Friday, December 9, 2016

The First Suburb to Explore, Paddington

It was my first weekend in Sydney. I decided to visit Paddington.

I am blessed. My friends, knowing that I am going to live in Sydney, keep sending me interesting places and foods they found on facebook and instagram. Thanks to Ivy, I have to know this place.

The weather was good, cooling but not so windy. I used the magic spell called to find out what I was expecting to see and I asked my best friend in Sydney, named Google Maps, to figure out how I could reach Paddington.

I walked to Martin Place Station Stand F to take Bus 380 (City Circular Quay to Watsons Bay via Bondi Junction). There are a few buses that run from CBD to Paddington, but thanks to the Opal mobile apps, it shows the cost of each trip. I chose the cheapest one, of course. Stingy me. The bus journey cost me AUD 2.1.

Opal mobile apps also shows the arriving time of the bus, but you can't really rely on it. My bus arrived more than 5 minutes late. The bus journey itself took less than 20 minutes.

Paddington is an inner city, eastern suburb of Sydney, 3km east of CBD. Paddington lies across two local government area, i.e. City of Sydney and Woollhara. During the first decades of British settlement, this area was ignored. Only after the year of 1800, when roads were built followed by houses and Victoria Barracks, Paddington started to develop. Until today, Paddington is considered as heritage area with all the Victorian buildings lining along.

After asking Mr. Bus Driver, I alighted at Oxford Street, opposite Paddington Markets. Oxford Street is the main street of Paddington where most the interesting shops can be found. You can buy everything here: meat, groceries, chocolates, shoes, home decorations, wedding gown, art paintings, you-name-it-you-get-it.

Oxford Street

My first stop was Paddington Markets, located at the yard of Paddington Uniting Church. This market is a weekend rain-or-shine market that has been operating this way since 1973. The operating hour is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m and it houses pop-up stores of local artists and designers. There are fashions, handmade fragrances, decorations, accessories and jewelleries, etc. etc. etc.

Paddington Markets and Paddington Uniting Church

Welcome to Paddington Markets

One of the designer store
Homade cakes
Live music at the food area!

Walking around this market took me one hour or so and I proceeded to stroll along the Oxford Road. If there was something that interested me, I would walk into the shop, spent some time inside and walked back out. I also walked along the small lanes in between buildings. I love this area. The atmosphere is relaxing but fun. It just feels creative.

One of the shop, does it give you the same feeling as what I get?

One of the small lanes with more shops!

I went to a small coffee shop called Paddington Grind, bought my skinny flat white and walked to the tiny park besides to enjoy my coffee. The coffee is from Toby's Estate and it costs less than AUD 4.

The cafe

Enjoying my coffee

About 200m away from this place is another awesome place. Paddington Reservoir Garden, which is restored from the former Paddington Reservoir, is under the heritage list. Paddington Reservoir was built as a part of the third water supply system of Sydney from 1866 to 1899. It was working in tandem with another reservoir of Surry Hill.

Upon decommissioning, the reservoir was used as storage facility of pipes and motor vehicles. The roof top of the reservoir was later converted as public space. However, in 1990, the structure collapsed due to the corrosion of the steel columns that were installed to replace several timber columns to allow vehicle movement in earlier days.

In 2006, the conservation programme begun and Paddington Reservoir Garden was opened in 2008 as sunken garden with rooftop reserve. The integration of remaining bricks, timber and metal with modern elements of structures are just perfect.

The modern gate 

The rooftop space with beach chairs all over the place

The modern canopy leading to the sunken garden

The sunken garden

Enjoying life

The brick and steel are still retained

Paddington Reservoir Garden is really unique. The space is not big but it gives the carefree feeling. When I was sitting at the sunken garden, I looked up and it felt so so so good. Rome-Babylon old structure, clear blue sky, great weather; I am so blessed.

I continued walking along Oxford Road afterwards, towards a place that drew me to this place from the start.

Yes, this road side drew me all the way to Paddington.

This is Jacaranda flowers, one of the icon of Sydney. This blue-purple flowers bloom in spring to early summer and they are the best street side trees! In Sydney, you could find Jacaranda trees from Paddington all the way to Lavender Bay and beyond, but these trees are native to Brazil, not Australia. It was said that a botanist Allan Cunningham, who served as the colonial botanist, was the one to thank for these beautiful trees.

Purple is my favourite colour!

You can see love everywhere
I can look at this forever

Love is in the air,
Little Feet

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