Sunday, July 05, 2009

Sydney Day 4

Today R suggested a plan. He wanted to see an exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and how could we visit Sydney and not take the ferry to Manly? He had a point.

More consultation of bus details. Ok, the 441 bus comes to the city from Birchgrove and every second bus goes to the Art Gallery. We catch the bus in Park Street. The driver kindly checked that we really wanted to turn left and not continue down William Street. I noted that the 389, North Bondi via Bellevue Hill could be caught from here too. The stop for the gallery was a short distance past, so as we walked back we took in the nice views of Woolloomooloo's Finger Wharf. (THAT word I had to correct of course)

This is a very nice smallish fountain near the bus stop where we waited.

I was not so impressed with the exhibition called Intensely Dutch. Abstract.... I no like mostly. But we wandered around and looked at other works too. There were a decent number of Sydney Nolan's paintings.

We then walked through the Botanic Gardens. While they are very different to Melbourne's, they are just as impressive. Not sure though about the Cahill Expressway going through the guts of the gardens. A very courageous decision Minister. The Governor's flag was flying so she appeared to be at home at Government House, but she hadn't sent us an invite, so instead we passed by the Conservatory of Music and out into Bridge Street.

This odd but appealing sculpture was located just outside the gates. Funnily I saw something on tv about it after we returned to Melbourne. It needs wind to work properly and there was little that day.

We made our way down to the Quay and boarded the ferry to Manly. While I have been on the Manly ferry maybe ten times, this is the first time I noticed that, unlike the other smaller ferries, it is double ended. The Narrabeen does not have to reverse out and change direction. I assume the other Manly ferries are the same. No wonder I have been vaguely confused in the past. The trip was smooth until the near the heads where as per usual, there is some fun rock and rolling.

We alighted from the ferry. I did my good deed for the day by reuniting two gay German tourists. I did not recall aggressive touts outside the Corso cafes, but they are there now. We were going to eat there but R had some instinct to continue on. He was right. Along South Steyne were better places. We had some lunch and then took a walk northwards. Very pleasant and heaps of people lunching on sandwiches, reading books and papers and enjoying the sunshine. I took this photo from opposite where we ate. Not so interesting, but I like it.

Ahhh, where has Manly Beach gone? Temporary barriers were up and more permanent steel ones were being installed. Seems a king tide and bad winds had taken away half of Manly Beach.

Walking leisurely back along the Corso, we stopped off to buy Little Jo a Manly tee. Why do kiddie sizes jump from 2 to 4? What happened to 3? I expect the 4 size tee will fit her. It cost $25 for such a tiny bit of fabric, and then the bastard shop wanted to charge a credit card fee. Hello, we are Australian tourists, not foreigners. We paid cash and made our displeasure known. It is an excellent quality tee shirt for her to grow out of in a couple of months.

Michael Jackson had died that morning. I liked him before he went weird. I read it online before the tv morning shows picked it up. We had to watch atrocious morning tv as there wasn't any AM radio reception in our hotel. By 6.30 pm we were already over MJ's death. This shop amused me and and a music shop on the Manly Corso was playing MJ music loudly.

Back onto the Narrabeen to the Quay and train from Quay to Museum. I would like to say we went for a swim and spa, instead I just went and took photos.

While we can walk quite well on the flat, for us from Melbourne, hills and stairs are hard work. Our day had been quite flat walking, so for dinner we had the energy to wander up Oxford Street, stopped at Stonewall a drink and then crossed Taylor Square and went on a bit further. We found a Spanish place called Catina or Cantina. Not sure. Great food. We reminisced about the long gone Green Park Diner. (I thought it was long gone, but it is still very present on google.)

Stonewall for one more drink and home.

If it is still July the fourth in the US, best wishes from down under.


  1. The NSW Governor has not lived at Government House for many years - since Bob Carr was Premier. They live in their own homes and the House is just used for ceremonial functions and the like nowadays.

    Manly ferries have been double ended (like trams) for as long as I can remember.

  2. I absolutely have to go to that art galler next we are in Sydney. MY favourite journey there yet was the ferry to the lovely Manly :)

  3. Thanks for the 4th of July wishes. That's VERY sweet of you.

    I too liked Michael Jackson--the Thriller album days. I feel sad for the guy.

    I love RBG--one of my favorite places in Sydney.

    I remember the aggressive people in the cafes. I never heard the word "tout" before. It's cool that there's a word for it.

    I'm sure the size 4 will work. I always try to buy shirts a couple of sizes larger for Jack. I figure that way it will last a few more years.

  4. Loverboy1:23 pm

    Well done squire, another superb series. Your perambulations with an enthusiasm to peek -in Melbourne or elsewhere, give your blog a unique style. You appreciate as I do that travel is the best way to spend money. (Yes, and romance is the second best way, but can steer you up shit creek.) I lived for a year at Kings Cross and didn't have a root the entire time. But I was young and I was stunned -by all the licentiousness. OH, what utter abandonement! And waste. Later I went to St Kilda and it all followed me. Blonde prostitutes, the worst kind.

  5. loverboy1:29 pm

    I was going to mention July 4 as well.

    God Bless America! For a set like that.

  6. Anonymous2:09 pm

    A great day! Is The Albury still there? It's been years since I was in Sydney!

  7. Interesting Victor. Our Governor always lives at Government House. Makes sense that the busiest ferry is double ended.

    It is a lovely trip to Manly Cazzie. Iconic.

    Dina, first time we had seen the RBG. Excellent. Tout from touting for business. As I said to R, if it doesn't fit yet, it will soon.

    Thanks LB. I am not sure I agree about travel being the best way to spend money but it is educational. The Cross when you were there must have extraordinary. You didn't ask, but we did not visit the Rocks this time. We have every other time.

    Scott, the Albury is still there. Not sure what it is now, but it is not a gay pub. The company that owns the Oxford has just gone into receivership.

  8. Loverboy8:36 am

    Sydney is a strange place. Joe Borg got blown through the roof of his car, leaving all his brothels to his Alsatian dog. His relatives took the dog to court.
    That was before I got there, but I already knew about it. Melbourne was a country town compared to Sydney. I got a little room in Darlinghurst: bed, wardrobe, gas stove. Then I got a job at Central loading goods vans, and liked walking home through Surry Hills every night; poverty all the way: historic, ghostly, generational. O' melancholy! Dirty old tenements smelling of boiled cabbage. Terrifying really. On a shelf I had a large postcard of the bridge and it was beautiful, mysterious, lit up at night, a sort of green. It meant glamour, the strippers, Darlinghurst road. That's what I thought, that's how crazed I was. And there were illegal casinos, everybody knowing about them except the police, ha ha, plus the entire state government. What crooks! Abe Saffron was "Mr Sin", and his Carousel Club looked ratty in daytime. He died a while back and I wrote a little obituary, tail end of an Ella Fitzgerald song:

    In olden days a glimpse of stocking
    Was looked on as something shocking
    But Abe's intent,
    Was anything went.

    Good heavens, well I don't make a noise about it, but only mention these things thinking they might be useful to someone. That's the truth. My father was always saying how good he was to people but really he wasn't good to them at all. That's the truth too, and usually the case.

  9. Lol at song LB. Sydney was terribly different to Melbourne back then. How rich was Askin when he died?

  10. Loverboy3:17 pm

    Premier Askin became enormously rich (to his great surprise, he could never explain it) but what astonished me was finding out he wasn't just getting money from the Mob he was actually part of it.
    OH what crooks! Police Chief Commissioner Sir Terrance Lewis got thrown into the slammer and his wife Lady Lewis became the only titled person in Australia to apply for the dole.
    It's all in an excellent book 'The Prince and the Premier' written by a local journalist. See if you can get it, it's worth reading just for the comedy.

  11. I've certainly heard of the book. I will add it to the list.