Hydro Majestic glory

About a month ago (and yes, it’s taken me that long to get around to posting this to the blog – slack), along with a dear girlfriend, I indulged in a weekend in the Blue Mountains at the recently refurbished art deco gem, the Hydro Majestic Hotel in Medlow Bath.

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Wandering through the grand hotel, I had to snap the glorious art deco patterns and colours on the windows,

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walls,

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floors

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with such attention to detail. Even the heaters are ornate.

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Tennis anyone?

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Or perhaps you might enjoy a cocktail at the Salon du Thé which opens on to the infamous Cat’s Alley – a sumptuous corridor connecting two parts of the hotel which, legend has it is where prostitutes used to parade up and down. It’s now decorated in Oriental style with magenta walls

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lush, rich, warm textures

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and the view over the Megalong valley is divine.

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We did venture from the luxury of the hotel to do a bushwalk from Leura to Katoomba, taking in some stunning views

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and the Leura Cascades.

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Meanwhile, back at the Hydo Majestic, if you’ve had a few too many cocktails, like these pictured below

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you might think these stripes are meant to be straight.

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And here is my wonderful companion for the weekend, my dearest friend, Alicia.

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Cheers, dahlink!

chocolate in the gardens

 

It’s about time some more chocolate research was undertaken, don’t you think? On a crazy balmy winter day this week (25 degrees mid winter – what is going on, Sydney?!), we ventured forth to the Royal Botanic Gardens to explore the new building the Calyx, which is essentially a new glasshouse and marks the gardens’ second centenary in 2016.

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And the opening exhibition is called Sweet Addiction, the botanic story of chocolate, prominently sponsored by Lindt.

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The new building is quite attractive and a bit space age

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with the most striking element inside of the southern hemisphere’s largest vertical garden. It really is beautiful and breathes such a fresh, herby scent as you walk through the exhibit.

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They have the plants frequently sprayed by mist from within and above the wall

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which is bursting with herbs, colour and flowers

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and plants  here replicating a box of chocolates.

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The Sweet Addiction exhibition charts the history of chocolate with lots of fun facts dating back from the Mayan history

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and I thought my tea consumption was excessive!

More fun facts –

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I’m sure this practice continues today – compound chocolate anyone?

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Yes, of course chocolate is a superfood, whoever doubted that?

And there are some classic quotes

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including an homage to chocoholics.

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I love the phrase “I have reconciled myself to chocolate”

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As you leave there’s a very Mardi Gras rainbow flag wall.

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Look closer and you will see it’s a gazillion Lindt balls glued to a wall

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oh and did I mention Lindt? Here’s a replica of the conche apparently invented by Rodolphe Lindt in 1879 situated as you exit via the gift shop stacked with – you guessed it, Lindt chocolates!

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Being a veteran of previous chocolate exhibitions in Switzerland, I must say I was a little underwhelmed by this one and felt it was a tad overpriced at $15 although the setting in the Royal Botanic Gardens is unbeatable.

Australian textures

To contrast with the posts on textures in Switzerland, I’ve been noticing a few local textures that are very familiar to Sydneysiders yet seem completely foreign in contrast to the Swiss images I gathered here and here.

These shots below are from deep n the Blue Mountains, nearing Bathurst.

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Arty bark expression. Scribble gums or paperbarks

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and gorgeous gumleaves

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Quite different to the ram rod straight trees and ordered forests on the Swiss mountainsides, the Australian bush has craggy, bendy trees that do their own interpretive dance in the landscape.

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Closer to home, here’s some tropical foliage and succulents are sculptural in their form.

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blue trees

Apologies dear blog, I have been neglecting you.

A couple of months ago, I ventured down to Pirrama Park, Pyrmont to see an art installation by the harbour. This installation will stay until it fades away over time and weathers the elements.

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Can you spot the Harbour Bridge in this shot below?

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The artist Konstantin Dimopoulos has used environmentally friendly paint so as not to damage the trees.

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You can read more about it here.

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Looking up into the foliage is quite disorienting and very striking.

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inner west Sydney street art 3

The supply of street art here seems limitless. I know there’s still loads of great ones I haven’t yet captured. Until then, here are some more from St Peters

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and Newtown.

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Try not to smile back at the variety of these expressive faces and characters that keep you company and gaze back as you stroll or stumble down the laneways

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You’ll also come across several mish-mash walls of all styles

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Not to mention the great patterns and abstracts

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and some of them are integrated into the house’s design aesthetic

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Not being familiar with how it all works in terms of commissioning or a free for all, or a council sponsorship deal with murals, it was interesting to come across these 2 messages about who was and wasn’t allowed to participate.

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Finally, not quite sure what to make of this paste up poetry

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We’ll let this dude have the last word

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His and hers part 11

I’m sure many of you would have seen the recent Bored Panda article about toilet signs.

Ha! Copycats.

Must keep up with Bored Panda, so here’s the latest in the series, now numbering 11 on this blog, I’ll have you know!

Seen at Barcelona Palo Alto markets, some almost dental imagery

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where these are traditional Swiss in Cantine sur Coux in Champery

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In neighbouring France, these almost look like a fashion student’s sketch.

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Très chic, non?

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Back in Sydney now, these were from White Rabbit Gallery in Chippendale.

And below, at a local pub here in Stanmore.

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Taking your phone to the bathroom can be hazardous as if you carelessly leave it in your back pocket, it can slip into the toilet bowl. Yep, it’s happened to me! More often though is the embarrassing moment when you whip out your phone and pick your moment to snap the toilet doors when no one’s around. Loitering near the toilets looks a bit dodgy, so usually I try and do it quickly. Sometimes I’ve been busted mid shot, which can be hard to explain to a passerby. These are the occupational hazards I’m willing to face. Yes, the sacrifices I make are bold, I know.

Lastly, while strictly not a his/hers sign, it is worth including. At a buvette in the Swiss pre alps somewhere (sorry, can’t remember exact location!)

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inner west Sydney street art 2

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Following on from my street art posts in Vevey (parts 1,2, 3 & 4), Florence and Barcelona and the most recent one of inner west garage doors, here are some more local street art pieces. Some of them cover an entire side of a house or building, like these ones

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These last two below look like they’re by the same artist. The second piece is such a strong commentary on the unattainability of the Sydney real estate market.

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I wonder if this is how the real estate agents feel…

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Another wall mural on the side of my yoga school

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On a smaller scale, other street art treasures are hidden up a side alley, like these ones

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where animals and curious creatures abound

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This last one was on the side of The Bad Faced Stag Hotel in Leichhardt and at first I thought it was a kangaroo. Look closer and you can see the antlers. False alarm. No kangaroos on the city streets despite what my friends from far away places imagine!