Long weekend: part 2

Sunday was pretty relaxed during the daytime. We saw another house or two. That evening we finally got into Radio Cairo – an African/Indian restaurant in Cremorne we’ve tried unsuccessfully to get into three times before. It was worth the wait, with wonderful flavours: spicy potato crisps, grilled lamb, fat king prawns, light couscous. After we caught Animal Kingdom, a great new Aussie crime family film drama. It was gripping and realistic and well-acted.

Monday was a holiday here. I got back into my running. But most of the day was taken up with special exhibits. First it was the Leonardo DaVinci exhibit at Town Hall, a travelling showcase of the great man’s artwork, scientific sketches and anatomical studies. I very much liked the models they’d built of DaVinci’s studies into flight, reproductions of human muscles, and even arterial valves. I thought they went overboard with their reproductions of his anatomical sketches, with excessive dripping gore.

Later we got the free ferry out to Cockatoo Island, where the decaying industrial buildings have been turned into an incredible and extensive set of venues for new art. It’s part of the 17th Biennale of Sydney. I liked the large scale pieces best. There were ‘way too many video installations, though, and these are easily my least favourite form of modern art. It was great fun to visit the island and creep into darkened factory rooms to discover what sort of photograph or sculpture or bizarre assembly might be inside.

After it got dark we returned to the centre of the city to check out all of the light installations that are part of Vivid Sydney. Some, like the Opera House and some of the CBD buildings, are simple canvasses for shifting projections of pattern and colour. Some, like the buildings along Macquarie Street, are lessons in the history of Sydney, New South Wales, and Australia.

Tomorrow it’s back to the grindstone, but I felt like I made the most of this weekend.


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