Every so often I get a craving for adventure. I like to grab my camera, well these days my phone, and head off into the city for a street safari of sorts. I am known to go ” get lost” and walk for hours on end. It is no wonder I wear through a couple of pairs of Brazilian havaianna thongs a year.
I once walked for 22 km’s (a half marathon if I were running), through the Inner West of Sydney. It is fun and exciting, and I certainly get lost and find some wonderful places.
When I lived in London, we used to do this a lot. Go on walks, find new places, and often discover that what we believed was a far distance to actually be just ’round the corner – thanks to being caught up in the abyss that is the ” London Underground” train system. I loved wandering about, exploring new areas, connecting suburbs, and the realisation that things were not as I had imagined.
With the suggestion of markets, exhibitions and dumplings for the Chinese new year, I was excited for a day on the “streets”. Sydney is filled with so many things to do and see !
Starting our day out at Central Station, the main train station hub in Sydney, we head on foot towards Newtown.
Continuing down the road towards Broadway, we take a left onto Shepherd Street. Home to art and photography galleries, NGO offices, uber cool graffiti, coffee shops, yoga studios and the Rose of Chippingdale pub, it is one of the most visually exciting streets in the area.
A quick stop at a colourful funky coffee house which my friend proclaims she would like to “live in” (and whom she also states do a damn fine coffee) we head off in the direction of Carriageworks – Darlington, home of Eveleigh Farmers’ Markets.
Further up the road we encounter a terrace adorned with tissue paper flowers which grabs my attention. A sticker plastered on the front door reads ” Hipsters use the back door“. This gives me a giggle. Considering themselves to be the new cool kids, mainly found in the Eastern Suburb suburb of Bondi, a sub culture called ” hipsters” lives strong in Sydney – and these types cop a bit of flack……….
It is a very tropical day in Sydney. Hot and humid with sudden downpours of rain. Arriving at Carriageworks I notice the fence surrounding the complex is graffiti-ed with cool ” skipping girls”. Too cute.
Eveleigh Markets is buzzing with people. As the rain pops onto the tin roof like rocks, Farmers call out to us to entice us over to try their food. Before long we encounter a crowd gathered around one stall. I notice a bright red banner hanging behind it that reads ” Billy Kwong”. Excited, my eyes quickly move to the people serving, knowing this is a restaurant owned by one of my favourite all times chefs. There is a lady that looks rather like Kylie Kwong serving up her famous fare. Slightly star struck, I snap a stalker style happy snap from a distance, although I later realise she is not wearing her signature black framed glasses, so am not convinced it was in fact her. You can decide that one ……
Moving through the exciting market we sample olive oil, panneforte, tawny port ( boozy breakfast – delightful, and a great selling tool ! ) and some strange yet tasty tropical fruit that originated in South America: ” Its got a seed” the man repeats as he hands one to each customer, before we scoff it down in one bite and potentially choke on said seed.
We purchase a very delicious looking (and tasting) cinammon scroll from the famous Senoma bakery before dashing through the rain to the Carriageworks studios, giggling at the little boy happily sat in the middle of an enormous puddle in the pouring rain !
Next stop: The “Song Dong Waste Not” exhibition. An amazing exhibition of over 30,000 pieces collected from the house of a Chinese artist showcasing his Mothers grief after the death of his father. It is quite fascinating what she had collected and kept in her grieving process……..
As we are walking out of the exhibition this sign gives me another giggle:
Our next stop on the street adventure was Enmore Road, Newtown to check out some of the Op Shops. My friend remembers an artwork on a house in the back streets of Newtown that is quite well known in the area, so we take a detour to check it out. It turns out it is the image of the ” black power” or “human rights” political statement made at the 1968 Mexican Olympic games by three African American Athletes. It is a very famous event in history.
Sadly when we arrive at Enmore Road, we find the shop we had planned to visit gone. We venture up the road a little more to explore before deciding to take a back street detour to King Street and make our way back to the newly re-opened Newtown Hotel for a break – we had been walking a while by this stage.
Whilst en route to the Newtown Hotel we realise the time. Our hopes of a Chinese New Year dumpling feast dashed by the fact it was now mid afternoon as we had been on foot for 4 hours ! Nevermind. Plan B: Lunch at the new “Animal” restaurant at the Newtown Hotel. I had heard great things about the greek feasts offered, and we were not to be disappointed.
Their restaurant is called “The Animal” and it is home to amazing service, wine on tap, and a menu that leaves you literally drooling.
Weary and starving, I collapse into my seat, and proceed to want to order everything on the menu. We end up ordering what we feel is a rather random and carby feast, albeit a delicious one: Dish by dish arrives at our table. Suckling pig that has been freshly roasting on a spit, vegetables stuffed with raisins and pine nuts, taramasalata (say that one after a few wines !) served with amazing flatbread, and some heavenly seasoned chips of perfection !
Around two hours later – we finish our incredible feast. I feel paralysed by fullness and would be very happy now with an offer of something I could lay down on for an afternoon nap ! Some of the best food I have had in a very long time.
We fill in our feedback card with comments like ” too full to write” , ” amazing” and ” David Bowie sent told us about you” and slowly hobble away stoned and satisfied by fullness.
And that ladies and gentleman, is how you end a Sydney Street Adventure !