Twelve Things I Did In Sydney, Australia This Time

Twelve  Things I Did In Sydney, Australia This Time

“With cities, it is as with dreams: everything imaginable can be dreamed, but even the most unexpected dream is a rebus that conceals a desire or, its reverse, a fear. Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears. “ Italo Calvino

1. Walked around the Quay. I forgot it was called Key not Cay.

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2. Walked all around the Opera House twice and had a coffee there – long black with milk which is much less milky than flat white.

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3. Saw amazing exhibit by Tatsuo Myajima  at the Museum Of Contemporary Art.

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4.Got on a ferry.

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5.  It went to Manly Beach.

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6. Darling Harbor in the rain.

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7. Went hiking and got lost (not so easy to do there) in Nielsen Park.

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8. Had tea at the Hughenden Hotel in Paddington-Woolhara.

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9. Saw the view from the Park Hyatt.

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10 Sat  under the Sydney Bridge.

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11. Ate Tim Tams.

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12. Opera House at Sunset. Of all my favorite buildings, and I have many, the Sydney Opera House is my favorite.

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Fly safe,

JAZ

Watching The Trump Inauguration In New Zealand

“A leader is best if the people barely know he exists. When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say, we did it ourselves.”  Lao Tzu

It was not all Trump all the time on Sky News. They  played a five-minute clip.  We saw Michelle Obama accepting Melania Trump’s gift with awkward newscaster banter about regifting. We heard that “Some Americans were not happy at Trump’s victory and would have preferred someone else” as they cut to a grim faced Hillary Clinton. They played a bit of the speech and commented that ” it was unlike any American inauguration speech that we have heard before.” They showed the first dance at the different inaugural balls.  I did not see KelliAnn’s outfit or Scott Baio till late at night.

What I did see was that our country is on display as a divided America.  Protest signs and Pro Trump T-shirts showed our Democracy until it erupted into violence.

There were big protests in Sydney Australia-not against Trump, but against the hatred and prejudice that was brought out.

Sky News makes no secret of their anti Trump views. This part of the world liked Hillary and wondered why Americans preferred Trump.

They often repeated that the new American focus is domestic. The newscasters say that they are hearing aggressive tweets and not proper strategies. His commitment is to transform Washington and create jobs. They believe he will be running a What’s in it for America  government.

Having low expectations is good for an incoming president. But what they didn’t hear in his Inauguration Speech was a call for unity as his policies continue to divide the country.

“A man who is used to beating to his own drum is now running the free world. He is about to write his own playbook.” We will have to wait and see what happens.

Fly safe,

JAZ

Things To Do In Sydney, Australia With A Little Help From My Friends

Things To Do In Sydney, Australia With A Little Help From My Friends

‘Their cities are safe and clean and nearly always built on water. They have a society that is prosperous, well-ordered, and instinctively egalitarian. The food is excellent. The beer is cold. The sun nearly always shines. There is coffee on every corner. Life doesn’t get much better than this.” Bill Bryson

Hang out at the beach. My favorite is to take the ferry to Manly Beach, The beaches are wide and beautiful there – great options for food too. Sydney is famous for world-class surfing.  There is a beach for everyone. NM

Stroll along the busy wharfs of Circular Quay, listen to the Aboriginal street artists and enjoy the views of the Sydney Harbor Bridge. Walk further until you reach the Opera House.  I recommend booking a tour in advance of this amazing building. If not, just continue around the Opera House for some surprising and spectacular views of this marvelous piece of architecture. My favorite thing is to sit in the cafe outside and have some Australian coffee (flat white) and enjoy the view.JZ

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I love having brekkie (breakfast) at the  Carriage Works Farmers Market on the weekend in Everleigh. This weekend market is known for its range of seasonal produce, including organic and biodynamic foods from farmers and producers from across New South Wales. Some standouts are Billy Kwongs, Bourke Street Bakery,Ritual Coffee and Bird Cow Fish. TO

The beautiful walk from Bondi to Coogee Coastal winds its way along 6 km of beguiling coastal views, offering plenty of things to do along the way. The leisurely walk spans for about 1-2 hours overlooking the spectacular beaches. SR

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Watson’s Bay is definitely a favorite place for me to visit in Sydney. One of the city’s hidden gems is in the eastern suburbs. You can order some of the famous fish and chips from Sydney institution, Doyle’s on the Beach which first opened in 1885 or grab some take away from their wharf kiosk and set up a picnic in the park or along the waterfront. But what I love to do most is go for a walk around the bay to the stunningly private beach at Camp Cove. BT

As the quintessential ‘must do’ experience in Sydney, Harbor Bridge Climb should be top on your list of things to book well in advance of your stay. As Sydney’s most popular experience, be sure to secure your day climb prior to your arrival to avoid disappointment.WW

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Chinatown in Sydney is where you will find just about every Asian cuisine you can imagine: Chinese, Thai, Malaysian, Cambodian, and Vietnamese. Not only that, the dishes are cheap and tasty. Friday nights on Dixon Street are crowded with locals and tourists. If you are there in October, the night noodle markets have every Asian food and entertainment. JG

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There are cool art galleries in Surrey Hills – Bret Whitely Studio and First Draft  gallery are my favorite. Also I love to run into the Museum of Contemporary Art on Circular Quay and the Art Gallery of New South Wales TM

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Whether it be AFL, rugby union or league, soccer or cricket, everyone  in  Australia has a team and everyone has a rival. Ahead of your trip, take the time to look up which games are being played while you’re in town and grab a ticket to see the action live. The heritage-listed Sydney Cricket Ground is one of liveliest arenas to watch sport in the summer. SK

Fly safe,

JAZ

Twenty-Five Things That I Want To Do In 2017

 Twenty-Five Things That I Want To Do In 2017

“The moment you put a deadline on your dream, it becomes a goal” Harsha Bhogle

 Go to Waiheke Island because I’ve heard so much about it from my family.

Take a helicopter ride to the top of a glacier.

Meditate every day.

Do more yoga.

Go to Copenhagen.

See the sunset on the beach whenever I am home at sunset.

Go to Sydney Australia.

Drink less coffee.

Drink less Spanish Lattes and Thai Iced Coffee.  (I love condensed milk coffees)

Take more Ubers in the US.

Go To Sweden.

Be more positive.

Be better about making plans with friends.

Spend more time with my family.

See Auschwitz.

Go to Israel.

Pay more attention to politics and get more involved.

Go To Grouplove concert. (missed them so far this year).

Go to Poland.

Go to Over Film Festival in Oregon.

Be kinder.

Go to Anderson, Wakeman and Rabin again-they are amazing . Congratulations Trevor on the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame .

Think more before I speak.

Eat less sugar. (I put this one in every few years)

Fly safe and Happy Holidays,

JAZ

Hob-ART, Tasmania

Hob–ART, Tasmania

“Some people are born to make great art and others are born to appreciate it. … It is a kind of talent in itself, to be an audience. Not everyone can be the artist. There have to be those who witness the art, who love and appreciate what they have been privileged to see.” Ann Patchett

I don’t know why I was surprised.  Art can be everywhere. When I thought about Tasmania, I thought of the clean air and water, rugged coastlines, interesting wildlife and incredible views.

I started to do some research.  I found MONA – Museum Of Old And New Art ( blog https://travelwellflysafe.com/2013/12/09/mona-roma-to-mona-hobart-tasmania-australia/ )   a boat ride away. MONA is a “deliberately underwhelming”  gallery of old and new art. It is an art Disneyland experience with all of your senses engaged – not what I was expecting in Tasmania at all.

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On the grounds of MONA (The old Moorilla Wine Estate), there is also a  bar, café, restaurant, accommodations, a winery and a brewery.  The outdoor areas are interesting and inviting.

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Moo Brew’s original brewery was located on the site of the Museum of Old and New Art. I was there on the last day of Moo Brew brewery and had a private tour.  They produce five core beers: a Pilsner, a German-style Hefeweizen, a Belgian Pale Ale, an American Pale Ale and an American Dark Ale.  Due to the continued expansion of MONA,  all brewery operations are now carried out at their second brewery.

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I was looking for a hotel and came upon the Henry Jones Art Hotel. I began to be more curious about Hobart and decided to stay longer than I planned. The hotel is housed in the H. Jones and Co. Jam Factory . The architect has fused the traditional structure with modern design. I rarely talk about hotels but I really liked this one.

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I was in this cool loft room.   I found my room easily because I knew it was near the pink pig.

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They have a wonderful art tour given by the fun, knowledgeable and pretty Christine Scott.  The Hotel has over 300 original and contemporary works of art which are exhibited throughout the property. These works showcase Tasmania’s leading and emerging artists. Most of the art is for sale.

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Even if you aren’t staying at the hotel, you should come and have a drink and and take the tour.

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Christine told us about the artists of Hobart and I was curious.  On my last day in Hobart,  I took an art walking tour of with Christine. (Art from film slides, Patrick Hall . He has some great pieces art MONA also)

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Christine knows everything that is going on in the art world in Hobart. She has an extensive network of artists, galleries and friends .

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Christine is up on the latest  exhibitions and reviews and knows exactly where to go. Whether you want to buy or look, she will take you to the best galleries.  (Christine  www.hobARTwalks.com )

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Writing about art is hard for me.   It is translating the visual into language .  They are two very different mediums. You have to go to Hobart and take the art tour with Christine to experience it for yourself.

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I loved Tasmania and I loved seeing all the  unexpected  art. The best thing about traveling is finding a place that you had no idea was just where you wanted to go.

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Fly Safe,

JAZ

The Last Things That I Did When Traveling

The Last Things That I Did When Traveling

“it can hardly be a coincidence that no language on earth has ever produced the expression”as pretty as an airport” Doug McAdams

People magazine thinks that I want to know the last things celebrities did before that interview.  I think that you must want to know about the last things I did when traveling .

The last piece of gum that I chewed on a plane before landing – Trident Peppermint I prefer the Bubblegum flavor for flying but I didn’t see it in Sydney airport.

The last trashy magazine that I bought in an airport and the last trashy article I read in it – Australian OK magazine – I only buy gossip magazines when I fly and then I buy all of them like they are crack cocaine. The last article was some Kardashian story like the hem on Kim’s dress was falling down creating yet another fashion faux pas. Her publicity hungry “mum” was happy. Khloe was jealous and doing something outrageous like divorcing her cheating, drug addict husband for attention. Kourtney was whining.

The last presents that I bought in an airport – Tim Tams, Crocodile and Kangaroo Jerky.

The last room service meal I had in a hotel – The Henry Jones Art Hotel, Hobart Tasmania. I believe it was fish .

The last movie I saw on a plane – Identity Thief and half of the Great Gatsby

The last book I read on a plane – In A Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson . It is published under the name  Down Under in Australia and everywhere that is not  Canada or the US.

The last thing I took from a hotel room – It is always the baby soaps, lotions, shower caps and tea. I have a whole collection. I think that I might be a hoarder.  In Japan there are a lot more “giveaways” as I call them – hairbrush, razor, toothbrush toothpaste, nailbrush, pajamas, kimonos etc.

The last souvenir I bought for myself – It’s always a Starbucks mug from a country with Starbucks. I don’t even like the coffee anymore but I like the collection of mugs.

The last time I used hand motions to communicate – Kaiseri, Turkey. At the airport, I was trying to explain that my friend was given the wrong thing in the coffee shop. I was saved by someone who spoke Turkish and English.

The last song I listened to on the plane with my iPod – “Ways To Go” Grouplove.  It is also the last song I listened to in my car today.

The last time I got lost in an airport – It is always Miami. I went to school there and it was a cute little airport. Now it is a big confusing airport. it is easier to find my way in downtown Tokyo where I don’t speak or read the language.

The last time I cursed at Customs in my head – It is always Miami (except when it is Chicago or summer in any major airport)  It is always a mess unless you arrive at 4AM when they open.

The last selfie I took with my Iphone – Misiones, Argentina. It was terrible and reminiscent of Picasso.  I havent attempted it since.

The last flight I missed. – Sydney to Melbourne. There was a computer glitch. The airline I booked with (Delta) had a record of the Virgin Australia flight to Melbourne but Virgin did not.  They were dealing with other people’s problems and by the time they got to mine it was too late to board the plane. It is a once in a while thing that happens. If you are booking with two different airlines, it is a good idea to call the second airline to make sure they got the flight reservation. Don’t assume because you got the email with both flights on it that the second airline knows about it. Always bring the email –if I didn’t have it, they would have made me get another ticket. Who knew?

The last time something was stolen from my luggage – Moscow, Russia . All my luggage tags (Is that a big black market item?), and all my dirty underwear and sox which I keep in the outside zipper compartment. My thinking of who would steal dirty underwear and twice worn sox did not apply to people working in the airport in Moscow.

The last time I lost my luggage – JFK in NY. There were a couple of years after 9/11 that AA was constantly losing luggage. It happened numerous times in NY and Chicago. The suitcase always arrived early in the morning.  I now  fly with a change of underwear, big t shirt., medicines makeup and a toothbrush in my carry on.

The last time my luggage was overweight – always.

I hope this was as interesting for you as reading about Don Cheadle’s last things he did before that interview was for me.

Fly Safe,

JAZ

Sydney Opera House, Australia

Sydney Opera House

“The sun did not know how beautiful its light was until it was reflected off this building.”    Louis Kahn

In 1956 Danish architect Jorn Utzon sent his drawings along with 221 other architects to the Sydney Opera House Design Competition.  At number 218,  it was one of the last entries before the competition closed on Dec 3 1956.

It is said that the design had been rejected.  One of the judges, Finnish American architect Eero Saarinan, was late and started looking through the discarded designs.  He pulled it out and had them take a second look.

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On Jan 29, 1957, thirty-eight-year-old Jorn Utzon was awarded first prize and became the design architect to bring the Sydney Opera House to reality. The expected cost was seven million dollars.

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The design was derided and revered. It was called sculpitecture. The shells were freeform. Nothing about building them would be easy.

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The opera house construction story, from beginning to end, is a story of pioneering technology. It was about finding creative new solutions to the many design, technical and construction problems that the building’s unprecedented shape generated.

Many of the innovations introduced in the building of the Opera House have since passed into accepted engineering practice.

The million tiles  covering the shell were to have gloss not glare –like clouds or sails on the water.  Utzon found the texture in certain Japanese bowls  and a tile company in Sweden reproduced the effect.

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In 1965 Robin Askin was elected to office  with a promise “to get some sense into the opera house” with a business like approach. The new projected amount to finish was now 49 million. Askin appointed Davis Hughes as Minister of Public Works. Hughes began questioning Utzon’s ability, his designs, schedules and cost estimates and eventually refusing to pay running costs.   Utzon was forced to quit the project and vowed never to return to Australia.  He said, “It is not I , but the Sydney Opera House that has created all the enormous difficulties.”

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A team of architects was hired to finish the project. On October 20, 1973 , Queen Elizabeth II placed the inaugural plaque on the Opera House at the Opening ceremonies. Utzon was invited but did not attend. His name was not mentioned in any of the official speeches. The final cost was 102 million dollars.

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The  lobby of the main theatre has purple carpeting. When Pavarotti sang here he would not walk on the purple carpeting before a performance. He said purple was the color of death. It is used to line the coffins in Italy. So they had to cover the carpeting for him to walk on it in another color. (photo  Sean Dirks)

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Thanks to Lego, we can all build our own opera houses now.

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In 1999 Jorn Utzon accepted the invitation to develop a statement of design principles that would be used for long term management, conservation and any redevelopment of the Opera House.  The first of these projects was the Utzon room designed by Utzon, his son Jan and Australian architect Richard Johnson. (Utzon reception room -tapestry designed by Jorn Utzon as well) (photo Sean Dirks)

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On June 28, 2007 the Sydney Opera House became a Unesco World Heritage Site. It is the youngest cultural site every to be added to the list and the only one added with the architect still alive at the time. (photo Sean Dirks)

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On Nov 29, 2008, Jorn Utzon died in his sleep. He had designed a building that was technologically  far ahead of its time and changed the face of  Sydney.  It could be one of the most important buildings ever designed and he had never returned to see it completed. .

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Fly Safe,

JAZ