The great thing about being jetlagged when you’ve headed west is that getting up in the morning is incredibly easy. (Staying up past 8pm: not so easy.) I hopped out of bed nice and early this morning, planned out my day, showered & got ready, and was at Pier 8 Cafe on the waterfront for breakfast by 8am. At that hour on a Sunday, the waterfront is quiet and peaceful, but the sun is already strong.
I’m not sure there is anything more lovely than drinking an iced coffee in the sunshine.
Adding a breakfast torte and reading The Art of Pilgrimage by Phil Cousineau completed the morning nicely. As I sat there enjoying my food, coffee, and surroundings, I felt a burst of joy for the sheer pleasure of being on the other side of the world, and being free to spend my morning in such a beautiful place.
After breakfast I walked to the White Rabbit gallery. The White Rabbit gallery is one of the world’s largest collections of contemporary Chinese art. I read about their new exhibition – “Reformation” – in Time Out Sydney.
I enjoyed the exhibition very much. Especially the pieces by Dong Yuan, who is “best known for her meticulous reproductions of domestic interiors. Copying some of her favorite still lifes by European masters, she removes or replaces elements like a homemaker adjusting furnishings (she deleted a bird “because I hate to see dead animals”, and pegged flowers on a line “because I like clean things”).” The elements she removes are still there, just removed from the frame.
Also, their tea room is very pretty:
Then I kept walking to Gould’s Book Arcade in Newton, which is the largest used bookstore in Australia.
I had a lovely time browsing, but despite the fact that I was planning on allowing myself to buy one book (I’m about to finish one of my print books and need to swap soon), I didn’t find anything I wanted to commit to. (Perhaps the pressure of only getting to travel with one to two books maximum at once is too terrifying and I froze.)
Late in the afternoon I was walking around to kill time before heading to the opera house for a show, and I stumbled right into the beautiful main branch of the State Library. Since it was 4pm on a Sunday, I had no idea if it would be open or not, but thank Nancy Pearl it was.
The main reading room is spectacular.
Real life card catalogs! That aren’t in an antique store!
Pulling myself away from the library, I headed back down to the harbor for a show at the opera house. The outside was humming with a mix of tourists and people heading in for that evening’s shows or enjoying the views at the bar/cafe along the water.
Here’s the inside of the opera house, in the concert hall:
I ended the day with a pint of Quayle Ale at Lord Nelson Brewery, which is a cozy little pub about 25 feet from my rental apartment.