David Byrne & St. Vincent - Love This Giant

Jan 18

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01.18.13: Sydney

The temperature today was 44˚C—which is 114˚ F. It’s scary. A group of us went by ferry to Manly for a bike ride and a hike to the cliffs. We didn’t go all the way to the headlands, though—it was too hot.

Bari sax player Jon Natchez did some digging on why the area is called Manly and found out the beach was named by Capt. Arthur Phillip for the indigenous people living there. Phillip wrote that “their confidence and manly behavior made me give the name of Manly Cove to this place.” (Source)

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After getting completely sweaty, we had an incredible meal of oysters and what they call bugs at the Fish Café, adjacent to a small fish market.

Bugs are from Moreton Bay, up north where it’s more tropical. They’re like something out of H.P. Lovecraft. A creature that has survived from another slightly weirder era, possibly derived from an extraterrestrial spore—definitely somewhat prehistoric.

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They are very tasty. They are served sliced right down the middle—the meat fills the back half, which like a lobster or shrimp, curls under. However, the front half and underside more resembles a crab.

Then we went for a brief swim. We had just come out of the water when the lifeguard made two announcements. One advised to be careful of the rip currents. He said, “You may be a good swimmer in a pool, but that doesn’t mean you know how to swim in surf.” The second announcement advised that the change in wind was bringing in some Bluebottles (stinging jellyfish) and he went on: “Unless you have a high threshold for pain we suggest you get out of the water immediately.” Not everyone did, but we sure weren’t going back in.

Here is where I should have my next publicity picture done:

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I’ll have to make do with this self-portrait taken in one of the Anish Kapoor sculptures on exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art that are here as part of the Festival.

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