2.5%; UK - 2.3%; Italy - 2.0%; Fiji - 1.3%; Philippines - 1.2%; Indonesia - 0.9%.

Update: oops! J Bar commented inside that I seemed to have forgotten Greece. Yes, I did! Greece is = # 5 with the UK on 2.3%!
And - if you're interested in languages spoken at home, I've added that inside!

Those figures are from the 2001 census.

55% of the overseas born people in my suburb arrived before 1986.

Sunday, 25 March 2007

Ballot papers in the polling booth. You mark the box of your preferred candidates with a pencil supplied.

All over New South Wales today, schools, church halls, community halls were transformed into polling places for our state election.
We vote for representatives in both houses of the State Paliament - one member per local electorate, and a range of people to the Upper House (that's the big ballot paper; you don't have to vote for them all - you can choose to vote for a party, or as many candidates as you wish).

Voting is compulsory in Australia. It is sen as one of the obligations and responsibilities that comes with democratic citizenry.

People supporting various political parties offer you "How To Vote" material outside the actual voting hall (it is illegal for party workers to be inside). Inside the gate you can see people queueing to cast their votes. The next NSW state election will be on Saturday March 26, 2011.

Friday, 23 March 2007

Noah's Backpacker Hostel

I spent ALL DAY in a meeting yesterday. Fortunately, the room has one wall of glass. This is the view out the window across the road - the terrace of a backpacker hostel, above a tailor's shop.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Are we there yet?

Vacant block of land, Elizabeth St, Surry Hills. I loved the higgeldy-piggeldy look and all the colours.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Bubonic Plague

(Click on the photo to enlarge in order to read it)
There's some more historical information about the outbreak of plague in Sydney in 1900 here.
Has there ever been an outbreak of plague, or other epidemic in your city?

Monday, 19 March 2007


A year ago, one of Sydney's most well known architects, Harry Seidler, died. He was the architect of more than one controversial project, none more so than Blues Point Tower on the northern shore of Sydney Harbour. However, before all that, between 1958 and 1960, he built an ultra modernist house for his parents - which you can see by clicking here. This became a very influential house.
In the 1960s, many such houses were built in suburban areas. Unlike today's huge McMansions, they were often small, fuctional, with clean lines. As far as I know, this house is the only example of the type of 1960s modernist architecture in my area. Love it, or hate it, it is an example of an era, and I suspect that this one won't survive much longer - many have already been demolished to make way for the larger houses demanded today.

Sunday, 18 March 2007

Happy Birthday, Harbour Bridge

Celebrations today for the 75th birthday of Sydney's icon. (Well, it's tomorrow, really, but the weekend is better for a celebration!)

Saturday, 17 March 2007

Having a snooze

I often see this man in the area around where I work.
What I found particularly touching was his plastic bag of possessions and hat placed so trustingly nearby. His body position is also very open. On railway staions they have now placed dividing arms on the benches so that people can no longer use them as a sleeping place.

Friday, 16 March 2007

Cadman's Cottage

This cottage, in the historic Rocks area of Sydney was built in 1816. It is the oldest surviving residence. The first shelters built by Europeans were wattle and daub huts, or wooden slab huts. None of those exist any more. More here.

Thursday, 15 March 2007

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Gothic revival architecture

The former Cleveland Street Boys High School, now an Intensive English High School for newly arrived immigrants. It is currently being refurbished inside, and the beautiful brickwork cleaned. Read more here. These buildings were erected in 1867. Read more here.

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Sydney Theatre Company, Wharf Theatre, Walsh Bay

Sydney Theatre Company (soon to be under the artistic direction of Cate Blanchett and her husband Andrew Upton) has several venues: Wharf 1 and 2, Sydney Theatre (opposite the Wharf) and the Drama Theatre at the Opera House. I particularly love The Wharf - a great example of re-use of older facilities (ie a finger wharf on Sydney Harbour), when it is so easy to demolish redundant buildings from an earlier age. I love the use of painted iron and wood.

Piers 4/5 at Walsh Bay serve as home to many arts companies. Apart from STC, there are rehearsal spaces and offices for various performing arts companies: Sydney Dance Company, Australian Theatre for Young People, Bangara Dance Company, Sydney Children's Choir, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs.

When you come to Sydney, make sure to enjoy some of our outstanding performing arts offerings!

Monday, 12 March 2007

Belvoir Street Theatre, Surry Hills

The resident companies at the Belvoir, Company B and B Sharp, stage some of the most innovative, moving, and thought-provoking theatre in Sydney. Sydney is very well endowed with theatres - and there is always lots happening on the stage, but performances at the Belvoir are my favourite. Many of Australia's best known actors have appeared in Belvoir productions.

Sunday, 11 March 2007

Harbour from Bridge

Taken from the walkway of the Harbour Bridge. The railing at the top of the barrier is exactly at my eye height, so I can't see much when I walk across. I took this by squatting down and looking through the metal barrier. On the water is the shadow cast by the arch.

Saturday, 10 March 2007

Garden, not ash tray

This sign might have a little more meaning if, well, if the garden had a bit It is in a spot where office workers congregate to smoke. Unfortunately, too many smokers seem to think that their butts are someone else's problem to dispose of! It was cleaned up just before the sign appeared, but it didn't take long for the butts to start appearing again.

Thursday, 8 March 2007

Oceanic Cafe

I think the Oceanic Cafe, in Elizabeth St, Surry Hills, must take the prize for the oldest cafe still in its original state in Sydney. Entirely untouched by renovation, it sits amidst a sea of gentrification. I think the bell is tolling for this one! I love the wooden booths and laminex table tops. Do you think you'd like anything on their menu? Rump steak; beef rissoles; bacon egg and chips; lamb's fry; t-bone steak; lamb loin chops.

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Pink bike

I liked the cheerful pink trim of this bike, amidst a sea of cars.

Monday, 5 March 2007

War Graves

I've seen lots of cemeteries just like this in France and Turkey. They are maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and are sights of pilgrimage for many Australians whose ancestors fought in far-away places in World War One. Click here for info and a great aerial shot of the one at Villers-Bretonneux in France.
What I didn't know is that there is just such a cemetery here in Sydney (and other places in Australia, 70 in all - see here). This one is a part of the vast Rookwood Cemetery. It is the final home of service men and women who died in Sydney during World War One and World War Two.
There's some more photos of this cemetery here.

Sunday, 4 March 2007

Saturday, 3 March 2007

Aussie stadium

Last night we went to the rugby at Aussie Stadium. Here's Paddington terrace houses (and the moon rising) through the open part of the partial roof as people are arriving.

Friday, 2 March 2007

Tracy - a woman at work!

Continuing my mini-theme of chefs, I suppose! Tracy is the owner and chef at a cafe in my building. She was taking a break, and chatting with the customers having tea at one of the tables outside on the footpath.

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Teppanyaki Chef - making the food fly

And the food was DELICIOUS!

62 Daily Photo sites are participating in the 1st March theme, "Men at work", please use the links to below to visit them. Due to time zone differences and other factors, the theme photo may not be displayed until later if you are viewing early in the day.

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