Sydney : Carriageworks

Standard

Sydney has a fantastic arts scene with loads of great galleries and art projects. We’ve been working our way around a few, and wandered down to Eveleigh to check out Carriageworks.

The site is a converted railway workshop complex built in 1880 and employed thousands of people in Sydney during its peak. It has since been decommissioned and the area has that fantastic inner city urban wasteland feel to it. As we wandered down from Redfern train station we couldn’t help but to notice the similarities between the terrace housing and converted factory buildings to London streets. The grey skies and wet weather only helped to reinforce the comparison

 

The Carriageworks site is awesome; both literally, and in a modern sense. It has retained so much of the industrial and mechanical history, with battered old wooden doors, vast open spaces and high ceilings whilst also beautifully modern. I’m a sucker for regeneration, and here the old and the new are happily co-existing.

‘Waste not’

We actually went to see Song Dong’s exhibition ‘Waste Not’ a conceptual exhibition of over 10’000 domestic items left by his mother. It’s a hoarders treasure chest and an organisers wet dream. It seems a little bizarre to catalogue a dead womans possessions and neatly arrange them for people in another country to look at. We like many others had a curious muse at cardboard boxes and far too many bowls for one person and then wandered next door to Eveleigh Markets for a coffee and some breakfast.

 

Carriageworks, 245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh. 

*

Interested in Sydney? Check out some more culture, tips and articles here.

If you liked this, please share it with your Facebook friends, or via Twitter. You can also ‘follow us’ using box at the top of the page or join us on Facebook.

Sydney : Balls Head Reserve

Standard

I’ve been coming to Sydney for years, riding the North Shore Line into the city and always passing through Waverton, wondering about Balls head. They have  this lovely Victorian signage “Alight here for beautiful Balls Head”.

It’s one of those things when, you have plenty of time in a place, and you know you’ll come back regularly that you think ‘I’ll go there one day’ Five years later, we actually got off the train at Waverton to take a look.

Once you’ve meandered down through gentile Waverton, you’re surrounded by Nine square hectares of urban bushland.

Sydney is full of surprises, and having an area of harbour fronted land, with an enormous real estate value as this small urban hideaway is pretty special. It’s incredible to think you’re just a mile or so from the CBD and North Sydneys business district. The area also has a rich Aboriginal history.

Beautiful bushland and great city views. Get away from the city without travelling too far.

*

Interested in Sydney? Check out some more culture, tips and articles here.

If you liked this, please share it with your Facebook friends, or via Twitter. You can also ‘follow us’ using box at the top of the page or join us on Facebook.

Sydney : Australia Day celebrations!

Standard

I know, Australia Day was a few days back. I would like to say I’ve been crazy busy, working too much, or job hunting, but I’ve mostly just been procrastinating. Although, we did spend a couple of days this week getting certified as capable servers of alcohol  and apparently, We’re  now qualified to make coffee.

Anyway, Australia Day fell over the weekend which meant the bank holiday rolled over to Monday!

Three day party!? We went into the city on the 26th (Saturday & ‘Australia Day’) to see what was going on, and ventured to Windsor on the Sunday to check out a sand art competition. Monday, in true bank holiday style was a washout. Biblical rains poured down all day, and meteorologists were predicting up to three hundred millilitres. Big rain.

 

There was so much going on in the city. The areas around Hyde Park were all closed to traffic and awash with people. There were more classic cars than I  think I’ve ever seen in one place,  stretching from Hyde Park  to the State Library. Old fashioned buses were also brought out for one day only. There were some beautiful machines and curiously, some cars you wouldn’t consider classic, or even unusual in the UK. Lots of Mini’s and VW Beetles, Morris Minors and 2CV’s! Perhaps my childhood was scared with my Dad driving knackered old cars around. I remember he had a Morris Minor where all the wood was rotten, and a 2CV with holes in the floor. I instinctively lifted my feet up every time we drove near a puddle for years afterwards. I digress.

Both Darling Harbour and The Rocks had events on for the day, and we found Darling Harbour to have a bit more going on. We settled at the World Music stage just as the sun came out for the afternoon. We saw the tail end of a jazz band, who had a whole collection of old people dancing like that Rainbow Rhythms scene in Peep Show. Why is it all the crazy people come out to dance on bank holidays? One sweaty old man switched seamlessly between ballroom dancing with an imaginary partner and doing the Macarena.  Impressive.

After all the unbalanced folk were danced out an amazing Irish band, Hermitage Green played with a full compliment of unusual instruments and they were absolutely brilliant, I would happily pay to see them again. There was also a Soca band afterwards, who were also pretty good.

Darling Harbour had fireworks planned for the evening, but we headed home to  indulge in the very Australian activity of barbecuing  – Sorry Sam Kekovich, we didn’t have lamb.

 

 

On the Sunday we drove up to Windsor, to check out the sand sculpture competition. It  was pretty good, and an incredible amount of detail goes into the sculptures. The theme was fairy tales and a special mention must go to Baldrick Buckle one of the artists, for having the best name ever.

Windsor is also a nice little suburb. It’s one of the first colonial settlements in all of Australia, rich with old Australian architecture and interestingly, a guy shop selling sports items, car bits and stuff to do with killing animals.

Good weekend had by all.

*

Interested in Sydney? Check out some more culture, tips and articles here.

If you liked this, please share it with your Facebook friends, or via Twitter. You can also ‘follow us’ using box at the top of the page or join us on Facebook.

Sydney : The Queen Victoria Building.

Standard

The QVB is probably one of my most favourite places in Sydney. Not because it’s full of expensive shops, and not because it links directly into yet more shops via the basement.

I love it because it’s an beautifully restored old building. Not old on an English scale, obviously…  It’s classy and blends the old with the new seamlessly. Plus, it has some really posh public toilets.

It was originally completed in 1898, and performed many functions. Standing on the site of the original market, it was built to house a concert hall. It became the city library, offices, and other tenants including piano tuners.

I’m pretty much in awe of any beautiful architecture, I can quite happily spend time sitting and staring at all the intricacies and detailing. Stay classy QVB…

*

Interested in Sydney? Check out some more culture, tips and articles here.

If you liked this, please share it with your Facebook friends, or via Twitter. You can also ‘follow us’ using box at the top of the page or join us on Facebook.

South Adelaide : Snorkelling, kayaking, and the Nude Olympics.

Standard

We headed down to Adelaide for ten days to meet some of Jess’s rellies. They live in one of them most picturesque areas of southern Adelaide, in Maslin Beach.

Maslin beach, is most famous for being the first nudey beach in all of Australia, and still hosts the annual Maslin Beach Nude Olympicswhich happened to be scheduled during our visit. Great success!

Adelaide seems to get a pretty bad rep in the Australian media and whilst it’s a small city, the surrounding areas are beautiful.

During our stay we made the most of being two minutes walk from a beautiful beach (not the nudey end…) We also Snorkelled at Port Noarlunga, Kayaked on the Onkaparinga river, got up close with kangaroos at Deep Creek conservation park. we also saw wild koalas. Maslin Beach is also our unofficial home of sunsets. In ten days, we probably saw five or six spectacular skies of fire which we took great enthusiasm oversharing with our Facebook friends. Every day.

Beautiful beaches, wineries, the Adelaide hills, and National parks all readily accessible and ‘Mad March’ when festival season kicks in. We’re looking forward to coming back!

*

Interested in Australia? Check out some more culture, tips and articles here

If you liked this, please share it with your Facebook friends, or via Twitter. You can also ‘follow us’ using box at the top of the page or join us on Facebook.

Sydney : Ballast Point Park, Balmain.

Standard

Three of my favourite interests, from a purely aesthetic point of view are architecture, design and photography.

Ballast Point Park in the Sydney suburb of Balmain, manages to straddle all three. Over the last 150 years, the site has been used for many things, including a private estate, a fuel depot, a grease plant and finally returned to the public to be used as a park.

It’s industrial history has not been forgotten and many elements have been retained and recycled as part of the artistic site, such as ‘Tank 101’,  much of the metal was salvaged to create the installations. The dotted typeface used on  the site reflected the thousands of rivets used in it’s industrial period. The  passages of poetry on the installation read ‘Stone statues of ancient waves’ &  ‘Tongue like dingoes on shore’ are from ‘The Death Of Isaac Nathan’ by Australian poet Les Murray.

The clean, cold lines of poured concrete reinforce its industrial past.

The park is an award winning space, and has great views of the CBD and the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, it is strangely calm and serene for somewhere so close to the city centre.

Curiously, there is also a Michael Jackson shrine. similar in theme to the love locks made famous by the Pont de l’Archeveche in Paris; but seemingly now popping up everywhere including the Harbour Bridge (although a security guy told us they just cut them off once a month!) Paris, and romance are like mac and cheese, or Kylie and Jason.  MJ & Balmain are, well not the same.

You can reach Ballast Point Park on the Cockatoo Island ferry from Circular Quay.  

Hello Sydney! I’ve missed you.

Standard

We arrived into Sydney on the twentieth of December, since then when we’ve been running around catching up with people, being festive and sorting out boring things like bank accounts and medicare. We’ve spent a lot of time catching up on sleep too, the last few months have clearly hit us hard.

We’ve spent a bit of time at the beach, and wandered around the city some, but one of my favourite places to wander is The Rocks.

it’s odd to think you’re only five, or ten minutes from circular quay and hundreds of tourists but hardly any of them venture further into the older area of Sydney. For this, I am thankful.