Sunday is crime time

August 1, 2006 at 2:58 pm | Posted in Sydney, Travel | 2 Comments

On Sunday I went with Amy, Tam and Jason to the Justice and Crime Museum, a series of interconnected colonial buildings nestled above Circular Quay and amongst the gleaming towers of the new city. In brief, this is an opportunity to learn about Sydney’s crime, justice and punishment and is a good outing but you can only do it on the weekend and have to pay.

I really enjoyed the experience, even though I’m quite new to the city, myself and my more seasoned Sydney-sider friends were all interested in photos and events occurring on familiar streets and locations. It was very much a “I know that place!” moment.

At the time we went they were showing an exhibit on historic crime scene photographs. Given space restrictions they displayed them via a projector in three different themes with a (monotone) voice-over. While I didn’t feel like sitting through half an hour’s worth it was interesting to watch for a few minutes. You can always come back before you leave.

I will make a special note of the Shrine of Remembrance for NSW police officers who died in the line of duty. Each of the names was read over the speakers with a summary of the events leading to their deaths and it was quite moving and set up I had not seen at other shrines before.

In one room devoted to forensics is a large box (I don’t recall the metal) that housed the “Pyjama Girl” a woman who’d been murdered and her body subsequently left on display at the University of Sydney’s medical school until her identity was determined. Slightly surreal. 

While I was enjoying wandering around towards the end I was getting a tad bored, luckily one of the tour guides, David, started telling us anecdotes. They were engaging and the human element helped to spark my brain back into gear again for the remainder of the museum. I was particularly surprised by the story of the school girls who had to go back to class straight after one of their classmates had been shot and killed in the school chapel.

Try out the museum, I think you’ll be suprised.  

More on the Travel tab.

Out and about – random photo

August 1, 2006 at 12:49 pm | Posted in Random, Sydney | Leave a comment

On the way home from the Justice Museum I spotted the Gowings’ sign and wondered if the neon had been intentionally set that way. For more on the story of one of Sydney’s former major shops check out this article.

Ironic signage

Will it survive? I’m betting no.

August 1, 2006 at 11:56 am | Posted in General | Leave a comment

My neighbourhood is getting a new bookstore – making three. Normally, I’d argue that it’d be a challenge for these stores to survive but I think people here prefer books to say, DVDs and CDs. Neither of which have a dedicated shop unless you count Blockbuster and Video Ezy. Under optimum circumstances all three bookshops would do fine but this new store will suffer in this suburb – which tends to prefer quality/ perception of quality – for four reasons:

– No sign/shingle: You wouldn’t even know it was open (or the name for that matter)

– Cement floors: It just looks plain old cheap and doesn’t fit with the style of the suburb at all. If you can’t afford carpet/tiles why not throw some rugs down?

– Decor: The other bookstores have a “homey” feel and in this shop they’ve put up some artwork which is ok but also a couch. OK they get marks for trying but it looks faded and combined with the white walls and cement floors the overall appearance is washed out and unattractive.

-Bookshelves: I don’t have a problem with metal shelves on rollers for the interior of the shop (on that note – there appear to be plenty of books) although, I personally think it’s tacky for the front window display.

I hope I’m wrong and this unnamed bookstore survives, although if it doesn’t and a CD/DVD store replaces it, that’d be great.

Good luck unknown businessman/woman.

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