Well, after a very whirlwind trip to Brisbane (I was in the city less than 24 hours, but still managed to take in an incredible Cohen concert and a range of other nifty things) … this morning it was time to say goodbye:
After a fairly uneventful flight down to Sydney, I decided that it would be a good idea to check out the area around the Acer Arena (where Leonard and band will be performing tomorrow night, the first show in a two-night run). I’ll have to confess to not being particularly familiar with this area of Sydney. For those (like me) who don’t know about Sydney’s Olympic Park .. it’s basically exactly what it sounds like — the precinct that got built as the primary site for the Sydney 2000 Olympics. It features more sporting arenas than you can easily shake a plush toy kangaroo at, all kind of lined up next to one another. The Acer Arena is one of these venues.
Here’s what it looked like this evening … hmm, I’m guessing I was only eager beaver checking out the venue a day ahead of the show. At least I couldn’t see anyone else even remotely close to the venue:
While the site of Sydney’s Olympic Park is kind of nestled in the middle of fairly inner suburbs, it is ringed by lots and lots of parks and other greenery, effectively giving it the appearance of being a little oasis of sparsely scattered monolithic arenas just kind of existing in isolation in the middle of a green and lush environment. It’s a bit strange, but also quite a spectacular place.
I had a little bit of time to spare, so I took a walk through the two largest areas of park, both of which are just a few minutes walk from the Acer Arena. The first is Bicentennial Park, one small bit of which is shown below:
The other, even more spectacular area is the wetlands area just a short walk north of this park. It’s really easy when walking through this region of natural mangroves, and watching all the birdlife around you, to entirely lose sight of the fact that you’re really right in the middle of a very large, very developed city:
Both the park and the wetlands are very peaceful places … I figure that if, following his soundcheck tomorrow afternoon, Leonard is in search of a quiet place to meditate in order to centre himself before the show … he could do far worse than a quick visit to either of these places 🙂