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.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Theme Day - Shelter

A snail from my garden, Garden Snail Cantareus aspersus.

My grand-daughter perched within the camellia tree outside my parlour window.

My 15 year-old ginger, Sylvie, takes up her position in the front garden as soon as the sun breaks the horizon. Along the front wall of our house, there is a row of Murraya paniculata, under which she waddles a bowl, in the sun, yet out of the wind.


This is my contribution to the City Daily Photo Monthly Theme Day. To see further contributions to the October Theme of "Shelter" please visit the CDP Gallery

This theme was chosen by Linda Ball and Forrest Preece (LB and FFP) who have been posting for the Austin, Texas Daily Photo blog since May 17, 2007. Please pay them a courtesy visit.

Friday, 25 September 2015

The Macquaries were "greenies" ...

To my way of thinking, this pair left an indelible mark upom the structure, and the style, of Sydney. They lodged at the first government house from 1810-1821. He reorganised the layout of the streets, no mean feat considering the topography with which Sydney is blessed. And yes, he named one of them Macquarie, and another Elizabeth.

He confirmed Hyde Park as a leisure ground for the peopke, and set aside bothThe Domain, and the botanic gardens.

She, by her perambulations, set in concrete the road from Bridge Street to the point named after her. She also was heavily involved with both the orphans home, and the female factory out at Parramatta.

Given the social structures of their time, they wee progressives, who gave transgressors another chance after they served their time.