Friday, September 27, 2019

Australia, Quickly - Indoor Sydney

Our quick sortie through Oz, for better or for worse, doesn't include much inside time, but I drag my real camera along in case something catches my eye.

Palmer & Co. bar

One spot that stands out is Palmer & Co., a speakeasy-style bar in CBD Sydney. It's attached to a stunning restaurant called Mr. Wong, which I sadly don't have any photos of because I'm too busy being flabbergasted by the food.

Cordial me right in the tincture hole

Anyhow, Palmer & Co. is down a dirty alley, serves amazing drinks, and has a fantastic catacomb-y feel to it. 10/10, would drink here again (psssst, and there's a secret lift into the restaurant if you've got a booking).

My spirit animal is charcuterie

Another semi-random spot in which we find ourselves is the Queen Victoria Building, a city-block-sized indoor mall that feels a little less modern than most, which is quite a good thing.

So many lines

Murphy wanders for shops and I wander for photos.

Stairway to...nowhere?


Back to the beginning, however, I'd like to point out that these days, most of the times I insist upon bringing my "real camera" are when I know I'll be in spots with too little light for our otherwise impressively good smartphone cameras. With each successive generation of smartphone, though, I find that those instances keep getting chipped away. And now, with the various night modes and other related computational photography tricks out there, I feel like my "real camera" use cases are more and more out on the skinny branches. And as of recently, there are now flash/strobe options that are triggered over bluetooth from a phone. Five years ago, I never would have considered only having my smartphone on me if the photo "counted," but now, I have to think twice about it. I guess it's only a matter of time before I start calling my phone the "real camera" and I only keep the "big camera" for my tilt-shift lenses, long lenses, or other very niche applications...

But I digress. One more installment of Sydney stuff to come and then we'll be on to other stuff.


Thursday, September 26, 2019

Australia, Quickly - Beaches and Pools by Foot

With our short stint in the Blue Mountains complete, we trade a horizon of thick haze from boundless eucalyptus trees for the very recognizable skyline of Sydney. We've found a lovely Airbnb in Double Bay, and the hostess lives up to her Superhost qualification immediately. Turns out a bottle of wine and some recommendations for cool spots goes a long way!

Our agenda for Sydney is the usual city stuff of good coffee, food, and cocktails, but here, we've added more outdoors stuff than normal because, well, it's a mild winter and there are beaches everywhere. For context, "mild winter" means 24C/75F, so the soft Aussies are all bundled up in their scarves and puffa jackets, but that's nicer than a lot of New Zealand summer days, so we're practically naked.

That mental picture aside, Australia has an amazing culture of fantastic outdoor pools; practically can't swing a cat without hitting one. And of course they're all by the beach, because why not, and of course all the beaches are connected by trails, because obviously.

Somewhere around Hermits Bay

So on consecutive days, I head out on big runs to explore these beaches. First day is Double Bay to Bondi, and the sightseeing along the way is fantastic.

Bondi Beach

Icebergs pool

We swim in Icebergs Pool, where I absolutely freeze my tits off, but it's a once-in-a-lifetime swim, so no complaining allowed. We follow that up with the Bondi to Coogee walk, which is beautiful, but swarmed with The Hordes, of which we are part. We top off the afternoon with a beer or three in Coogee with some local friends; bonus!

Along Bondi-Coogee walk

The next day, I run the other way: Double Bay to Pyrmont, past the Botanic Gardens, the Opera House, Circular Quay, and all the other sights. Definitely not the same beachy vibe as the run to Bondi, but far from awful.

Just your average neighborhood 50m outdoor pool (@Botanic Gardens)

I could not have asked for better settings or better weather to go exploring by foot! The swim in Icebergs was memorable for all the right reasons, and I definitely feel fortunate to be able to design a couple days around these little mini-adventures.

Thanks for watching. Next up: some urban stuff.


Past Detritus