Category Archives: travel

Canberra Architecture

Review: Book
Canberra Architecture, Andrew Metcalf
Watermark Architectural Guides, 2003

CanberraI picked up this book quiet a while ago but it is only now that I have had time to look through it. I am glad I did, as after reading through quite a bit of it, I have become more aware that Canberra has a reasonable amount of good and notable architecture.

I have a quiet interest in good architecture and have spent some energies complaining about the current crop of badly designed houses and commercial buildings being thrust onto Canberra. Residents have despaired that good design in our civic areas and suburbs has become a thing of the past.

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Visiting the National Gallery of Victoria

Review: Gallery Visitor Experience
Visiting the National Gallery of Victoria*

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One of the unfortunate outcomes of the marketing of our major art galleries is that so much emphasis has been placed on the special and blockbuster exhibitions. This form of marketing may be assisting with budgets, but this success is at the cost of letting people know about the galleries’ own collection exhibitions.

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QANTAS

Comments: The future of QANTAS

images-1Once upon a time, in the not too distant past, Australians were proud of the national airline. It had a first-rate international reputation. Whenever you could, you flew QANTAS.

This partly changed with the privatization that happened under the Keating Government. However most still believed it was a national carrier even though it was run by a private board.

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Breakfast in Canberra

Urbanity: Breakfast in Breakfast
A list of places to have breakfast

Visits to  suburban cafes during 2014 for weekend breakfast/ brunch; we live inner north, so it will be those within easy range. Watch this space as the list grows! all reviews – click here

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Tosolini’s, Corner London Circuit, West Row, Civic

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I have been to this cafe over the years far too many times to even ponder counting. Manly for coffee and the occasional meal. I used to eat their cakes, but with age, and dangers of putting on weight, the cakes etc are no longer for me.

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Adelaide

Review: Book
Adelaide, Kerryn Goldsworthy, 2011

9781742232621.jpg.400x0_q20This is another of those smallish book  published about Australia’s capital cities. I have already reviewed Hobart, by Peter Timms.

I have to confess that I did not take to the book on Adelaide and at times seriously considered giving up. In the end I had a move quickly through whole sections in order to see where the author was going.

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Breakfast in Canberra

Urbanity: Breakfast in Canberra
A list of places to have breakfast

Visits to  suburban cafes during 2014 for weekend breakfast/ brunch; we live inner north, so it will be those within easy range. Watch this space as the list grows! all reviews – click here

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Pork Barrel, Near Old Parliament House

Arrived about 12.15 and the sun was shining. The place was quietly busy with plenty of options for seating inside or outside under the trees.

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Gardens By The Bay

Review: Gardens By The Bay, Singapore

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This is a difficult review.  I am not as enthusiastic about this major park project as all the reviews I can find online. I am very ware that it has been granted all sorts of awards. Please check award accolades here in the UK Telegraph,  and again on this award site.

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Breakfast in Canberra

Urbanity: Breakfast in Canberra
A growing list of places to have breakfast

We intend to visit  suburban cafes during 2014 for weekend breakfast/ brunch; we live inner north, so it will be those within easy range. We intend here to visit  suburban cafes for weekend breakfast/ brunch; we live inner north, so it will be those within easy range. Here’s the latest. There’s more online – see link below this review.

Wilbur’s Cafe and Bar at Hackett

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Cotter Dam Artwork

Review: Public Art

A review of the artwork at the Cotter Dam site.

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There is just one lone piece of art at the new Cotter Dam site.  I am not sure of its placement on the fairly bare site in front of the very dominating new dam wall. Seems no creative landscape design was employed to enhance its placement.

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Grace Marchant Garden

Review: Grace Marchant Garden, San Francisco
Location the Filbert Steps between Telegraph Hill Boulevard down to Levi Plaza and the Embarcadero.

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This is a story about local people caring for their own. In the first instance one woman’s determination to make the open space beautiful around her new home. And then a story about the local community who have since stepped in to keep and maintain her legacy, now called the Grace Marchant Garden.

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Hobart

Review: Book
Hobart, Peter Timms, 2012

Please note this is the 2012 revised edition. The original 2009 edition was titled In Search of Hobart.

This smallish book I picked up for several reasons. I know Peter Timms, I have read and enjoyed his previous writing, I know several people who live in Hobart and it is a city that I have visited for many reasons over several decades.

Peter writes not as a historian or travel writer, or as one doing a tourism promotion. Instead Peter uses a reportage style, he tells stories about people, the places and events. All this is based on research of available documents and interviews and observations of a diversity of people. In summary, this is an interesting read. For whom is a good question.

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Tale of two Arboretums, Lindsay Prior

Review: A Memorial  Arboretum

Lindsay Prior Arboretum, Canberra

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If you have not already read it elsewhere on this blog, I love trees. Our home is now immersed in shrubbery. Ever morning we awake to sounds of all the bird life that enjoy our the biodiversity in the garden in our street. The front has been planted and designed in such a way that when we sit on the front verandah and look in a northerly direction, all we see are trees and shrubs. There homes and cars in that direction, but they a blocked out so that it looks as though we look out on a private parkland. But despite our private parkland and that a wetland is five minutes away, we do venture out occasionally to see what others are doing with trees. Occasionally!

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Cafe Music

Opinion: Cafes and Loud Music

We wandered recently over to Green Square Kingston for some late breakfast and coffee. There are now four different cafes serving breakfast/brunch in this one place with another across the street. I would estimate that there would be at least another six further around the block. We thought we may check out a new cafe that had opened just weeks earlier.

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Public Art

Review: Public Art

Sculpture of Ben Chifley and John Curtin, Canberra

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I have driven passed this sculptural piece, by Peter Corlett, many many times. The pair of sculptures look very natural on the corner to the extent that I dare say the casual observer and busy drivers may pass by and miss that they are bronze figures. There’s no plinth. They have been attached directly onto the footpath.

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Art Gallery Exhibitions

Review: Visual Arts

An overview of accessing Australia’s major visual art gallery exhibition programs though their websites. Date: Christmas 2013.

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This is an overview of what visual arts major art galleries are telling us is available around the country this Christmas. Our major art galleries endeavour to have their local audiences come through the doors. The challenge is to convince someone interested in all manner of visual arts, including photography, to spend some of our discretionary leisure time and dollars to travel (pay airfares and accommodation) to see the collections and special exhibitions.

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Photography

From the Guardian Australia

How photographing events stops us living them

I identify with Jillian’s comments – click here or on the image above. Many times I witness people wander up to an art work or some scene, and without any thought, they quickly pull up the camera, iphone or ipad, snap and then walk on. They do not even take the time to really look. Got the photo, move onto the next one.

Outside the National Gallery of Australia, people sometimes bring their car to a halt, jump out, snap a few, then it is back in the car and off they go. They have done the National Gallery! and have the photo to prove it. Where was the enjoyment in all that.

Food: in japan

Photo-essay

Japan and food – an image

A photograph taken in 2006 of lunch time on a busy back street in Tokyo.

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The food was great.  Ordering in such places is always interesting as no-one there spoke English (and this is the usual off the tourist areas) and we spoke absolutely no Japanese. We managed through hand gestures and pointing and thanks to the politeness and very friendly nature of the owners. This experience was repeated often whereby the locals were both helpful and courteous to these foreigners who did not speak their language.