Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sydney parties

First of all we had to check on "Don's Party", David Williamson's play about the August 2010 election, revisiting characters we first met 40 years ago in his play about a 1969 election night party.

"Don Parties On" is about regret, remorse and includes lots of polemic. We know a lot of people like the characters in the play so some of it was a bit squirm making, but funny too. It was our first visit to Sydney Theatre, in the buzzy Walsh Bay arts precinct.

We enjoyed finding a Fratelli Fresh grocers and bistro/bar (what an inspired combination of services) near to the theatre, so we could indulge in a pre-theatre Pinot Grigio or two.

Walking back into the city centre we couldn't help but notice all the preparations in place for Saturday night's iconic Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade......lots of hairy (sometimes) men in tutus and body paint everywhere.

and other gorgeous outfits....

We mingled with the gorgeously attired ones in Hyde Park for a while (the parade assembly area), absolutely charmed by the positive, inclusive, supportive and celebratory party atmosphere. We were surprised by the hundreds of Indonesian young men all sporting the transgender look. This beautiful young man looked particularly arresting.

But the Gay Sydney Nudists (GSN) for Gay Adoption were my personal favourites. They foresook the glitz and went straight for the message! The pink shopping bag guy's placard says "Me I'm Not Rude"!

And there were lots of young (and not so young) women involved too.
I was expecting the focus on same sex marriage support but I was surprised at the number of other issues raised by the "paraders". Mardi Gras started as an act of protest - it's great that it has kept (gentle) activism at its core still.

The yellow ballet tutu guys turned out to be campaigning against battery hens: "Queers Agree Set the Battery Hens Free".

On Sunday we were lucky enough to meet up with Joel and Imogen for lunch at the Kazbah on Darling (Balmain). We were looking forward to finishing off with pastries from the divine Adriano Zumbo Pattisserie on Darling Street but were shocked to see lines of people waiting in queues to be served and all the display cases looking absolutely thrashed. Oh no, now the world has discovered Zumbo and we are left out in the cold. It was never like this before he created that memorable macaron tower on Masterchef.

Although disappointed we drove over to Balmoral Beach to finish off a lovely few hours with J&I hearing all about their dramatic start to the year covering the Brisbane floods, cyclone Yasi and then the Christchurch earthquake for ABC news. We made plans to meet up next in London and swapped family news and holiday plans for our respective OS trips in April May.

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