Farewell from the Public Sydney blog

The Public Sydney exhibition has closed and it is time for us to wind up our blog too. We’ve met some fantastic people, drank from the best bubblers [and the worst], been chased by ibis and become better acquainted with our city.

The power of the pig, Il Porcellino on Macquarie Street, wasn’t really evident to our volunteers but we will continue to pat him.

Vanessa Berry, our fabulous guest blogger, has taken us to places we’ve never been before and taught us to always look up, down and all around when walking the city streets. Be sure to stay connected with her here.

Our other guest bloggers have helped us think differently about our public spaces. We’d like to thank everyone who commented, emailed and, on one memorable occasion, stopped Nerida at a bubbler to assist with a review.

If you love Sydney stories and places keep in touch with us via our Facebook and Twitter. You can also check out other blogs on our website including the Cook and the Curator – a great one for Sydney foodies. And, speaking of food, be sure to visit the upcoming exhibition ‘Eat your history: a shared table’ at Museum of Sydney.

Hey, have you noticed that during this blog’s time the Town Hall clock has been uncovered again, the monorail is slowly disappearing and Ravi the Hyde Park flair bartender seems to have a few new followers…our public spaces never stop changing!

Sydney monorail track being removed

Sydney monorail track being removed

Power of the Pig final result

Il Porcellino

Il Porcellino

Our social experiment has come to a close, as the sun sets on Il Porcellino this afternoon. While things seemed steady for Kate, our other test subject, Matt, was not as lucky. He tells us that since rubbing the boar’s nose his dog passed away.

Whether this can be blamed on the power of the pig remains unclear but it certainly puts a bit of a downer on our results!

For Kate, though, her time with the pig developed into something more profound:

“After a few weeks of missing the pig – I was taking an alternate route to work, and wasn’t walking by him – I have visited him twice a week over the last two weeks. He hasn’t answered my main wish, and life is tracking along as usual, nothing really bad, nothing really amazing.

But I think the pig and I have a silent understanding – he will be a guardian, keeping watch over those who visit him. I think I will continue to visit him, because even without the proven power of the pig, I can still make a small contribution to Sydney Hospital on my trips up and down Macquarie Street. ”



More cats required

We thought we’d share some of the comments that have been trending on the ideas wall at the Public Sydney exhibition. Cats…and plenty of them! Here is a sample of some of the comments (click on an image to enlarge it):

Ducks have once again made an appearance, suggesting they are a very desirable animal to have frequenting the city’s public spaces.

Today, one of the SLM team was delighted to spot a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo sitting on one of the street lights at the corner of Market and Castlereagh streets. Before he could take a photo, the Cockatoo made its way back to the less frantic surrounds of Hyde Park.

Let us know if you’ve spotted any interesting animals enjoying the city’s public spaces!


Ninety9 launches

Ninety9 launch

Ninety9 launch

For those that have been following the blog posts by Vanessa Berry, you may be interested to learn that Vanessa is just about to have her new work, Ninety9, published by Giramondo Publishing.

Ninety9  is an illustrated memoir of Vanessa’s teenage years as a music fan in the 1990s where she writes of her discovery of alternative music and underground cultures.

The book will be launched in Sydney on August 14th at The Midnight Special in Enmore.

Be sure to also check out Vanessa’s blog related to Ninety9 (featuring the notes and ephemera behind the book) here.


Power of the Pig update

Il Porcellino

Il Porcellino looking out over Macquarie Street

We’ve heard back from Kate this week, who has the following update on her luck so far:

“I visited the pig the other day but couldn’t get near enough to give him a coin and make a wish – group after group of people were swarming him for photos. Me thinks perhaps there was a city scavenger hunt that involved our handsome hog… So I made a detour today to visit the famous guy and keep up my donations. Again, nothing uber-lucky has happened… yet.”

Let’s hope Kate’s luck improves. Stay tuned for future updates!

Power of the Pig update

Il Porcellino

Il Porcellino

One of the test subjects for our Power of the Pig investigation has reported back on her luck. Kate had this to say about her fortune so far:

“Visited the pig on Tuesday this week. Bought a lottery ticket on Thursday… hmmm, maybe I should coordinate this better. I gave him a dollar, rubbed his nose (got dripped on), and made a big general wish – not anything specific. Nothing amazing has happened so far but nothing bad either (touch wood)… but maybe that’s just normal. Come on pig power!”

We’ll be reporting back on Matt’s luck shortly and will continue to check in on how Kate’s life has been changed by the Power of the Pig.


Free yoga in June

Lunchtime yoga

Lunchtime yoga

If you happened to be walking past Museum of Sydney at lunchtime yesterday you may have noticed a yoga class taking place on the grass.

As part of our Public Sydney forecourt experiment, we’ve invited yogi, Simone Skinner-Smith, to run lunchtime yoga workshops each Tuesday in June – and it’s free!

Simone teaches ‘Hatha’ yoga and has been practising yoga for over 11 years in all corners of the world including India, Bali, Mauritius, London and most recently in her home town of Sydney.

Sessions run from 12.15pm-1pm, with mats provided, so just turn up in your yoga clothes and join in.

Classes are limited to 15 people only so it’s first in, best dressed.

Some of our yoga experimenters yesterday said that the city location of this yoga class offers a unique experience, especially when reaching up to the towering buildings above!

The details: 

Free yoga classes on the Museum of Sydney forecourt (First Government House Place)

Dates: Every Tuesday in June

Times: 12.15pm-1pm

Mats provided. Classes limited to 15 people on a first in, best dressed basis. Wear appropriate clothing for a yoga class. No yoga experience necessary. Classes are weather dependent and will not proceed in rainy weather.  

Lunchtime yoga

Lunchtime yoga

Yo-yoers on the forecourt

Museum of Sydney forecourt

Museum of Sydney forecourt

We have it on good authority that there’ll be some talented yo-yoers taking over the Museum of Sydney forecourt today at 1pm. The group have been known to show off their yo-yo skills around some of the city’s other public areas, so we’re excited to have them come try out our space.

If you’re in the city, come along and watch them do their thing!

Museum of Sydney forecourt (First Government House Place), 1pm, Wednesday 29th May. 

We blog the city

Image credit: Rachael Holt

Image credit: Rachael Holt

This Sunday at Museum of Sydney, come listen to Public Sydney and Mirror Sydney blogger, Vanessa Berry, when she speaks at our Vivid Sydney talk, Digital City 1 – We blog the city.

Vanessa will be joined on stage by 52 Suburbs and 52 Suburbs Around The World blogger, Louise Hawson, as well as My Darling Darlinghurst blogger, Violet Tingle. Find out what inspired these bloggers to share their experiences of the cities and suburbs they’ve explored!

For details and tickets click here.

How do you make a space public?


Children playing chess

Since laying some plush green turf, deck chairs, planter boxes and chess pieces, we’ve seen a lot of activity happening on the Museum of Sydney forecourt! Why? It seems our public space experiment is working!

As part of Public Sydney, we asked exhibition visitors what they would like to do on the Museum forecourt. Our aim is to encourage the public to spend more time enjoying this space rather than just passing through. Based on the feedback we received, we manipulated the layout of the space which has led to a change in the way people use it and has increased the amount of time visitors spend there. The chess set, inspired by Hyde Park, is very popular with kids and there is a constant stream of adults challenging their friends to a game. Our planter boxes, currently home to herbs and greenery, are also set to flourish, although we wonder if the sometimes windy conditions may keep the plants from venturing too high above the garden bed! People stretch out in the deck chairs and look up at the city’s buildings, noticing architectural details that exist above our normal eye line.  Both the deck chairs and bench seating offer people a place to relax in the Autumn sun, eat their lunch and make use of our free Wifi.

Be sure to drop in and check it out, grab a coffee from the café and tell us what you think of our public space experiment!