Sunday, November 16, 2008

I Love My Homies!

It's Spring . . the Jacaranda's mark November with their Royal Purpleness:

and the landscape is dotted with their magnificent blooms. For one or two weeks in November they are conspicuous and beautiful in the northern climes where it's warm and humid. They were one of the observations we made driving around Sydney over the girls behave badly weekend.

Friday night The Merry Widow, Thommo and I ventured up to the 'Vicar' to meet the pub crowd and an almighty spring storm prevented us from venturing onward to a restaurant of our choice so while we enjoyed the light show, we and 11 others had dinner at the pub.

We came home and chatted, opened another couple of bottles then retired before an early start to pick up Struth Ruth and the Teacher who was flying in from Melbourne at 8:30am. The weather was shit. Warm but raining and that put the moccas on our preferred cliff walk from Bondi to Tamarama so we resolved to hit Paddington markets. Deciphering the times and meters was a problem and lovely gay boy with a pretty bulldog told us we could park there until 10 without paying. I think the fact that we were conservatively dressed and didn't have dreadlocks or model good looks gave us way as Westies! We needed a heart starter and found a coffee shop with an equally gay and very entertaining owner who gave us cheek and after a latte, flat white, decaf cappuccino, soy flat and a cup of tea in a teacup and saucer (The Teacher's fussy that way). We headed for Paddington which is the respectable end of the Sydney gay district in Darlinghurst. Terraced houses, expensive real estate, fabulous shops, a wonderful market, colourful people. The Teacher and I had a scrunched up newspaper thrown at us by some drunk while the other three tried on shoes. Yep, it's that kinda place.

Then on to the markets. The markets are quality but due to the influx of tourists have become overpriced. I still bought a mask for Adam's birthday (guitar hero devilly thing . . and a cup cake kit for perfect Christmas dainty's). I didn't take many photos due to poor light and feeling a little self conscious about photographing things I had no intention of buying. I've never seen so much home made jewellery in my life!



Paddington Markets in inner Eastern Sydney. Famous. Quality. Expensive.




I guess the Big Issue, transcends posh borders . . ..outside an exclusive shop on Oxford Street.




Gorgeous shopfront of a jewellery shop with other bits and pieces. Japanese jeweller . . if only!




Then we wondered across the Domain (large green Central Park kind of space in the middle of the city) to head towards the Art Gallery. Underneath that green carpet is a 6 level carpark!




One of the many Moreton Bay Figs that don the Domain and surrounds and a backdrop of St Mary's Cathedral and the city skyline . . .



The Art Gallery. Small but interesting and this time a little disappointing because one level was closed for viewing and on it's exterior are the words "Michael Angelo" nobody fixed the poor spelling. We actually went in the hope of seeing the Monet exhibition but the queues were longer than those for the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland so we had lunch and drank and then plonked through the free bits.

I was allowed to take photos without a flash except in the Aboriginal section. Talk about precious! Apparently Japanese tourists have been digitally enhancing the brown and white blobby art and turning it into fabric . .for God's sake, I can photograph a Whitely but not some spotty aboriginal Wanjina . . .



The Merry Widow loves Whitely . . .

Thommo notices that a past prime minister actually does have opposable thumbs contrary to popular opinion . . .



Yep thats a WTF piece. A rock wedged in a bronze tree . . .




We then wondered down to Woolloomoolloo . .yep real name. It's one of many 'finger wharves' that surround the harbour where boats used to unload and in it's former incarnation was actually my first glimpse of Australia. In 1969 it looked like a cattle shed and we'd wondered what on earth had we done to land in such a ramshackle place . . .now, it's posh apartments and restaurants . . $14 for half a glass of chardy . .yes I paid! And the teacher wasn't happy having her tea in a coffee cup! Melbournians are more civilised it seems.

Which one?


We bought a fish THIS BIG . . Beautiful Atlantic Salmon that we stuffed with lemon, capers, dill and some secret ingredients. Smeared with olive oil and salt and baked fast for about 40 minutes . . perfect!

Serve with mixed lettuce and snap pea salad, wasabe, balsamic vinegar dressing, baby chat potatoes in herbs and maaaaaan . . did that fishy taste good!


Following morning we headed into the Parramatta River Festival . . the half bridge above is made out of shopping trolleys! But we found that the festivatl was all over bar the rubbish . . .clearly someone had too much time on their hands and painted sad faces on the rubbish bags . . .

But the steps were interesting . . .



Then we headed home . . .along the rainbow serpent path of course! See the little Jacaranda in the background . . .

That's all you 'need' to know. What's said on tour, stays on tour. . I love my homies!

22 comments:

Ropi said...

I could never imagined that while here they expect snow for next week somewhere there is spring.

Miles McClagan said...

If you ever come to Taswegia, we can go to Penguin market - it's not expensive at all, but if you want footy cards and tubs of honey the size of Latvia, it's amazing!

Megan said...

Nice!

I loves my homies, too.

Bear Naked said...

Thanks for showing us your tour with your homies.
Looks like a good time was had by all.

Bear((( )))

Nick said...

I love Brett Whiteley's paintings. Must have another look at them when I'm over. One level of the gallery closed? Disgraceful.

The day we looked in on Paddington it was as dead as a doornail - must have gone at the wrong time. And clearly the shopping trolleys are a new arrival since our visit to Parramatta.

Grannymar said...

Sounds like a great weekend. Wish I had been a fly on the wall to hear all the chat and laughter!

Ces said...

Seems lovely and interesting as evidenced by the photographs. What a clean and neat place. Interesting tidbit about the Japanese tourists, they're always up to something! How come no one took the camera and took a photograph of you with the rest of the gang? The Moreton Bay Fig tree roots have not risen yet, must be young. I agree those modern sculptures elicit the same response worldwide. I find the artists having better sense of humor than fine art skills. Your salmon made my abdomen cramp. I am not supposed to eat for the entire weekend until Monday. I am dying for a bite of solid food! Very lovely trip Baino. Thanks for sharing.

laughingwolf said...

wunderbra! :)

ian said...

Painting rubbish bags might be practical(this is serious!). I knew farmers who would paint big black silage-filled bags with big faces or simply mark them with a big 'X'. It was supposed to discourage rooks and crows from pecking through the plastic. Painting the rubbish bags might be intended to keep away birds who would otherwise tear them open

Baino said...

Weird isn't it Ropi .. warm and getting warmer down under!

Miley, next girly weekend will be Taswegia either Freceynet Eco Lodge or Hobart . . . you'll see us coming! Honey's good!

Yeh, they're a great bunch and we have a lot of fun even if we do only get together once or twice a year!

Bear the weather could have been better but we were there for the camaradarie, not the sighseeing.

Nick there's a Whitely Gallery in Paddington I thing. The downstairs area of the gallery was closed because the escalators were broken. Apparently using the stairs is an OHS issue .. go figure! Paddington's pretty quiet during the week. Yep the trolley sculpture is new as is the bridge behind it.

Sorry GM, you know the 'tour' rule but there was giggling!

Ah I'm a little camera shy Ces. The Moreton bay figs are well over 120 years old. It's a strangler fig that overtakes it's host and the roots drop from the top and embed in the ground. Sorry you're not too well Ces, I'm thinking of you.

Wuffa you're not making sense?

Ever practical Ian and that could indeed be the case, there were lots of pigeons and gulls around. I just thought them cute!

Miladysa said...

Spring? *sigh*

Seems like a great weekend Baino - wish I could have been there ;D

Bimbimbie said...

Should have told the Japanese tourists there was some street art and pointed them in the direction of those white faced garbage bags ... glad you had a wonderful gettogether*!*

kj said...

i have zero zilch doubt you are a wild and fun traveling companion, baino! how lucky you are to carve time and hang out with good friends. you guys obviously had quite the time. of course you failed to report your discussions: sex? politics? men? gay men? obama? i hope at least sex!

:)

Excellent Adventures said...

Wow, you guys got around! Glad you had a tops time, and those restaurants are so worth paying for, the food's fab!

Thommo said...

Thnaks for a great weekend my friend....it may not have been as exciting or interesting as someof hte others from a venue point of view but as you say - there is nothing like to company and laughter of good friends comfortable with each other!Love youse all!

Thommo said...

Oh dear - I just read that again and my poor typing skills make me sound illiterate!

Jay said...

"Thommo notices that a past prime minister actually does have opposable thumbs contrary to popular opinion . . .
"

HAHAHAHA!!!

Love the jacaranda! We just don't have them here.

I also love the faces on the rubbish bags and the rock in a tree! LOL! Sounds like you had a great time on your girly weekend!

The thing about not photographing Aboriginal art .. I heard this about cave paintings, too. Is this cultural? Or have people been making fabric from those too?

Quickroute said...

*Sigh!* - I used to live in Paddi - great photos - I miss the place - I'd kind of gone off fish but that salmon is making my mouth water - this post really takes me back - cheers

TCL said...

We're heading into winter here. But I'm getting to see sweaters and taste food I haven't seen in a year.

If you can ever find it try a Alaska Copper River Salmon or a Columbia River Chinook from Oregon. All wild-caught and tasty.

Baino said...

Miladysa, it's like no time has passed yet we only see one of our number once maybe twice a year. We'll try for somewhere a little more flash next time. We have a liking for hotel robes and spas!

Haha Bimbimbie! We missed the big tourist event which was on the night before but not many Japanese tourists venture to Parramatta!

kj not sure about 'wild' but we're a good combination and it takes a bit of effort to carve time for the others, they're all incredibly busy but yep . . .we cover many topics but that's 'secret women's business' as the aboriginals would say!

Clare it would have cost a fortune to order a meal like that. Just one 100ml glass of Chardy at Woolloomoolloo cost $11 and that was the 'cheap' one!

Thommo, it's all about getting together. Next year I'll accumulate some funds and we'll hit the excitement trail. The venue was fabulous! Hey we each had our own bathrooms! How good is that!

Hi Jay. I thought the Museum guard was stopping me due to cultural reasons because each load of dots carries a 'story' but no . . it's because people are ripping off the designs to replicate them on fabric and mugs and the like . . .very hard to do that to a Monet without being caught! I suspect a little to do with pandering to a minority for whom we seem to carry collective guilt! Personally I'm not mad about aboriginal art. It's, well, 'brown' I just wanted a photo to give this post a more Aussie flavour.

Hey Quicky. It's a nice place a really diverse bunch of people and beautiful in the backstreets with restored terrace houses. Strangemix of twin sets and fetish! Why are all the good looking men gay?

tcl not much chance of that without a quick trip over the pond! But Oz is tops for seafood, different varieties to the north naturally but fresh and fab. We've never cooked a big boy like that before but it was delish . . .had it with poached eggs and spinach for brekky too!

laughingwolf said...

'sposed to be funny ;) lol

wonder bra/wunderbar

i beati said...

[please adopt me for awhile . I'll be good . I want to go to these places Sandy