sydney

I’ve spent a number of weeks in Sydney for work, and I’ve grown to love the place. I’ve been working in North Sydney, and staying in a serviced apartment in Miller’s Point (near Darling Habour). On occasions, I walk home admiring the spectacular harbour view the whole way.

Walking Home - Opera House

Walking home - Sydney Harbour Bridge from Millers Point

Because of daylight savings (something we don’t have in Brisbane) I’ve walked to Bondi Beach from Miller’s Point after work (about 10km), and ate fish and chips on the beach.

The view from my office isn’t bad either.

I also managed to find some street art around the city, but it was part of an exhibition, which kinda isn’t the same.

our last trip to sydney, for a while

Last weekend in Sydney was great, we’re also going to Melbourne for the same thing in a couple of weeks time.

Here’s some of the things we found/did/loved.

babymooning

I have to admit I am a bit confused by the term babymooning. You see, in anticipation of Junior Pixels, Kitty and I went to Sydney last weekend for one last time. When we told people this, they would say: ‘oh, you’re babymooning‘. I’d look oddly, because excuse me if I seem dumb, but don’t you actually need a baby to go on a babymoon? Isn’t going baby-less on a babymoon like holidaying before your wedding?

I looked in the ‘B’ volume of my 1989 edition Encyclopedia Britannica and couldn’t find any such term, so I fired up the old Wikipedia (yet again):

A babymoon is a period of time that parents spend bonding with a recently-born baby.

More recently the term has come to be used to describe a vacation taken by a couple that is expecting a baby in order to allow the couple to enjoy a final trip together before the many sleepless nights that usually accompany a newborn baby. Babymoons usually take place at a resort that offers appropriate services like prenatal massage.

~ Wikipedia (empahasis added by me)

So it seems that what originally was deemed a period of parental bonding, has somehow become a cash-cow for the hospitality/tourism sector. This was confirmed as soon as we began our alleged babymoon.

We were on the plane, and we fly Jetstar (with the remaining Australian bogan population). There’s that awkward bit when you’re taking off you know, and you can’t use anything, not even a myPhone in ‘flight mode’, and being the Gen Y that I am, I got fidgety. Trying to find anything to do except watch the silly safety demonstration for the millionth time (actually, subtly, every plane is the same) I grabbed the JetStar Magazine, July Issue, and fingered it open, landing coincidentally on the page sixty/sixty-one spread.

JetStar Magazine

Ahhh! I couldn’t escape. The article was about how all these resorts were offering special babymoon packages which surely just means they raise the price 50-100% more than non-babymooners. You know, like they do for honeymooners.

Upon check in in Sydney the lovely lady on the check-in counter asked what our businessย  was in Sydney. I told her we were babymooning, and then she gave us a look I couldn’t quiet place. The look either meant “so where is the baby?”, or maybe just “Damn, I wish we had known, we could have charged them extra.”

Subtlely

the biennale of sydney on cockatoo island

We were lucky enough to visit the Biennale of Sydney on Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour yesterday.

The island was amazing. Neither of us had been there before so it was a real treat for us both. The art installations were great and so were the buildings; some looked like they had just been abadoned.

All photos are by snap happy Kitty.

brisbane, gold coast, noosa and sydney

Whoa, what a week. I was on the Gold Coast last Thursday/Friday for a work conference, stayed in Noosa with Kitty on the weekend, flew to Sydney yesterday to be on Triple J’s Hack TV, then back to Brisbane (and work) this morning. I’m well buggered.

I hadn’t been to Noosa for a few years (I’d rather Byron) but some free accommodation at the Sheraton recently presented itself so we couldn’t resist. We couldn’t have asked for better weather, the sun was out and the sky clear. The ocean was beautifully calm and blue too. I did go swimming but it was a bit too cold.

Sitting under a pandanus, eating fish and watching the ocean.
Sitting under a pandanus, eating fish and watching the ocean.
Sunday morning breakfast on the beach
Sunday morning breakfast on the beach.

On the way home we called at Eumundi for some P.Y.O. strawbs which were amazing. You pay by the kilo and they tell you to eat as you pick. We both haven’t had better strawbs; kitty was in heaven!

Amazing P.Y.O. strawbs.
Amazing P.Y.O. strawbs.

Now it’s time to catch up on some sleep.

All photos by Kitty.

really good tattoos

I was in Coles at West End this afternoon and I saw this guy with a really good tattoo. I could tell that it was well thought out, and that it would have been designed and then inked. It was a mid-arm piece of a bright coloured flower neatly contained by a contrasting monotone background. Completely cool.

got ink 3.0

I pondered and realised that really good tattoos actually shit me. And the reason? They’re too good. All of my tattoos, you see, aren’t that good. Sure, I love them, but they weren’t ever planned, nor designed. They were done as part of my life at the time and done because they meant (and mean) something to me.

It’s weird that something that’s too good can sometimes not actually be that good. Because Kitty and I are flying to Canberra tomorrow for the long weekend, I’ll try to explain this concept with the story of two different Australian cities.

Canberra, Australia’s capital, is a purpose built, planned city of 334,000 that began in 1913. Canberra was extremely well thought out, planned and then built to be Australia’s capital city. Canberra, by the books, is too good. The 2006 census showed that the average weekly wage in Canberra is $600-$699 which is almost 50% higher than the Australian average. Also, 4.5% of Canberrians have a postgraduate degree, compared with the national average of 1.8%. Driving around Canberra is a breeze because of the planned nature of the roads and there’s no tolls and little pollution. Unemployment is also very low. But it’s really quite hard to tell the various suburbs apart so it all feels the same. That’s why people get lost driving around, even though the roads are great.

Sydney, the state capital of NSW, was established in 1788 with a population of 1300 odd people and has since grown to be home to about 4,280,000. Sydney is by no means planned and by the books, not that good. Traffic is congested and housing is very expensive. The trains don’t often run on time and you hear people say that it is very polluted. Many tourists actually mistake Sydney to be the Australian capital, and often haven’t even heard of Canberra.

But if you were to ask Australians whether they prefer Canberra or Sydney, I imagine that most would they’d say Sydney. Sydney is an amazing city. The Sydney Harbor and its Bridge, the Opera House, the city beaches, and the surrounding geography are stunning. You can be in one part of Sydney in the morning and in another completely different part that same day. And that’s because it wasn’t planned.

So, Canberra did all the right things to be a perfect city, but almost four million more Australians prefer to live in crazy, congested and polluted Sydney.

The Minister for Roads in NSW, Eric Roozendaal, recently said itย best. Whilst responding to the ‘like traffic that moves? move to canberra” advertisements found on Sydney buses he said:

“Anyone who goes to Canberra knows Canberra is even more boring than Adelaide, and Sydney is the greatest city in the country.”

Because I don’t have any really good tattoos, I’m hoping that my collection of will grow into a Sydney rather than a Canberra.

Photo by theointarifa (creative commons).

a day in sydney

We spent a fun filled Saturday in Sydney. It was a beautiful autumn day with clear skies. We had brekky In Paddington and then walked to Bondi Junction, calling in at the Paddington markets on the way. We did lunch on Bondi Beach and spent the afternoon in the city.

The Australian Centre for Photography is excellent. The subjects and the styles of work displayed in the Head On: Alternative Portraits collection was amazing.