Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Lyon Daily Photo in Sydney

Welcome to Sydney to Angelique and Cedric from Lyon Daily Photo! Today we had lunch together, and Cedric and Angelique told me all about their planned journey to many parts of Australia. It sounds wonderful!

Bienvenue et bon séjour!

Monday, 30 July 2007

This is Australia (for Ben)

I couldn't choose which photo of images from the side of an outside broadcast van to feature, but in honour of my cricket-mad son, went for the top one. It may well be winter, but training for the next cricket season starts this week!

If you want to see the "big picture", ans some close ups of other images, click here to visit Sydney Daily Photo Extras. Here's a teaser:

Sunday, 29 July 2007

Three Bridges and Bicentennial Park, Glebe Point

Sunday morning on the edge of Rozelle Bay (which is part of Sydney Harbour) at Glebe Point. This is a couple of hundred metres from the tram stop shown yesterday.

The bridges are the Anzac Bridge in the foreground; the old Glebe island Bridge in the middle. Well I remember waiting to cross here as it lifted to allow ships to pass through. It was replaced by the much higher Anzac bridge, so is no longer in operation; Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background.

You may see them better in the cropped picture(despite loss of quality of pic):

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Tram stop

The light rail (tram) stop at Jubilee Park, Glebe. In the distance can be seen the old goods railway viaduct which forms part of the line.

Friday, 27 July 2007

Château Tanunda

The plaque says:
"The Elizabeth Street entrance of St James Station has been maintained in its original condition as a heritage site. "
Further research (see comments inside) put the date of the Château Tanunda sign at c1938.
Château Tanunda is a famous winery in South Australia's Barossa Valley. Click here to read about it.

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Sister City Marker: Molineaux Point, Port Botany

Commemorating the sister ports relationship between Sydney Ports Corporation and Yokkaichi Port Authority, Japan.

Sister City relationships are fairly popular around the world. Apparently they were begun by the Eisenhower administration in the US in 1952.

Sydney City Council has sister city relationships with San Francisco (1968); Nagoya, Japan (1982); Welllington, New Zealand (1982); Portsmouth, UK (1984); Guangzhou, China (1985) and Florence, Italy (1986).

Local government areas also have sister cities. Where I live, we are sisters with Takeo, Cambodia; Tanggu, China; Bitola, Macedonia; Glyfada, Greece; Rockdale, Texas, USA; Bint Jbail, Lebanon; Yamatsuri, Japan and Gilgandra, a country town in NSW. I don't know that these relationships confer any special benefits other than a warm inner glow and trips for local dignitaries!

Do you know of any Sister City relationships your city has?

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Anzac Bridge

Lots more pictures of Anzac Bridge at Sydney Daily Photo Extras. I think it is a beautiful bridge, one of the most exciting additions to the Sydney skyline in recent times.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Golfers, The Coast Golf Course, Little Bay

To gain access to Little Bay, where I took yesterday's photo, I walked across The Coast Golf Course. The cliffs along here host a series of golf courses, all with spectacular views. There is a public access walk along those cliffs. This was taken about 4:15 pm as late afternoon winter shadows fell and the sky paled.

Monday, 23 July 2007

Wrapped Coast - by Christo and Jeanne-Claude 1969

In October 1969, New York artist Christo arrived in Sydney to wrap Little Bay (about 10 kilometres south of Bondi). The project attracted a lot of comment, much of it critical and mocking . His team of workers included art students and rock climbers. A group of thugs arrived and ridiculed the workers, and a scuffle broke out. Opinions varied from that of the Sydney Morning Herald’s JAC Dunn who said “The more you look at the rippling acres of polyweave enveloping the rocks….the more you get the Christmas feeling: ‘What’s underneath?” to the tabloid Daily Telegraph which asked “Who called the fire brigade?”
(From James Cockington, History Happened Here : strange but true stories from Australian suburbia.)

Having moved to Sydney the year before, but only being 11 years old, I have a vague memory of all this occurring, and would love to have seen it, but alas I didn't . . . all I can remembr are some black and white TV news images.
Pictures of Wrapped Coast

Christo's other projects included wrapping The Reichstag in 1995, and the Pont Neuf in 1985.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Children's bike track, Sydney Park

This is a great place for young children to practice their developing bicycling skills in a safe road traffic education area.

The chimneys in the background are also a feature of Sydney Park - they are remnants of the former brickworks on the site.

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Seeking inspiration, Glebe Point

Maybe this young man is writing the next best-seller, now that Harry Potter has exited the stage in a blaze of magic.

Where do you go when you're looking for inspiration?

Friday, 20 July 2007

Primate, Sir Joseph Banks Park, Botany

Still in the park we visited yesterday....

In the nineteenth century, the Sir Joseph Banks Hotel, on the shores of the Bay, was a popular meeting place for sports enthusiasts and holiday makers. By 1850, a zoo had been established there. Visitors danced, picnicked, went horse riding, and played cricket and football. But most of all, they came to see international athletes challenge the locals in the Sir Joseph Banks Handicap, first run over 100 yards on a cinder track. The winners collected cash prizes, and competition and betting were fierce. In 1988, as a Bicentenary project, Council refurbished the Sir Joseph Banks Pleasure Gardens, restored the racing track, and brought back the running race under the new name of the Botany Bay Gift. This annual athletics carnival is now the richest in Australia and attracts top athletes such as England's Linford Christie, and Australia's Robert De Castella, Nova Peris-Kneebone and Melinda Gainsford-Taylor.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Sir Joseph Banks Park, Botany

Botanist Sir Joseph Banks examines a floral specimen (I think probably a Banksia cone) in the park named after him in the suburb of Botany.
Banks sailed with Captain Cook on Cook's 1768 expedition to Tahiti for astronomical observations, a chance for naturalist Banks to study new plants in unknown lands.

They made collections and observations in South America, Tahiti and New Zealand before reaching Australia. His major landfalls on the eastern coast of Australia were at Botany Bay (28 April - 5 May 1770) and at the Endeavour River (17 June - 3 August).
The plant material collected and sorted on the voyage was extensive, with the herbarium specimens accounting for about 110 new genera and 1300 new species.

Back in England, he ran his estates, and controlled the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and was a Trustee of the British Museum and made other botanical trips. In 1778 he also became President of the Royal Society, an office which he held until his death in 1820. He was knighted in 1781.

Linneaus' suggested naming the new country (Australia) 'Banksia' . Although not adopted, Bank's name was bestowed upon a genus of Australian plants and he made his mark upon Australian history in other ways. When the British government was casting about for a suitable place to establish a penal colony, Banks was an advocate for Botany Bay. After the settlement was established at Sydney Cove, he encouraged further investigation of the natural history of the area and became the acknowledged authority on matters relating to New South Wales. His impact on the study of natural history in both Britain and Australia cannot be overestimated.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Foreshore Road, Port Botany

Old truck and boat, with some of the cranes of modern Port Botany, which accounts for 70% of Sydney's total trade throughput. Port Botany is being expanded.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Another day, another picnic, La Perouse

A family picnic beside the Barrack Tower, La Perouse. It has been there since the early 1820s to prevent smugglers entering Botany Bay unseen. It is the oldest building still in existence on the shores of the bay. From the 1830s it was a Customs House, and in 1868 it was used as a local school. Restored by the La Perouse Monuments Trust, 1961.

I think they just look cold!
At least it's not as cold as this morning, which is apparently the coldest Sydney morning for 21 years (4 degrees at 7 am in the east, -1 in the western suburbs - oh how we Sydney-siders suffer ;-)

Monday, 16 July 2007

Picnic: Bring Your Own (BYO) nargile/sheesha/hookah/hubble-bubble

Picnic at Garrison Point, Georges Hall.
Late autumn and winter in Sydney usually brings perfect picnic weather, and there's no shortage of gorgeous places to get the family or social club together to enjoy the daytime sun.

One thing I'm really impressed by is the effort local councils have made to create regional parks and picnic grounds. This is part of the Mirambeena Regional Park, maintained by Bankstown City Council.

I've uploaded some more photos from this delightful picnic ground at Sydney Daily Photos Extra.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Bare Island

Still at La Perouse. This is Bare Island, joined to the mainland by a ricketty wooden bridge. This fort was built in 1885, when the Crimean War made Sydney feel vulnerable to possible Russian invasion. (Nothing happened, of course). It was named Bare Is after a journal entry by Captain Cook, who referred to it as "...a small, bare island..."

If it appears a little familiar, that may be because you saw Tom Cruise fighting baddies there in Mission Impossible 2. Apparently there is great diving off it too.

More about Bare Island: Here and underwater dive pictures here.

Saturday, 14 July 2007

le quatorze juillet

"How to mark Bastille Day on Sydney Daily Photo, with an Aussie flavour? " I wondered.

Well, I think there's only one place in the world* you might come across these three flags flying together: La Perouse, on the northern shore of Botany Bay. The Australian flag, the French flag, and the Aboriginal flag (La Perouse is home to a large Aboriginal community)

French Captain Jean-François de Galaup, Comte de Laperouse, arrived here just six days after the British First Fleet in 1788. Laperouse stayed in Botany Bay for six weeks, building an observatory, stockade and garden. This monument marks the site of his camp.

Today when I arrived there was a group of French speaking young people just packing up musical instruments; I had missed celebrations featuring the Orchestre Polyphonique from Île de la Réunion. Which just proves how even-handed I am, because I also missed the 29 April celebrations on the opposite side of Botany Bay, commemorating the arrival of Captain Cook! (see this blog)

* Hmmmm- perhaps at the Musée Branly in Paris, which has a modern Aboriginal art collection?

Friday, 13 July 2007

View from the 45th floor, 11:50am today

A visit today to the Italian Consulate in downtown Sydney. This is the view from the waiting room (and after receiving our number, we had an hour to contemplate the view...)
The round building is Australia Square Tower, which I've shown before from ground level (click here). The "Eiffel Tower" in the middle distance has also been featured before (click here). Beyond that is the main, sandstone building of Sydney University (click here).

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Kurnell sand dunes

When I was a kid, we used to come to these sand dunes and slide down them. Sometimes my son's school cricket team goes there to train by running up and down them.

Now they are far less extensive than they were then. They once reached a height of 40m above sea level, and 90m below. Originally covered by timber, they were cleared, and became unstable. They were mined between 1930 and 1990. In 2003 they were placed on the State Heritage Register.

Several Australian movies were filmed amongst the Kurnell sand dunes, including Forty Thousand Horsemen, The Rats of Tobruk, Phar Lap, Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.

Read more about the dunes here. And about sand mining here.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Royal Mail

Today I came across this coach just inside the entrance to a scrap merchant's premises in Gladstone St, Newtown. It looks too new to be original! (not a continuation of the red theme - just a coincidence!)

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Royal Villawood

This modest little house at Villawood has an interesting pedigree.

I was reading a book called History Happened Here: strange but true stories from Australian suburbia, and learned that in February, 1958, the Queen Mother visited this house, for all of twenty minutes!

James Cockington wrote in his book:

"The Chard's new two-bedroom house had been chosen at random.

Despite the temperature, Reg Chard, aged 35, eas wearing his woollen, Sunday-best suit when he greeted Her Highness on the front step. With him were his wife Betty and their two sons, Robert and Garry.

The Queen Mum was wearing a summer frock and hat, teamed with a pair of white elbow-length gloves.

Villawood was, and still is, deep in the heart of the working-class western suburbs, but there was still protocol to follw. Robert Chard, then aged 10, was asked to remove the PK he was chewing by a member of the official party.

And, while hundreds of neighbours lined the footpath, three discreet bodyguards stopped onlookers from approaching closer than the Chard's letterbox.

"It was the most amazing thing," remembered Robert Chard on the occasion of the death of the Queen Mother in 2002. "There was this lovely lady with three strings of pearls around her neck and her skin was just like milk."

The tight royal schedule only allowed for a three minute visit, but she ended up staying for 20. She did a whistlestop tour of thehouse,including the bathroom, commenting on the bright colours of the towels. They offered a cupof tea, but by then time had run out."

Has anyone interesting ever visited your house?

Monday, 9 July 2007


Dad would have been 79 today. He died last year. Dad was a technical genius. Here he is (at right) as chief instructor at Olivetti's training school in Sydney in the 1970s, teaching others how to fix mechanical adding machines or typewriters.

Dad loved machinery, steam engines, printing presses, his vegetable garden, his family, Australian silky terriers, Indiana Jones movies, making silly faces, The Goons, British comedies, AFL footy, brass bands, cricket, Melbourne, and for a while making his own beer. He loathed the beach, The Show, crowds and wasn't keen on cats.

He was a loyal and steadfast friend, a loving husband for 50 years, a fabulous dad for 48 years, and an adoring Gramps for 12 and a half years.

I miss you dad.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Public Buildings, Granville

I was reading the paper and was interested in this article by Elizabeth Farrelly, discussing the fact that the major architectural prize for public buildings was not awarded this year, as none was deemed to be up to scratch. Farrelly discussed the decline of public architecture, and the decline of buildings which assert the importance of the public domain.

Farrelly asks: "Why are we so loath to embellish the public realm in which we spend so much time and by which we are all affected? Traditionally, time, and energy and money - love, if you will - were lavished on built institutions because they meant something. They said something significant about aspiration and civilisation.

"A post office was a declaration of a society's beliefs, its public systems and its intention to endure. Now, a post office is just a tacky and badly stocked stationery shop that happens to carry stamps and passport forms, inhabiting an office building like any other; the cheaper and more anonymous the better."

What better than these side-by-side examples from Granville? The old Town Hall dates from 1888, which the foundation stone reminds us was the Centenary of foundation of the Colony. The more prosaic library next door looks to be a 1950s or 1960s effort.

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Lansdowne Bridge across Prospect Creek, Lansvale

Lansdowne Bridge is considered to be one of the finest examples of Colonial Architecture in Australia. It was built by convicts during 1834 to 1836. The sandstone arch has the largest span of any surviving masonry bridge in Australia. It was opened on 26 January 1836.

The bridge’s designer was Scottish immigrant David Lennox. See here: David Lennox.

It’s a pity it’s so hard to see! There is a park “Lansdowne Bridge Reserve” off the main road, where in one or two spots you can walk a little way down the weed-infested creek bank and look towards the bridge. You can walk across the bridge (warning: traffic passes very close, and it's a major thoroughfare)

The best view of the bridge is as you drive across the duplicate bridge heading west…so it flashes past in a second.

Here’s a watercolour painting by artist Conrad Marten from 1836.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Little Red House

This is a nicely restored warehouse building on the corner of Mary and Foveaux Sts, Surry Hills. I am intrigued by the little red shed on the roof. I wonder if it is a storage shed, or a caretaker's "cottage". Can you see the clothes line up there too?
I'd love to have the chutzpah to go up and investigate!

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Open top bus tours

These buses are popular in many cities, and Sydney is no exception. This one passes between the State Library (behind me) and the Botanic Gardens.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

The Britstop is a 1949 London double-decker bus, available for private hire. The website says:

"The upper deck consists of a British rock 'n' roll/London themed 'booth' style seating area with posters, memorabilia, music and lights.
The lower deck consists of a 'space age' themed party room/dance floor with a iPod music system to choose your favorite tunes and bar area with cool boxes filled with ice for BYO cans and casks and a table for BYO buffet food or organised catering if required.
Unfortunately, due to Government regulations, this area can only be utilised when the Bus is stationary so we will be sure to stop at some great locations and use 'the britstop'™ as the venue! "

Monday, 2 July 2007

More red!

Folks, I'm two days through an intense 3 day conference, so I apologise for not visiting everyone's "Theme Day" posts yesterday. I promise to try to get to as many as possible when this is all over.

Here's a "red" pic I nearly chose for yesterday....featuring the City of Sydney's Number 001 fire engine. Actually, what i like best about fire stations are all the firemen's coats and gear hanging ready on the hooks around the walls.

Firies are great!

Sunday, 1 July 2007

The Daily Commute

Winter trips to work don't provide much visual excitement, but for a red jacket.
Today is "Red" theme day amongst Daily City Bloggers. Have a look at red around the world!

I'm sorry, I can't for the life of me find the links to all the other ones, so have a look here.