Monday, October 27, 2014

Sydney Showing Off

Melbourne and Sydney have the type of rivalry you'd expect from the two largest cities in Australia. Thankfully, Sydney did not win the Grand Finals of Footy (Australian Rules Football) this year. But they can always fall back on the honor of having the largest natural harbour in the world and certainly one of the most beautiful. Plus, this weekend, I was impressed by the art on display, all for free.

The harbour was on proper display as the day was a perfect spring day. Chase and Sasha were my hosts and we started with brekkie at the Cafe inside the Kirribilli ferry station. Then we hopped the ferry across to Circular Quay (pronouned Key).

Above: Poached egg on smashed peas, with chorizo, salad and toasted sourdough.
Below: Sailing the harbour in front of the Prime Minister's Sydney home.

We were pleasantly surprised to encounter the #chalkurbanart festival going on and spent a bit of time admiring and posing with the art, including the big one in front of the customs house. 

Above: Chase got a little stronger
Below: 6 chalk artists collaborated to create one gigantic piece of 3D art that you could pose in the middle of and have a photo taken from the 3rd floor of the customs house.

We caught the bus to Bondi Beach and got the requisite ice cream and hot dog to fuel our walk. 

I've been living in Australia for 3.5 years and I finally made it to the famous Bondi!

There is a nice path that runs south from Bondi Beach along the coast and this weekend we were lucky/unlucky enough to be there when the "Sculpture by the Sea" was on. The sculptures came in all sorts of shapes, sizes and themes. Some of my favorites below. We didn't splurge for the guide, so we can only guess at the true meaning.

One of our favorites was what we dubbed "Rocks n' Socks", since it looked like piles of rocks all lovingly wrapped in thin white socks and arranged so they almost blended in with the natural rocks. What does it mean!?

This black obsidian sculpture had striking lines and a shiny finish. I liked the rough edges as well.

Above: The crowds stretched along the entire path, as far as the eye can see.
Below: They do not realize they are being watched by one of the clones from "Attack of the Clones"

Chase contemplates the meaning of a collection of plastic bottle caps woven together with zip ties and filled with plastic jugs. "Overconsumption" was a number of pieces spread over the rocks like dead giant squids. *Note: color has been modified for effect

Black swans made from re-used wooden furniture. 

Chase does not approve of the dog cone.

Overconsumption seen from above.

At the sculpture that looked like a giant funeral pyre, we decided the wind and crowds had worn us out and decided to take a break. While laying on the grass we watched a bird literally hover, wings outstretched and not moving forward, back, sideways, just perfectly balanced in the air. It was an impressive combination of wind and bird behavior. I hope it was as fun as it looked. (sorry, no picture)

Lunch called to us from a pop-up cafe in a sea themed cottage in the midst of the sculptures. Tasty fried shrimp, burger and fries, plus a pastry for dessert, yummy!

Out front was a unique sculpture that looked like two tree houses connected by a wooden bridge, but one was a classic western house shape singing Hallelujah and the other was playing a call to prayer and looked like a mineret. The songs alternated and made you look back and forth between the two mini structures along the bridge. I liked the commentary, especially given my personal bridging of these two worlds.

Back at Bondi Beach, we sat and watched the surfers a bit and then we got an unexpected show. If you want to know the story, message me. No, there was not a shark attack.

Sydney always impresses when I visit, but I'm still glad I live in Melbourne. 

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