This morning I woke up fairly early and made a long bike trip to the North Shore to visit the Northside Produce Market. It took about an hour to get there since I had to cross the Sydney Harbour Bridge and continue even a little further North into Mosman. This market was awesome a worth the trip. It was one of the largest I have been to and takes place in a community park. There was plenty of fresh produce along with vinegars, mushrooms, wine, and baked goods. I am really loving this Saturday morning tradition. I’ll really miss it when I leave Sydney, but hopefully the habit will make me a regular patron of the Claremont Farmers’ Markets. I got my salad fixin’s for the week and also two different kinds of cheese, some sausage, and homemade pasta.
On the way back to campus I took a detour out to George’s Head and also ended up making my way to Bradley’s Head and Taronga Zoo via a coastal trail which was not quite suitable for my bike. I’m not very comfortable riding up and down stairs so I kept having to mount and dismount every few meters, but I made progress and now have a story to tell.
When I got to Taronga Zoo I caught the ferry back to Circular Quay. Sydney public transport only allows bicycles on trains and ferries, not buses and ever since I learned that I’ve wanted to find an excuse to bring my bike onboard just for kicks. It’s a pretty good measure of a day when you’re bicycle ends up on a ferry. That’s when you know you’ve had an adventure.
When I got off the ferry I immediately saw this guy and had to stop and watch.
As I was standing there I heard someone call my name and turned to see my Arcadia friends Kayla and Carmen standing there. They were off to see the Rose Garden at the Royal Botanical Garden so I tagged along. Sadly, someone had recently pruned the roses so there was not a blossom left in sight. They will bloom again soon, but we had to content ourselves with the poppies which commemorate the Anzac soldiers who died in battle.
Before biking back to campus I went to a place called Pasta Emilia in Surry Hills. This was one of the places recommended to me by the mother and son who I met in Pinbone. In my opinion, it was not as good as Pinbone, but still great pasta. I also went to a place around the corner called Blank Space Gallery which was giving away free ice cream! The ice cream company Connoisseur was releasing four new flavours so this was a kind of promotion for their product. I never turn down free ice cream. It’s a matter of principle.
Later that night I went dancing again (yes again) at a place called The Flynn which is also near Circular Quay. That dance was different from any other dance I’ve been to in my life. They played some Lindy music, and there were a few Lindy dancers there, but the primary genre was Rockabilly and Rock and Roll. One of the guys was nice enough to teach me the basic Rockabilly step and give me some tips. He described the dance as much rougher than lindy hop and involving a lots of quick, tight spins in to hard blocks. I picked it up alright, but it is stylistically very, very different from lindy hop and I had a hard time overriding my lindy follow tendencies. Rockabilly is a dance which requires a bicep. From what I observed, follows don’t try to anticipate the lead at all, as in lindy, but turn as fast and hard as they can until the lead forcibly stops them. The best Rockabilly dancers out there looked awesome, but it’s not smooth and light at all. Learning this new dance and listening to the music that night helped me to distinguish between Rock and Roll, Lindy, Rockabilly. I truly felt enlightened as through some fundamental, universal truth had finally been explained and a fog lifted from my mind. At the Syndicate we dance to all sorts of music, and that’s all fine and well, but at the Flynn I saw people doing specific dances to specific kinds of music which I had previously just lumped into the “swing” category. I also realised that the dance we’ve been teaching and calling East Coast Swing is really Rock and Roll. East Coast Swing, if we’re being particular, has a triple step, but the step-step-rock-step that we teach beginners is really the Rock and Roll basic! Now I’m sure I’m sounding incredibly picky about this, but I’m a detail-oriented person; bear with me. I had so much fun that night and I cannot wait to explain this all to someone who cares.