Sunday, October 31, 2010
Summer is almost here when the Jacaranda's bloom, they should be Sydney's tree - it is a shame they come from Brazil.
Q. Where is Sydney's best Jacaranda.
A. Stay tuned for my vote, and it is not the one in today's blog.
This one is in the main quad at Sydney Uni.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Looking up across the sails of the Opera House - some beaut Swedish tiles.
My father and the engineers had been working on the geometry of the shells for some years and at the same time he was looking into the ceramic tile question.
What kind of ceramic tiles could be used for cladding the shells?
He wanted a white tile and on his trips back and forth between Sydney and Denmark, among other places he visited, he was in Iran and especially Isfahan. My father was very much taken by the ceramic surfaces on the big domes of the mosques.
Even though the tiles were dirty with dust from the desert my father saw how they would still sparkle and shine in the sunlight.
He tried to emulate that glaze as if on ceramic tiles in Europe and he found a Swedish factory that made ceramic tiles for the paper pulp factories in Sweden and Finland.
1.056 million Tiles were made for the Opera House and one of my father's employees at the office was actually staying in Denmark when the rest of the office went to Sydney.
He sorted out every tile for the Opera House!
So he was at the tile factory whenever the firing was done. He looked through all the tiles, rejected some and let others pass that were then sent to Sydney.
Therefore there is this wonderful surface of tiles that you see on the Sydney Opera House shells.
But before that they had to find a way to fix the tiles to the shells...
One day my father was walking in the town of Helsingborg in Sweden and by accident he met the famous Swedish architect Sigurd Lewerentz on the street and as a gesture he bent over and said
"It is an honour to meet you Mr. Lewerentz."
As his eyes looked down onto the pavement he was walking on, he saw that the tiles were set in a diagonal pattern rather than a straight checkerboard pattern. He thought to himself ahh if we set them diagonally that would be much better. So this is one reason why the tiles on the Opera House shells are set in a diagonal pattern. The other reason was to find a surface which allowed for the application of tiles in an orderly manner. He couldn't find that and the engineer had problems structurally in erecting the concrete shells that my father envisaged but eventually my father had the idea of using a sphere as the base for the geometry of the shells.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Today is the Opera House's Birthday!
The Opera House was formally opened today 37 years ago on 20 October 1973. I remember a lone Aboriginal, playing the digeredoo at the top point of the front sail. It is built on Bennelong Point named after a famous Aboriginal who was around at the time of the first fleet in 1788.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Part of the Sydney Food Festival here in Hyde Park they are setting up for this annual event. A great way to have a taste of a variety of food Sydney has to offer.
The Wall Street Journal says: For Sydneysiders interested in eating like international jet-setters, but not ready to use their strong Aussie dollars to travel the world to do it, the annual Night Noodle Markets in Hyde Park offers a taste of Asia and the Middle East this week.
The park’s sprawling lawns have been converted into an open-air, Asian-style night market, with red lanterns lining the food stalls and white holiday lights dangling from above. Part of the Crave Sydney International Food Festival, this year’s noodle market differs from previous ones with the addition of Middle Eastern fare. True to the Sydney culinary scene, Thai is the most dominant cuisine on offer. But there are Turkish, Malaysian, Japanese, Chinese and even Himalayan specialties to try, too.
In an effort to sample the rarest dishes we could find, we started with a mixed plate at Himalayan Yummy Kitchen (price: 12 Australian dollars, or US$12), a combination of barbecue chicken, savory potatoes, veggie noodles, relishes and steamed rice. Himalayan barbecue chicken looked just like Tandoori chicken and the noodles had a lo mein quality to them — but the mountainous dishes had unique flavors and a mild spice that was all its own. Nearby, Efendy Modern Turkish restaurant sold koftes (A$10.50), a smoky-tasting lamb roll NOT A MEATBALL? my companion called “delicious.”
Further down in yet another sets of stalls, the cafe New Shanghai offers a selection of dumplings — try the steamed vegetarian (A$5) drizzled in vinegar. At Lees Malaysian, a char kway teow (A$10.50) plate of flat noodles with shrimp and chicken seemed at first like a standard Asian noodle dish, but mix in the chili paste, and the noodles grow spicy, the flavor more robust.
With tables and chairs dotting the lawn, there’s no shortage of seating for those arriving early. But lines develop fast at some venues. By 6 p.m. on the evening of our visit, for instance, beloved Chinese restaurant Din Tai Fung, which now has shops in seven Asian countries plus the U.S. and Australia, had a long queue, while others had none. Bring your own wine and other beverages, too: Drinks are for sale but beverage vendors aren’t nearly as ubiquitous as food sellers.
The Night Noodle Markets are open all week, Oct. 18 to 22, from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., rain or shine.