Sunday, May 31, 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009

Didgeridoo at Circular Quay...

How The Didgeridoo Came To Be...
Two men were camped out on a cold night in the Australian outback. The fire was getting low and it was very cold. So, one of the men turned and grabbed a log, which was awfully light to the touch, because it was hollow. As he went to drop it into the fire, he noticed the entire length was covered with termites. He did not know what to do, he could not throw the branch into the fire, because it would kill the termites. Carefully he removed all the termites from the outside of the log by scooping them into his hand, and he deposited them inside the hollow branch. Then he raised the branch to his lips and blew the termites into the air. The termites blown into the air became the stars, and the first didgeridoo was created.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Circular Quay waterfront...

I haven't posted in a couple of weeks... but I'm still here :-)
I have started working (volunteering) for the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia office and between cross-referencing their database of US companies doing business in Australia; and my drawing classes a couple of afternoons a week; I find I have less free time to 'roam' and explore the city.

I work in the heart of Sydney at The Rocks near the harbor. (The photo above is of part of the waterfront area.) The area is well designed, offering beautiful public spaces for strolling and relaxing. On a daily basis, there are street vendors and performers entertaining the crowds who come to sitesee and enjoy the waterfront. On weekends, there are street markets with all sorts of unusual craft items by local artisans.

Kleenex 'tissue tree' in First Fleet Park, Circular Quay

Interesting promotional displays (such as the one shown here by Kleenex,) are common along the Circular Quay waterfront walkway. This 'tree' is wrapped in white silk fabric and features silk flowers along with actual tissue samples on the tips of the branches. The display is Kleenex's unique way of introducing a new, 'soft as silk' tissue. The silk tree was on display for a week in First Fleet Park, where foot traffic is very high during the day. The event included a 'tissue team' handing out samples of their newest product - just in time for the cold and flu season!

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Night at the Symphony...

The music program: "A Russian Tribute," featured music of Dmitri Shostakovich and Modest Mussorgsky, with Russian violinist, Sasha Rozhdestvensky as soloist. Sasha looked like he was in his mid-twenties; tall and slender, with a boyist face. As with many great musicians, he started playing at a very young age and has performed with all the major symphonies of the world. His playing was remarkable!

Interesting fact: Sasha's violin, "Haddock" was crafted in the northern Italian town of Cremona, in 1734 (275+ years old,) by Guarneri del Gesú and is loaned to him by the Stradivari Society.

Around Sydney...

Rushcutters Bay, one of Sydney's many bays

El Alamein Fountain at Fitzroy Gardens, Kings Cross, was built in 1961 to commemorate the Australian Army’s role during the WWII battles at Tobruk in Libya and El Alamein in Egypt. (It's resemblance to a giant dandelion pappus is coincidental... )

Circular Quay food court, Sydney CBD. The balloon this young rider is holding promotes Sydney Transit Systems pre-pay bus service. The advertisment promises fast ride times with the new pre-pay program. Apparently few riders are signing up for the plan because when the bright blue, 'pre-pay' buses pass by, they seem to be doing the same speed as the 'pay-as-you-go' buses.

Garvan Institute of Medical Research, in Darlinghurst, a suburb of Sydney. I walk past this building daily and although admission is granted only to credentialed research staff, they allowed me to photograph this circular stairway. I was instructed NOT to use a flash to take the picture as it might set off the infrared security system. What kind of medical research are they doing here anyway?!?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Paddington Market...

Cappuccino, Chrome & Baby Blue Jellies

Sunshine, Silver Bracelets & Selma

Night at the Opera (House)...

I went to the Opera House Theatre tonight to see a play and I had a chance to take a couple of night-time shots. The city is especially striking in the evening with its buildings illuminated.

An adaptation of The Nutcracker, by the Australian Ballet was playing this evening and the Opera House gift shop was decorated in a ballet theme. Next Friday evening, I'm going to see the Sydney Symphony perform in the Opera House Concert Hall. I am looking forward to it!

Every major city has a 'space needle', right? Here's Sydney's; and, yes, the top level is a revolving restaurant!

The Harbor Bridge

New Digs...

374 Moore Park Road, in Paddington, a suburb of Sydney, is home for the next three months. It's a three level terrace-style building about a 40 minute walk to Sydney's central business district and the Opera House. There are five bedrooms (and five tenants)... although, my room was originally the dining room.

I didn't want the room to look like a bedroom, so I bought this sofa and two chairs at a moving sale. I sleep on the couch, which is really very comfortable! So where's my 'stuff' you ask? It's hiding behind the chairs and the sofa. (You can see my fishing rod in the reflection of the mirror!)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Fly to Sydney...

If you were wondering... "Where is he now...?"
I flew from Perth back to Sydney a couple of days ago. After months on the road, I decided I needed a break from travelling so I've rented a room in a old terrace house in Paddington, a suburb of Sydney, for the next three months and plan to settle into city life.

Although I don't consider myself a 'city person', Sydney – despite it's appearance from 3,000 ft. – is manageable. There are numerous activities and opportunities to avail oneself of, and I plan to do just that until July 31st., when I fly back to the States. :-)

Today, I enrolled in a 10-week art instruction program at the oldest, continually operating art school in Australia, the Julian Ashton Art School. I've never taken art instruction so this will be a new experience for me. I'm looking forward to my first class this week!

Sydney's many harbors, as seen from 3,000 ft.