28 April 2007

Birthday Photos (April 27)

Sumalee Thai at the Bank Hotel on King Street in Newtown
(very yummy!)

Out to the garden for drinks.


Carolina and Andrew think they're on a roller coaster.

Saren, Derrick, birthday girl, Philip

Group photo! Jan, Saren, Derrick, yours truly, Thomas, and Andrew in the front.

And then I gathered the boys...
Karl (USA), Andrew (South Africa), Enrico (Italy), happy girl, Philip (USA), Edwin (South Africa), Derrick (USA), Soenke? is that your name? possibly from Germany? :)

18 April 2007

The Economics of Sustainable Design

The New York Times (which I'm addicted to and read online daily) has been doing an outstanding job in their articles on sustainability. The links to a few recent articles are given below with brief descriptions of what they discuss. Bravo to the NYT!

Maybe Only God Can Make a Tree...
The New York City Parks Department, after a 2-year study, has put a dollar and cents value to its trees, concluding that for each dollar NYC spends on its trees, the city receives $5.60 worth of benefit.

The Power of Green
"Green: The New Red, White and Blue" Thomas Friedman's argument that America could re-establish itself as a beacon of progress, hope and inspiration by committing itself to a green political movement.

Home Depot to Display an Environmental Label
Take fluorescent light bulbs - while they cost more at check out, they last longer and use less energy - and then multiply that by the 3000 products they are starting with for the potential impact this initiative will have. It's all about the green.

And for anyone REALLY interested in the economics of it all:
The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change
Sir Nicholas Stern contends that it will cost less for the world to sit up today and spend money on environmental concerns than it would cost for the repercussions of doing nothing in the "business as usual" approach. Like anything, it's not perfect, but it has done well by getting the attention of decision makers world-wide.

... and this one is for the architecture people.

PSB - It's Renzo Piano in Sydney!
Matthew - Still working on Renzo Piano in Noumea...

Aurora Place + Macquarie Apartments


Open louvers!

5 - 6 - 7 - 8

"...do you know the difference between a 5, 6, 7, 8..."
And speaking of pilates, every dance class I've taken here so far has incorporated yoga and/or pilates moves into the warmup. This is serious stuff.

Since arriving in Sydney I've taken many different classes at two studios in the city. Here's me in the middle of a feisty pose in the "chory" at the end of a class at Urban Dance Centre (for those of you in Sydney - come to class at 1:00pm on Saturdays!):

The other studio is at Sydney Dance Company, which is on a wharf in Walsh Bay, on the water, on the other side of the Harbour Bridge from Circular Quay. Here's the exterior of the building, stretching the length of the wharf, with the cafe inside the entrance and four large studios behind:

In other news, I've been told these studios have student showcases in December - VERY excited to participate if possible!!! And, a special hello to all my BDC friends in NYC, save my spot!

15 April 2007

Happy Birthday Joanna!!!

While it's the same day in Sydney and in New York! Happy Birthday to my first NYU friend, my late-night listening, couch-sharing, tv-watching, massage-giving, inspirational-texting, crazy, amazing, talented, beautiful friend.

(Click HERE for the link to her jewelry design website, because I can't resist the opportunity for shameless advertisement, also coming soon to a Barney's near you.)

Cultural Learnings of Australia :: Coffee Pt. 2

Australians are big into their coffee art.

Pretty + Delicious = Cafe Ism, 187 Wilson Street, Newtown

Taronga Zoo

Admission gifted by Barb Warnock (thank you!!). After the Sydney Cove Rotary meeting – which takes place on a boat at Circular Quay – Barb, her daughter Emily, and I took the ferry to Taronga Zoo.

And apparently it comes with the secret service -

After our suspicions being raised by the police boat that tailed our ferry over to the zoo, we got there and saw, without exaggeration, a minimum of two dozen men in black suits with black sunglasses and the earpiece with the clear wire attached to whatever, the camera in their pen, or something.

Barb asked a zoo employee who was visiting and the guy said that this was just a practice for next week, and he didn't know who for. Will have to keep you posted on the development of high-security political/celebrity visiting at the zoo - haven't heard anything else yet.

Back to the main attractions!




Red Panda







Getting back to the Harbour and heading off to dinner.

07 April 2007

Cultural Learnings of Australia :: Quarantine Matters!

What can't be mailed to Australia? Well, let's refer to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry pamphlet left for me in a recent package from my family in Michigan:
Meat and Meat Products, Dairy, Eggs and Egg Products, Fruit and Vegetables, Plants and Soils, Seeds and Nuts, Plant Material, and finally, Live Animals, Australia has plenty of their own, thank you.

"The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) checks goods arriving at international mail centres, airports and seaports. Quarantine officers, x-ray machines and detector dogs screen all of the 150 million items of international mail sent to Australia each year, intercepting around 80,000 high-risk items."

Let's consider the items in my package: one Carebear spiral notebook, a bag of Starburst Jellybeans, two Cadbury cream eggs, one Easter card, a few wallet-size photos of Barbara, my little sister (see below for one taken by yours truly), one USB digital card reader + cable, two birthday cards and a birthday present (DVD).
Maybe it was the eggs?

Barbara Janiski, Clio High School Class of 2007
Recently accepted to Michigan State University!

01 April 2007

Earth Hour, part II

These photos are from the Sydney Morning Herald: