26 November 2009

Final Draft Wins!

It's been about two weeks since the last post, and sadly, Craig and I have been so busy with work and school, there's really not that much to report... until today--

The radio show I produce for, Final Draft, just won the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia award for Excellence in Spoken Word, News, and Current Affairs!! It's a huge category, and we won; I'm pretty thrilled. To hear the show--

In other news-- Sydney was ridiculously hot this past weekend. On Friday and Sunday, the temperature got up to 39C, which is about 103F. Beer, the movie theatre, ice cream-- none of it was enough to cool us down. I recall whinging last year that Sydney didn't get properly hot all summer; I certainly can't make that complaint again. Sydney gets hot. Really flipping hot.

Craig's been dealing with some seriously annoying bureaucratic hassle as he's been trying to upgrade to a PhD for months now. At first they told him he only had to give a presentation, then they told him he had to write a literature review, then they said the literature review was due at the end of November, then they moved the deadline up by two weeks!

Irritating business, especially as it meant he had to do a lot of work in the aforementioned stifling heat of the weekend.

But, he finally submitted all the paperwork and the literature review and everything yesterday at 10 am! Celebrate!

Darlinghurst is a neighbourhood in Sydney that is a lot like Buckhead in Atlanta. It's got a world-famous redlight street, nightclubs, drunk people in inconvenient clothing. About four major roads meet at one intersection, known as King's Cross, or simply "The Cross." It's a traffic hazard par excellence. Par Atlantance, if you will. King's Cross is the center of Darlinghurst's party district, and it's always in the news for clashes between residents who need a quiet night's sleep and club owners who need rowdy people to keep the party going. It's still interesting to me that people don't have guns in Australia; for the most part, I strongly believe it makes people safer. But when people do get violent here, it's intense in an entirely different way. Drunk people in bars still get angry and aggressive, so when a brawl breaks out here, it often ends in a "glassing." Which is when someone breaks a glass on someone else's face.

Basically, Craig and I have never really been interested in it.

Right next to Darlinghurst, there's Potts Point and Wooloomooloo, which are considered some of the nicest neighbourhoods in Sydney; we've been to Wooloomooloo once, it was such an expensive part of town, we never really wanted to go back.

But here's the problem: unlike Buckhead, which actually doesn't have anything that interests me, Darlinghurst is leading the small cool bar revolution in Sydney. It's where the Taphouse is, and tons of other cute little beer bars are starting to open up there. Buckhead, I can write off as an overcommercialized, overdeveloped, nightclubby, boring and mostly ugly place. But Darlinghurst? If so many cool bars are there...it must mean cool people go there.

So, in an effort to find what might be the draw, Craig and I took a self-guided walking tour around Darlinghurst and Potts Point. We saw old amazing houses, some of the first ever built on the sites, a very bright yellow house that used to be owned by artists and still has a fabulous fine art gallery inside. I don't know why I didn't take a picture of that one.

But I did take a picture of this: called the El Alamein fountain, it's a war memorial to soldiers who died in battles at El Alamein, Egypt in WWII.

After a very long day of walking, I felt like I knew that part of Sydney just a bit better, which means I'll probably be willing to go to Darlinghurst more often... especially for the cool little bars that keeping popping up. Like this.

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