Friday, January 6, 2012

Brisbane- Gallery of Modern Art

Day two in Brisbane was a cultural day. Got to mix it up. We were lucky because that very day the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) opened a major exhibition featuring the works of Henri Matisse. Now, Greg especially knows very little about art, but recognized the name so he has to be a huge deal. Sadly, we could not take any pictures inside the exhibit itself, but it was very interesing. The exhibit focused on his sketchwork, and how he used that to shape his paintings. There were enough placards to explain his life and what we were looking at, but without being overwhelming. Very well done.

At the end of the exhibit they had a cafe and sketch room where you could try and emulate the master.

We totally want those birdcage chandelier lights.

Just lounging with a glass of wine after taking in a Matisse career retrospective. It's how we roll, classy style.

The front of the Muesum. It made Laurel's little architectural heart so happy.

This is the rear of the library, another very well designed building. The first floor is actually open air and the sidewalk runs through the middle of it to get to GOMA. In the rear is an ivy-wrapped patio.

Brisbane, when looking at it from the west across the river. This bridge is awesome.

The whole museum district is on the waterfront with a boardwalk and trees all around. It's just a beautiful area. Good job, Brisbane.

The Ferris Wheel is a Brisbane icon, and supposedly the largest ferris wheel in the Southern Hemisphere. Australia loves to make claims about things like that. Really, though, it's kind of a low bar. They're competing with New Zealand, Indonesia, South Africa, Argentina, Chile . . . and that's about it. But good job Australia, way to build that giant ferris wheel. From a tourist point of view, it was pretty cool.  It had a pre-recorded tour of the city that pointed out landmarks on the map they gave you before getting on.  It was a unique way to get an overview of the city.

Ferris Wheel photography!

Brisbane hosted the World Expo about 30 years ago which is why they have such a great public transportation system. Buses, ferries, trains that go all the way to the airport. How's that silver line coming Dulles? Catch up with the rest of the world. Anyway, this is a Nepalese temple that was built for the Expo. Not really sure why, and it really doesn't fit with anything around it, but on its own it is quite pretty tucked away in the park. We would have missed it completely if we hadn't seen it on the ferris wheel.

No city is complete without a trip to Chinatown. On Sunday we met up with Katrina again for Yum-cha. Yum-cha is the greatest thing ever. It's kind of like tapas, except it's Chinese food, generally attended by the entire family, and you leave feeling very full. The food itself is a buffet, but instead of going to the buffet line the food comes to you. Waiters bring around dozens of dishes and you just keep picking whatever you think looks good until you're ready to burst. Epic.

In the middle of Chinatown was a giant avante-garde fish sculpture. Clearly a picture was needed.

We spent most of Sunday with Katrina and stopped breifly at her house where we got to meet her dog Koko, a mix of chihuahua and . . . something cute that balances out the ugliness of a chihuahua. Most energetic dog ever. We love her.

All in all, we really liked Brisbane. Probably our second favorite Australian city after Melbourne. We did get a little lucky in the weather department though. When we there it was in the high seventies which everyone there told us was about ten degrees cooler than usual. It was pretty much perfect, although all the Brisbanians were complaining about the cold. Silly Australians, not knowing what cold is.


  1. I love the bangs/fringe Laurel!
    Happy New Year too :-)

  2. Brisbane 1, Melbourne 0 in the Ferris wheel competition. Both great cities otherwise, though.