Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Sydney 5, the race wars

Jim at Sydney - City and Suburbs has posted a number of photos taken over time of Sydney Park in the suburb of Alexandria. I thought it would be an interesting place to visit, but our Sydney stay was short and I did not press the point to R.  

Instead I suggested we catch a bus to the suburb Maroubra Beach where we had never visited. It was such a nice and interesting half hour trip on the bus. There was a terrible incident at nearby Cronulla Beach that spilled to Maroubra Beach in 2005. You can read about it here at Wikipedia. I was looking out for Lebs and white supremacists but the closest I came were mothers of many cultures with babies in prams. 

Here is a snip from Wikpedia. I confess to not knowing how the riots began.

Just after 15:00 on Sunday, 4 December 2005, police were called to North Cronulla Beach following a report of an assault on two off-duty surf lifesavers by four members of a group of eight Middle Eastern men.[3][7] A verbal exchange had taken place after three lifesavers approached a group of four young Lebanese men on Cronulla Beach with both groups accusing the other of staring at them. One of the Lebanese men reportedly responded to the accusations, "I'm allowed to; now fuck off and leave our beach", to which a lifesaver responded, "I come down here out of my own spare time to save you cunts from drowning".

Maroubra Beach was just lovely. We sat looking at crashing waves and people watching. We had a nice lunch outside at cafe on the beach facing street, Marini Cafe as I recall. We returned to the beach and sat for a bit. I am now reminded there was a huge area of vacant land clifftop to the south I think. I meant to look it up. I have now. Multi use, it seems. There are walking paths, an equestrian club and other public use areas, including a rifle range. Hmm, the latter doesn't sound like a good addition.

Still annoyed that our favourite Indian restaurant in Oxford Street had closed, I found one within walking distance in Pitt Street called Masala Kitchen. We walked there but alas it had closed down. WE WANT INDIAN FOOD. We gazed around at other places and there across the street was the moved Masala Kitchen. It had just re-opened on the other side of the street and did not yet have a liquour license. I didn't die from the lack of wine. The food and service were great.

An Anglo Indian friend used to make a word play joke on the Indian pronunciation of goat, making it sound like a good curry.

Two customers to each other, "Yuk, goat curry. I'm not eating goat".
Waiter with a heavy Indian accent, "I can recommend the goat curry". 
Customers, "We'll have the good curry, thanks". 

Monday, July 04, 2022

Monday Mural

Murals are not always happy and full of light. This Balaclava mural is sad on so many counts. Joining with Sami for Monday Mural. Right click and open in a new window to read the text if just clicking on it is not enough.

Sunday, July 03, 2022

Sydney 4 Part 2

Raw post, not edited or corrected.

It was a coincidence that we visited Sydney during its lighting display Vivid. We discovered Vivid would be on after we booked our trip. So to what we subsequently booked we added a Captain Cook early dinner cruise to see some of the Vivid lighting. The later dinner cruise was already booked out. 

Our departure time was 5pm and thinking 45 minutes would be plenty of time to get there for the ninety minute cruise, it wasn't. We had to wait quite a few minutes in evening peak time for a train from Museum to Wynyard, then a decent walk and we came out (I know this now) with the King Street wharfs to our left and Barangaroo Wharfs to the right. We went to the Barangaroo Wharf 3 and it was fairly clear that wasn't where we would depart from. We got to the correct King Street Wharf about ten minutes before departure with R stressed. Why? We are here ten minutes early. Really though, I should have allowed more 'things going wrong' time. Almost everyone was onboard.

It was pretty well three courses in an hour and be ready for the lighting up by 6pm. I had to order a bottle of wine using a QR code on our table and enter my card details. Bad luck if you couldn't work out how to do it. It would be a 'dry' argument. We paid extra for a table for two at a window, probably not worth it.

Listed on the online menu were three entrees to choose from. Three mains and three desserts. We were asked if we had any dietary requirements and we answered no and so the choice was down to choosing between choices for each course. We thought we could choose but no, we were given one each of both courses. So for entre I had thinly sliced salmon, which I can eat but I don't really like it and R was given a very nice salad.

We both wanted chicken for the main, but no. We had to one of chicken and one of fish. R started to protest. The waiter checked with the on floor manager. She rudely called over to us that we had to have one of each. She was also very rude to the staff under her too. R argued with the waiter. I told him to let it go. I will have the fish.

We sat discussing the matter and the very nice young waiter returned with Sir, you can have the chicken too. It is not a problem. 

R was so pissed off at this point he said no, I'm not having anything and stormed off leaving me with two roast chicken meals and three quarters of a bottle of wine. The serve was large and I couldn't finish even my own dish. R's just sat on the table. I was asked what dessert I wanted and as I ordered for both of us, R sent me a text. I'm on the top outdoor deck. Come up when you have finished. The views are lovely, and they were when I joined him before returning to eat my dessert and finish off a bottle of wine, less one glass. The uneaten chicken had been removed, replaced by dessert. 

Now really, at least here in Australia if you have a set menu with a couple of meals listed for each course, you can choose which you have. It is standard practice. Management knows from experience what is popular and what is less favoured and cater accordingly. 

To R's credit, he did not let the meal experience spoil the evening. Up on deck by 6pm, we saw the lighting up and it was terrific. There is so much public lighting up for Vivid in Sydney and we only saw what can be seen from the boat within the harbour. 

The trip was worth it to see the lights. The meal not so. It was a fast paced production of churn them through by a certain time without any personalised service and minimal staff to the point you can't even have a waiter take an order for a bottle of overpriced wine. I cannot recommend a Captain Cook Vivid cruise and I am part way through writing a critical Trip Advisor review. However, we have taken a harbour lunch cruise in the past and that was as I remember, quite good.

The interior lighting was good. Unfortunately on the outside of the ship windows were strings of LED lighting, rather spoiling some photos.

The parkland and walking areas that were part of Barangaroo development do seem quite good.

We passed under the harbour bridge four times during the cruise.

Underside of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

People were waiting for the 6pm switch on of lighting. 

Here we go. 

From his lovely highrise apartment with views of the bridge, Victor sent me a text, asking if it that was us passing by. It was.

Luna Park looking towards North Sydney is always lit.

After disembarking, the area was absolutely buzzing. What a terrific atmosphere.

I thought this may amuse north Americans, taken as we sat outdoors having coffee. Please don' t tell me I have to explain it.

On the way back to the station, we passed by this entertainment. A short video to end the post.

I am not sure that R has ever done this before but once back at the hotel on social media he gave a scathing review of the Captain Cook cruise. We don't always agree on such things but he was quite right.

Saturday, July 02, 2022


I had an arranged 'experience' with someone this Friday. It was good. I felt pleased and it seemed it worked for him too. It had been a long time for me between drinks.

We dined this evening with Brighton Antique Dealer and her toy boy at a place called Clocks at Flinders Street Station. It is also a gambling venue though with profits going to housing the homeless, I think. It was ok and surely one of the cheapest places in Melbourne to drink and dine. Overhead where we sat were old suitcases on racks, reminding us that we were at a place of travel. Nice touch, I thought. I should have taken a snap.

An overhead conversation by presumably straight tradie guys, Mate, you had Covid two weeks ago. I need to suck your d*** and get immunity. Idiot straight guys can be so funny at times. 

On the tram on the way home, I met eyes with a young man a couple of times. He nodded to me. I nodded back. He smiled. He kept looking. I mentioned it to R who sensibly said look at what is sitting in front of him. It was a huge suitcase. For just one minute I thought I was desired, but no. He was looking for somewhere to stay. No matter. All a bit of fun. 

Mother Day tomorrow. I told Mother no clothes shopping which stresses R. Just lunch out. She replied, just Big W for a quick visit. Mother does nothing quickly and never has.

Friday, July 01, 2022

Sydney 4 Pt 1

We decided a trip to Manly must be done. You can't visit Sydney without catching the ferry to Manly. We had stuffs to do late in the day.

The 1980s Freshwater Class ferries with their huge carrying capacity have been all but retired, with a couple kept as spares for busy summer weekend peaks and when the seas near the harbour headlands are rough. Its passenger capacity is 1100. Otherwise the service is operated by the newer Emerald Class. The Freshwater ferries took 30 minutes to take the trip. 

We caught the new Emerald Class ferry to Manly. It seemed noticeably faster and it is, cutting the travel time to 22 minutes, but with only a passenger capacity of 400. You can see why the old ferries are brought back into service when demand is high. There is quite a difference between 400 passengers and 1100 passengers. No wonder the older ferries were kept for peak usage. Nevertheless, it was pleasant trip. We lunched at our usual Fusion Point Cafe and sat at the beach for a while, seeing what there was to see. 

Seniors only pay $2.50 a day for Sydney public transport with ferries included. An adult ferry fare is over $7 one way. For $3 more, you can catch the fast ferry for $10 but it now only shaves a couple of minutes off the ferry trip time. Oddly the fast ferry is operated by the NRMA, the New South Wales motoring organisation. 

Manly was just lovely and R said we should buy a small apartment with a view there. Then he looked up the prices. Oh well, it was a nice thought.

On the train for two underground stations to Circular Quay.

Wow. So many ferries coming and going at the Quay.

Plenty of surfer eye candy at Manly.

Along The Corso. 

Bathing corellas amused us as we took a 'photo stop'. 

This was a strange one. It kept laying its head down in the water. Ear parasites? 

No R. You can not afford any of these properties.

The alternative fast ferry.

We were on the left a few levels from the top.

The southern entrance to Hyde Park.

We were back on the harbour in a boat later in the day. Naturally part two to come.