Sunday, March 12, 2017
It's going to be a fairly hot day, so we head to the Botanical Gardens, early, before the heat really tunes up. Near the harbour, it's lovely with a nice breeze. We wanted to go back to the garden centre to get some seeds to take home - I had them in hand two weeks ago when first there, but just in time remembered that we wouldn't be able to take them into NZ, so had made a mental note to come back for them. We get the seeds (Janet buys some too) and head back toward the Opera House to have lunch before seeing our show. When we came back to Sydney the other day, one of the things on our list was to see if there was some sort of performance at the Opera House that we could go to. We found out that Martha Wainwright was going to be doing a little host/chat thing on Sunday afternoon, no actual performance, but it sounded like fun and would fit into our plans quite nicely - the tickets were $30 each.
She was funny, candid, irreverent, so totally Canadian, and she name-dropped shamelessly! She mentioned being good friends with Shawn Lennon who also has famous parents and, Norah Jones, who came over for dinner. They (her and Norah) cooked together, had some wine, did a little singing together and she was turning that into a cooking show, called 'sing for your supper' that is currently being pitched to different networks. She talked about being in an HBO mini-series (Olive Kitteridge) with Frances McDormand - I call her Frances, she says! She, Martha, plays an aging lounge singer and tells us that even though McDormand had her in mind for the part, she still had to audition but obviously got it. I can hardly wait for either of them! The host asked her about the political feelings in both Canada and the US and she made it clear she was living in Montreal and raising her Canadian children there! At the end, there was an audience question period - the audience (about 250 people in the small studio, very intimate and the perfect setting) was a nice mix of oldies, like us, and young people like David, a twenty-something (?) Asian man who came up to the mike and said he flew from Taiwan that morning just to see Martha. She asked him if he was coming to her show that night. He and most of the audience gasped (me too!) and he said I didn't know there was one! She said it was at another venue but she would make sure he got comped tickets. He was so excited he almost forgot his question! It was really sweet! By the end of the hour and a half she had everyone eating out of the palm of her hand. I wanted to rush right back to the hotel and google where she was going to be - she said that Rufus, her brother was flying in the next day too and I'm not sure if he was joining her tour or just being there for her.
We next went to the Art Gallery of NSW on the opposite end of the Botanical Gardens, so back through the lovely pathways. It was one of the best galleries I've seen for having a comprehensive collection of art through the ages from the Europeans as well as Australia and New Zealand - there were some incredibly large paintings and the space was really well laid out, an oldish-for-Sydney (1874), beautiful building, with some contemporary art mixed in and it was free! There was a special exhibit of Andy Warhol, pre-ad era, but we didn't pay the extra money for that, maybe another day because we were running out of time - closes at 5 pm.
Back through the gardens (we're really racking up the kms today!) to Circular Quay, catch the ferry over to East Balmain - we are going back to our old neighbourhood for dinner to the 'phamous kitchen' the Vietnamese place that we liked so much. It's Janet's birthday tomorrow so I'm treating!
Fitbit, 13.7 km; MA, 12.5 km