Walking over sydney harbour

I guess a cameraphone isn’t the best way to capture a fast walk over the harbour bridge in the early evening, but it’s the best I have available. I get a few strange looks for typing and walking, but most people are too caught up in their own walk to notice.

The walk from milson’s point to the rocks, if you keep a fast-ish pace, takes 15 minutes. Not a bad time investment – you get some exercise, and you can soak up the beauty of the city – it looks even better if you walk with your significant other along.

An amazing view is up for grabs, but few people look left or right. Most keep walking, eyes forward.

Walking across a body of water puts me in mind of one of Jesus’ miracles: going one better than Moses, who parted the red sea, Jesus just stepped out and walked across. Peter – in one of the gospel accounts – calls out to Jesus, and asks to be allowed to walk out to meet him. Peter does fine, until he takes his eyes off Jesus and looks off to one side.

Is that why people look straight ahead on the bridge? Fear?

Are they too busy? Isn’t it better to spend the time contemplating, or at least appreciating the moment, than worrying about what awaits on the other end of the bridge?

Maybe even thanking God that the bridge is there would be a better use of time. Looking out at the city – a reminder of the many material things that Sydney-siders take for granted; I think I might try praying the next time I cross the bridge.

How about you? Do you look straight ahead on bridges, or take in the scenery?

Coffee, tea or me? Surry hills

Numero uno coffee. Lots of antique wood, french posters and a french feeling to the menu. Staff are cheery and up for a chat; conversations with the regulars are taking place over the soft, upbeat music. The café seats about 15 inside, with some scope for extra seats outside.

Coffee is smooth, and not too strong; perhaps a little over frothed, but enjoyable. Water is brought out with the coffee too, I should add.

536 crown st, surry hills

Il baretto, surry hills

Lusty grinds coffee. Seriously crowded: probably making excessive use of the space: I sit on a high stool at a table that is affixed to the wall. Four kitchen staff and a waitress are busily working away. Water is self-service: there’s a jug and glasses at the bar.

Coffee, given the busyness of the kitchen, arrives quickly. The latte is served in a tallish, thin glass, at a good temperature. It tastes pretty similar to grinders coffee, but with a little more body.

From my seat, I have a clear view into the kitchen, where I finally see the the trick to serving free-form poached eggs is to lift them up, drain the water into a tea-towel, then plate them.

The book kitchen, surry hills

The book blend coffee (by single origin). Big and busy, in a quiet corner of surry hills, the café has a lot of conversation buzz all but drowning out the background music. The crowd here is generally upper-middle class, well dressed – friends catching up for a saturday morning breakfast. Staff vary in attitude from friendly to somewhat hostile, but perhaps because I’m not ordering enough.

Sit near the front, and you’re bathed in sunlight: if you end up in the back of the café, it’s a little gloomy, despite the bright green wall.

Coffee smells great, and has an intricate fern on the top: a sign that the milk and espresso have both been well-made. On tasting, too, it doesn’t disappoint: a little lacking in strength, perhaps, but drinkable temperature and good texture.