sydneytrip2010: day three

montage: sculptures by the seaI am one tired, sunburned, highly visually stimulated little bunny...

I'm also an incredibly stupid and easily frustrated little bunny... but more on that in a moment.

I think I slept slightly better last night. I certainly went to bed much earlier, although I woke up at around the same time.

And like yesterday, I wrapped myself up in a blanket, parked myself on the couch and caught up on Twitter, Google Reader and Grindr (not that you can really "catch up" on Grindr, but there was chatting).

Oh and a special message for the men of Sydney who use Grindr. Fuck you. Fuck you and the horse you rode in on. Especially those of you who had long conversations with me and then blocked me for no good reason. What the hell is up with that? And it's even worse when it just completely comes out of random... it's all "chat chat chat, make tentative plans to meet up", then a break in transmission because I have to do travel related things and when I come back, blocked.


And yet it's like smack, and I have to check to see what's going on...

Anyway, moving along... the incredibly stupid bunny part of my story kicks in about now.

I'd had my shower and was about to sit down and have the cereal from the plane for breakfast while watching an episode of Daria when Ma messaged me asking what the situation was. Thankfully I hadn't actually introduced milk to cereal at this point, so I went down to her room and half way through the conversation about what we were going to do for breakfast, etc, I suddenly realised that I hadn't charged the battery in my camera last night (or even in the couple of hours I'd had spare this morning.

See... stupid, stupid bunny. Those of you with long memories may actually remember that I pretty much did the exact same thing last time we came to Sydney, although that time I only remembered when we on our way to the destination in question. But it did mean that we had some time to kill this morning while my battery charged, at least enough to get me through the day.

So rather than the quick and potentially unfulfilling breakfast ideas we were kicking around we ended up wandering down to The Rocks and went to La Renaissance Patisserie... so authentically French that the woman behind the counter was French.

Actually, as a quick sidebar, I've heard a lot of different accents and languages not just today, but so far during this trip... Irish, Italian, French, South African, German, at least one of the Scandinavian languages, English and American/Canadian accents, and more Asian languages/accents than I can shake a stick at. Although it's nice to know I still recognise enough Mandarin Chinese to know when it's being spoken and maybe a handful of words... so at least I didn't completely waste five years of high school.

I think hearing French surprises me the most... you just don't hear it in Adelaide. Nice though.

Anyway, we took our very French pastries and our very un-French beverages down to the Museum of Contemporary Art and sat outside by the harbour enjoying the sunshine. That's really the first time we've had proper authentic sunshine this whole trip, but given how red and sore I am at present, I'm not sure that I would have missed it if today had been another grey and showery day.

We also bought some tickets for the bus while we were out. Seriously Sydney... $17.20 for two people to take a single trip to and from Bondi on the same day. Have you ever heard of a Day Trip ticket (one that doesn't cost $20, that's just stupid)... in Adelaide they're only $8.60 and Melbourne has them for $6.80 (and it's even cheaper on Sundays!)... and you can catch as many forms of transport as many times as you like within the 24 hours. Blerk!

But as I said to Ma afterwards, we've paid more money to go and see art exhibitions that didn't have nearly half as many items in them. But... really?

Anyway, when we came back to the hotel after about an hour, my camera battery seemed to be charged enough to get by so we hustled on out again and made it down to Bus Stop E a few minutes before the 333 rocked up.

I was surprised at how full the bus got... I think a large proportion of the people were going to Bondi, although whether they were all going to Sculpture By The Sea I don't know.

I actually thought that going on a Wednesday morning would be a good time... somehow I didn't expect there to be all that many people. People, sure... just not PEOPLE.

But there were definitely PEOPLE. So I was a bit on the hot side, there were people everywhere and there were people just standing in the way. All of these things are things I loathe. So I had a little tiny meltdown. There was lots of deep breathing and staring out to sea while gripping the handrail intently.

I also figured, fuck it, if people are going to stand in stupid places and get in my way, there's nothing to stop me from stepping in front of them if I need to or "pushing" past them when they stop stupidly and unexpectedly in the middle of the very narrow path.

That was what really got me though... for the most part it's a VERY narrow path, but people were just stopping and doing the stupidest things. From stopping halfway down a set of stairs which meant people backed up for quite a way behind them, to people who just stood next to the art, sometimes without looking at it, and just ruined the potential for some really awesome photographs.

And a lot of the time it was old people. You would think that old people would know better! At least with little kids and teenagers you expect that, they're going to be running around stupidly and not really paying attention to what they're seeing... generally taking up space. But with older people, especially when they're of "a certain age", I kinda expect more.

Also, all that stuff I said yesterday about Ma and her walking and her lack of surety when dealing with stairs all came into play today in a big way.

I haven't gone through all of my photos yet, but I'm guessing that a big number of the shots were taken today. It felt like a lot at any rate. I'm nearly at 1100 photo for this trip at the point (1075 to be precise)... and I think that it's telling me that I have about 280 shots remaining. Luckily I did bring my other flash card. I think this may be a record though!

I've also been taking more video than usual... and by "more", I mean "any at all".

There was a lot of really awesome sculpture... and a lot of it was in really great locations, even if it was occasionally hard to photograph without the teeming masses getting in the way.

I also have a bit of a confession to make... while I took a lot of photos, I think, what with my mini meltdown and there just being so may people around getting in the way of the photo taking, there were a fairly high proportion of the sculptures that I didn't really end up "seeing". I photographed them, but I only really experienced them through the camera's display screen, at least in the first instance. Thankfully I realised that while we were looking at the sculptures in Marks Park and had room to get away from people... fortunately that was early enough in the process that I could start to be more careful about actually SEEING the sculpture as we kept going. But that does tend to be the downside of taking so many pictures... sometimes you're so focussed on "getting" the shot that you don't always experience the experience...

I also don't know that there were any extreme stand outs in the sculptures as fas as I was concerned... there was a bunch of really nice pieced, but no one piece that made me go "wow"!

If I had to shortlist some of my favourites, they would have to be:
  • Shimmer 1993
  • Trapped Rocks
  • Leaf Vessel
  • Dreams of Ordinary People
  • Cycle 90° "A premonition of wind" III
  • Everything changes, Everything returns
  • Splash
  • Jolly Giants
  • The Stack
  • Walking on Glass
But even listing them like that, none of them really jump out as being "the best".

And some that I didn't especially like were in beautiful vantage points (and occasionally vice versa)... Jolly Giants was in kind of a horrible spot.

It's also a really gorgeous walk... and it would be even without the sculptures. I possibly took as many shots without sculpture in them as I did with it. Lots and lots of shots of water and waves and rocks.

Unfortunately because part of the day involved walking on sand, I think my knee will play up a little bit tomorrow. Not a lot, just enough to make it's presence known. Stupid sand and stupid knee.

Which brings us to where the walking on sand took place, Tamarama Bay. Wow! If there was ever the quintessential "secluded beach" (even if it is surrounded by houses)... it's so beautifully pristine, and felt so summery and beachy. Of course it would probably have been even more lovely if there hadn't been so many people there. I'm sure the people who regularly use all the paths and beaches that get taken over by the crowds for Sculpture By The Sea must just hate the whole exercise.

Although it did mean that there were a fair number of scantily clad dudes running about the place... as well as a few looking at the exhibition (most of whole showed up in yesterday's Men of Sydney Montage). It was that kind of "take your shirt off and stick it in your back pocket" kind of day for those guys who are that way inclined.

So there was some clandestine, and not so clandestine, snapping photos of hot guys on my part... just because I could...

After we'd finished at Tamarama we wandered back towards Bondi, and it was all much calmer... partly I was much calmer, partly there were a lot less people cluttering up the place.

By the time we got back to Bondi, I think that it was about 2pm or something... it had been a very big morning, and really, it was no wonder that I was pretty much sunburned at that point (but not helped by the fact that neither of us had brought or bought hats.

Now I've said before that the men of Sydney (not the Grindr ones, all the rest) are pretty damn hot... but I think somebody obviously shook Sydney, and all the really, really hot guys settled at Bondi, and then took most of their clothes off. Oh! My! Goddess! So many tanned, tattooed, boardshort wearing men... I was very much all agog! Impressed, but agog.

We wandered up to the Pavilion to get something to eat, I'm not even sure what the name of the place was, but they made a really great chicken burger and a very tasty "fruit salad" smoothie.

So we sat in the sunshine (okay, we sat in the shade, but there was sunshine around), enjoying the food, and then when that was over, enjoying the view...

We were both kinda knackered by that point though, and I was all overheated and somewhat dehydrated and just wanted a cool shower and some shade. So we called it a day and headed for the bus stop. Once again our timing was pretty good and a bus rocked up a couple of minutes after we did. And even better, while the bus was fairly crowded when it left Bondi, most of the people got off at Bondi Junction which was nice.

What was even nicer was getting off the bus, coming back to the hotel (I think it was about 4:15 again, give or take), stripping off and getting into a nice cool shower (especially because my room was also overheated when I got up here... my own fault really, I didn't close the curtains and I switched the air-conditioning to a lesser form of cooling.

We'd arranged to head out to dinner just after 6, and on the way since we were kind of in the mood for some Italian (which I just realise sounds filthy in light of the earlier comments about Bondi), so we ended the day where we began, in The Rocks.

On the way down, my Street Art Senses started tingling, and I caught sight of what looked like a giant paste-up out of the corner of my eye in what turned out to be Underwood Street... which definitely caught my attention because other than one or two bits of tagging, I hadn't seen a single piece of proper street art in the Sydney CBD. There was some at Bondi (although that felt more like commissioned murals than organic street art) and I caught glimpses of some more on the bus on the way back... but other than that, nothing. And it did turn out to be street art, although I do wonder if it was more commissioned/official stuff. As I was photographing it a guy in a Driza-Bone walked past, commented on the paste-up and asked if I'd seen the "art instillation" on the corner... I said I hadn't and thanked him. What a nice man!

The instillation was kinda cool, although also a bit grotty... stools, a bench and ashtrays all precised over by speakers playing some interesting soundbites.

Sadly it wasn't at all photogenic, so we continued on our way down to The Rocks. After some brief indecision which resulted in us going for an extra lap around the block, we ended up at Caminetto, which was very nice. Ma had vegetarian lasagne and I had Spaghetti Marinara... and a beer, just because I could (even if the beer choices seemed fairly underwhelming).

After dinner we detoured briefly to try and snap some photos of the Opera House all lit up (for a big white building, it sure isn't lit up terribly well) and then headed back here where I've enjoyed watching people who don't close their hotel room curtains over at the Marriott... although nothing interesting has happened... yet.

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