I toned down the exploring this week and spend most of my hours just socializing with people (surprising, I know). I’m slowly getting rid of the tourist tag and started revisiting the familiar places in Sydney like a casual local. New and old places, I just wanted to share with you the key highlights for the week.
I went around Newtown again this week to more thoroughly explore the neighborhood. Newtown reminds me of Williamsburg as I can see people alike enjoying these two neighborhoods. The main parts of Newtown are on Kings Street where its populated with restaurants, cafes, vintage shops, and small boutiques. The setup of this suburb cultivates a bohemian style of living attracting young people, hipsters, hippies, and artists of all sorts. You see graffiti art covering the streets and people with unique sense of fashion and eccentric hair walking down Newtown.
Fun fact: Coldplay’s A Sky Full of Stars MV is filmed here!
I decided to pay a visit to the Centennial Parklands in Ranswick after passing by it on my way to bowling last week. Centennial Park is the largest of the th
ree parks (Centennial Park, Moore Park, and Queens Park) in that clustered parkland. According to online information, the park offers a range of activities from horseback riding, cycling, golf course, various sports fields, and simply walks around the different lakes. We ended up walking around the different lakes to look at ducks and black swans. The park is massive and we only managed to see a small part of it since we preferred to just sit down by the lake instead of storm pass all the main interest points of the grassy fields.
Harry’s Cafe de Wheels in Potts Point
Harry’s Cafe de Wheels is an iconic street food stand (now a chain) that started in Potts Point selling meat pies, toasties, and sausages.
It’s most famous food item is the tiger pie which is a meat pie (popularly lean beef) topped with mashed potato and beans with gravy on top. The first time I went here, I ordered the tiger lean beef pie and this time I got the tiger curry beef pie. They’re both savory choices that I enjoyed. I had went with my two German roommates who never tried meat pies before so it was a foreign concept to them. Actually, I wouldn’t say meat pies are popular in the States either since it’s a very English dish. I don’t remember the story to how or why Harry’s became so popular, but over the years many celebrities had visited the stand for the pies. There are Harry’s wheel carts throughout Sydney and I think parts of Australia too, but I prefer to buy from the original location since it’s more historic.
Sydney Opera House
One of Sydney’s most iconic landmark attracting hundreds of thousands of tourists annually is the Sydney Opera House of course! The opera house was one of the first things I’ve seen when I first landed in Sydney. The remarkable facade designed by Danish architect, Jørn Utzon , is the youngest structure listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. I finally decided to pay for a tour to see the interior of the building. Unfortunately, it’s not free to visit the insides of the opera house; you would either have to purchase a ticket to see a performance there or go on a guided tour. The guided tour was an hour long visit to some of the theatres in the vicinity and a brief overview of the history of the Sydney Opera House. As an almost architecture major in high school, it was cool to learn about some of the architectural considerations put into constructing the building. Because of the curving arches that makes up most of the opera house, no beams are needed to give it support. While the theatres rooms that the tour guide had showed us weren’t as big as I had imagined, I was amazed by interior skeleton.
Fun fact: Jørn Utzon never actually seen the completed look of the Sydney Opera House due to disagreements with the officials during the construction period.
Fourth of July in Sydney
Although I’m not normally very patriotic, I decided to make an effort to celebration the America’s Independence Day in Sydney. I was not able to find myself a place to have an American BBQ, but I decided to check out some “American” parties happening that evening. Most of the people joining in on the festivities aren’t even American. It was funny as part of the requirement was to dress ‘American’ as in wearing red, white, blue; simply being a citizen of the country doesn’t count. It’s quite amusing to say that there’s an obvious distinction between Americans, Australians, and Europeans based on their hair, the way they dress, and how they act. I’m sure most of the people I saw that night were not American. One of the attempts to host an American style event is to bring out the beer pong. Apparently in Australia, Aussies play beer pong with 6 cups on each side instead of 10 on 10. Most of the people seem to be making random rules along the way. Nonetheless, something would always be lacking on the Fourth of July without barbecues, family & friends, and the sound of fireworks.
Bondi Ice Skating Rink
Doesn’t it sound cool to be ice skating in Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach? Perhaps, many feel that way because it was so crowded in this tiny rink. We went at night so we didn’t really get to see the beach while ice skating. In this tiny tiny rink, we were able to go around 50+ times in that hour that we paid for. If ice skating isn’t your strength, you can receive some assistance from these cute little penguin ice skating buddies that you push in front of you for support. If you ask for my opinion, I’d say pass on the rink at Bondi.