Friday, October 03, 2008


0810 daytripper mosaic
Originally uploaded by rooruu
One ticket, one day in Sydney. What can you do?

Lots.  I'm only doing one photo a day for Ali Edwards' a week in the life project I alluded to a day or three ago - except for today, which has been documented in somewhat exhaustive detail.

Starting from the top daytripper ticket - so you can catch trains, buses, ferries as you wish for the day.  Day wasn't entirely planned, but the cost was only a dollar or two more than a plain return, so what the heck.

Train station - nice old building.  I was a bit early, so occupied myself with the Sydney Morning Herald and a cool drink - even early today, it was warm.

Mad floral shoes from the Metro section of the paper, worn by a girl in a band.  You'd think the flowers would brush against each other and fall off.

Central Station - the country platforms, colourful safety bumps and the sandstone clock tower.  If you haven't been to Sydney, the native stone for the area is Sydney sandstone, which just glows in the right light, and is so warm and pale (not like the heavier, darker stones which characterise other cities).

Having alighted again at Town Hall, the Queen Victoria Building is right there, with its sculptures and carved sandstone, Victorian elegance against the modern minimalism of the buildings around it.

I had a message to do at offices near the Hilton Hotel, and it was an opportunity to inspect the Bronwyn Oliver sculpture, Vine, that's in the Hilton foyer.  It's enormous!

The coloured glass and narrow passageway are part of TGV, The Galeries Victoria.  Two floors up is the huge Kinokuniya bookshop, but I'll go there at the end of the day, not traipse around carrying any finds.  The Big Issue is a magazine sold by the homeless, who keep a percentage of their takings.  Anytime I'm in the city, if I see a Big Issue seller, I'll buy a copy.  This man was wonderfully cheerful, and easy to spot in his bright safety vest (I didn't photograph him because I didn't like to ask - it was odd, in the centre of the city, how often one felt inhibited about taking photos, mostly because you didn't want to seem like a Bad Egg of some sort).

Wandered through the stationery Dymocks (a choice of thousands of 2009 diaries) and then the bookshop Dymocks.  I photographed the home design and quilting sections where I browsed, but no purchases - apart from anything else, I have a gift voucher for Borders... On to the newish Apple Store, which I hadn't been to before.  Naturally, surrounded by its friends and relations, my iPod worked fine and didn't show the on/off switch problems I'd been having.  There are benches and tables laden with internet connected Macs, laptops and desktops, and they encourage you to do some browsing to see how they work.  So I did, and browsed to my blog page.  Because I could.  And took a photo, so I could blog my blog.  Because I can.

On through the Strand Arcade, admiring the graceful trusses - Victorian, maybe?  I couldn't photograph it, but it's good to know there's a Crumpler shop there - they make very excellent bags from little ones through to large - I keep my digital cameras and iPod in Crumpler bags.  Australian designed, wacky names, good quality.

Toddling towards Borders, I was very happy to see a big wall of one of my favourite books, The Time Traveler's Wife.  After due consideration, the gift voucher was invested in two fiction books: The Story of Edward Sawtelle by David Wroblewski, and The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti.  If I like 'em and want tell you about it, I'll do it here, in a later blog entry.  The bookshops around home aren't bad, but the big ones in the city - Kinokuniya, Borders, Dymocks - always have stuff you haven't seen.

I detoured through the David Jones' Food Hall, photographing some pomegranates and zucchini flowers on the way (so that's how they sell zucchini flower!) and had lunch at the Piccadilly food hall: Thai Mussaman beef and a view.  Back into DJs and liked (but didn't buy) these Christmas cards.  I seem to have a bit of a thing for silhouette designs at present.  I didn't buy because I bought some cards in the sales in January (at half price).

Afternoon tea was taken in the DJs coffee shop overlooking Hyde Park.  The famous David Jones' passionfruit sponge cake is not quite as good as it used to be, but it's still a winning combination - the tartness of the passionfruit, the sweetness of the cake, the richness of the cream.  Yum.  Started reading one of my new books while eating cake; when I'd finished the cake, I fished out my writing notebook and wrote for a time - I rather like writing in cafes and rarely have the chance.  Especially not when you can look out over a pleasant view like this one.  They weren't madly busy at that hour, so they let me be. It was a nice break in the day, change of pace, change of thinking pattern.

No photos of this, but I went upstairs to browse their sale racks and came away with three pieces of clothing for work (a top, a dress and a pair of trousers), for less than $50 (they would have totalled nearly $200 if I'd bought them at full price, which I didn't and wouldn't have.  And it's kinda nice, when you've just gone through your summer stuff and thought, it's time to replace those cream/taupe cotton 7/8 length trousers - and have a pair waiting for you, heavily reduced in price.  Yay!

Across Market St to the other David Jones' store to suss out their Christmas shop, which has opened.  I know, it's ridiculous to be thinking Christmas with October barely started.  But they have different things to other places more locally, and now's a good time to see that before much has been sold.  The little figurines are Gisela Graham designs (or some similar name) and pricey.  Some of the painted faces had unfortunately shifted from a slight superiority to a downright sneer, which isn't exactly what you want on your tree, is it?  The Christmas decoration stories they have this year are not vastly different to what one has seen before: blue/white; tropical brights, such as pink/lime; traditional green and red; some handcrafted-look stuff in red/white; and so on.  They had lots of Jim Shore figurines, too, and lights and so forth.  I invested in two decs I didn't photograph (they're Christmas surprises) and a box of the painted red/white hearts.  And have no particular plans to return for anything else.  It wasn't 'orrible, it's just that a) this house has plenty of Christmas decorations and b) the selection was quite repetitive, one bauble deisign or bird might appear in different colours to suit each 'story'.  Anyhoo, no trees in this house till December!

On the way back to the station, took time to browse Kinokuniya - photos here of their home design section and quilt book shelves.

So there you have it - a daytrip in town which didn't end up involving ferries or buses (did I mention it was 35deg Celsius, hot hot hot?) but did get a few messages done, browsed some bogglingly big bookshops and more.  It's good to have a change of scene like that when you're on holidays - go breathe some different air (probably smoggier, but you can't have everything), mix with different folks and create some different spaces in the day.

Ali Edwards' idea is to comprehensively document each day of a week, but I've gone a different way, detail on one, and just one photo of the others.  Whatever works for me! - not sure how I'll scrapbook it yet, but I'll think that out later.  There were so many other things I could have added to the day today too, but it was always a smorgasbord to pick from, rather than a required list of destinations.  The Powerhouse Museum and the Many ferry, for instance will still be there another time.


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