Monday, 12 October 2015

Greenwich Point Baths

It is very small. a handkerchief, as the saying goes. These photos were taken early, before the body count built up. It pays to get there early. The access is steep, the roads winding. and the parking negligible.
One has to pay for entry. However, for us (2 adults + 2 children), it was only $11. We always take our own food, to reduce both sugars and fats. But, the coffee was very good. And brought to me on the sand!
However, it is on the harbour. And the harbour is dotted with ferry wharves. Indeed, there was a walking track across the point to Greenwich Point ferry, and a short trip to Circular Quay. Tell you about it in my next post.

Friday, 9 October 2015

The CBD - From a Distance

The city is on the south-side of the harbour. Greenwich (gren-ich) Point is on the north-side of the harbour. We are looking south-east. It is about 9am last Monday, a Public Holiday here in New South Wales.

Greenwich Point baths are new to me. They are a small, fenced, harbour pool; pay for entry. Parking is not easy to come by. Access is steep. It is a delight, and the views are to die for.

They have a "Nippers" programme which starts on 1st November, so I am assured we will be back.

A note on the first image. There is a forested area immediately before the high-rise of the CBD. This is Goat Island.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

St Mary's Cathedral - From a distance

Photography can be deceptive, I suspect you might agree. It is all in the framing.

This first image was taken from the viaduct that separates The Domain from Wooloomooloo. Not sure why the viaduct is there: it does not carry water, it does not carry cars. It allows pedestrians to cross from Cook+Phillip Park over to The Domain, and hence to the AG-NSW. It is excessively ugly when included.

As you can see from this second image showing the viaduct obliterating the beauty of St Mary's Cathedral. This was taken from the intersection of Riley Street and Sir John Young Crescent, the head of Wooloomooloo Bay, prior to it being retained by a wall, and extensively retained, in the 1860s.

This third image was taken having crossed the viaduct and on my way across the grassy expanse of The Domain sports fields. I looked back, judiciously framed my shot, removing all ugly, and just showing a magnificent contrast of old vs new. The new is the building in which my daughter currently works; on the 22nd floor.

Below is a paining by Geoge Lambert in 1849. It shows the ridge upon which St Mary's Cathedral is now located. Actually, the original St Mary's is in the painting, but the new building was swung around to be north-south. The church with the spire is St James.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

A stream meandered through it

This is a few hundred metres walk from the Sydney Town Hall, nominally the centre of our historic heart. It is an old water course, but all is not what it seems. The contours are bulldozed into shape, rather than crafted by coursing water from the escarpments behind. Even just 30 years ago, I recall using this area with its double-layers of street parking, as an often-available car spot.

But pretty it looks now. It has the bed of the Yurong Stream "out" by about 100m, too far west. This is very close to the Water Gardens of yesterday, and adjacent to the Cathedral approach I will show you tomorrow.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Yurong Water Gardens

The Yurong Water Garden is an environmental artwork inspired by the Yurong Stream that once ran close to the edge of Cook and Phillip Park through the mangrove mud-flats down into Woolloomooloo Bay. The Yurong Stream itself was sourced up at the head of the Wooloomooloo Valley (the Darlinghurst escarpment), close to the gaol. It meandered down, under William Street via a culvert, and into the increasingly putrid head of Wooloomooloo Bay.

It was joined at the back of St Mary's Cathedral by an unnamed (but steep) tributary. Roughly hewn boulders of sandstone and original pavers and rocks from the landscape have been arranged to form a course for the "stream" which flows down three terraces of gardens retracing the path of the original tributary. The use of sandstone reflects the cultural and natural heritage of the surrounding area. Both the Yuromg Strem and the tributary have ceased to exist since the 1860s, when they were converted into the Wooloomooloo Sewer. It is hard to believe that these shots are in the centre of my city. The serenity of the area nowadays, could be taken as an abject apology for our cavalier approach to their bounty during the 19th century.

The installation was devised by Anita Glesta together with Spackman & Mossop, and installed in July 1999.