Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Quote for the Day

More Ugly Buildings . . . The US


Verizon Building:

The Verizon Building is located in New York and was completed in 1927. The architect, Frank walker, was inspired by Mayan architecture in designing the fa├žade. Architects and historians consider the Verizon Building as the first Art Deco skyscraper but the jury remains out on whether it is a thing of beauty or just plain ugly.

Located adjacent to the World Trade Centre site and 7 World Trade Centre, it experienced major damage in the 9/11 attacks but its thick masonry exterior and use of masonry to protect steel columns and structural elements helped the building withstand the attacks. Restoration of the building after the attacks took three years, at a cost of $1.4 billion.

432 Park Avenue:

Whilst looking at ugly in New York, here is another: 432 Park Avenue, a residential skyscraper in Manhattan, New York City that overlooks Central Park. At 425.5m/1,396 feet, its construction was completed in 2015, making it the third tallest building in the US and the world’s tallest residential building.

It has been criticised for its appearance and for failing to blend in with surroundings, some having compared it to a giant matchstick. It has also been negatively described as a symbol of ostentatious wealth and inequality.


Boston City Hall:

The seat of city government of Boston, Massachusetts also happens to be one of the ugliest buildings in the US, if not the world. Built in 1968, it features the style known as “brutalist”. 

Despite common public opinion that the building is a giant paper bag job, a 1976 poll of architects, historians and critics conducted by the American Institute of Architects, listed the building with Thomas Jefferson's University of Virginia campus and Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater as one of the ten proudest achievements of American architecture in the nation's first two hundred years.


Denver Public Library:

It has been described as looking like a medieval castle haphazardly put together, but apparently internally it is a marvellous blend of form and design. The exterior was designed by architect Michael Graves in the postmodern style of architecture that he co-founded. That style rejects modern skyscrapers and opts instead for the classical forms, natural materials and colours of centuries past. 

As if the building isn’t enough, there is also a giant chair with a sculpted horse upon it. The scale of this work is meant to recall that time in life when even everyday objects seemed monumental.


Geisel Library:

The Geisel Library is the main library building of the University of California, San Diego Library and, although it features on some lists of ugly buildings, I like it. It is constructed in Brutalist style and is named after Audrey and Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. The building's distinctive architecture has resulted in its being featured in the UC San Diego logo.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Quote for the Day

Kate Update, Readers Write


Kate Update:

Kate attended the Fracture Clinic at RPA last Friday and was x-rayed again. 

Here is another x-ray taken at the time of the original hospital visit, not previously seen by us:

Here is the latest x-ray:

She was told that if you had to have a fracture, this would be one of the last on the list, and that her fracture was “particularly nasty”.

The cast was removed, manipulation carried out to force the arm into a different position (the muscles were in spasm and had to be released) and a new cast applied. A not-so-pleasant experience which Kate endured bravely.  Onya Kate.

Another Fracture Clinic visit next Friday.

Readers Write. . .

An email from Dianne M in Holland:
Hi Otto 
Hope that Kate is improving well and that the pain is gone and hoping that the break heals well. My best wishes to her from me. Take good care of yourselves 

Received this email below from my girlfriend out Australia. You have had this on your Bytes before. Enjoy. 
Take care 
Thanks, Dianne.

Dianne’s email was accompanied by text and comments about the Bloemencorso flower show and displays in Holland. In Dutch, the word “bloemencorso” means “flower parade”, “flower pageant” or “flower procession”.

Here is the text from Dianne’s email:
Made from flowers in Holland, since 1936!  
What began in 1936 as a flower parade has become the oldest and most celebrated ode to blooms in Europe. Ever since its inception, Zundert in the Netherlands has hosted an annual flower show Bloemencorso, with an average 50,000 visitors descending on the town to look at the brilliant displays.  
Creators use dahlias for their breathtaking displays and build gravity defying sculptures.
Dianne is right about this having featured in Bytes before.

Click on the following links to see the previous posts:

(16 June 2013)

(24 June 2013)

(15 September 2016)

I won’t repost Dianne’s pics in that they are all included in the above links.

Although the 2017 Bloemencorso parade was held in April of this year, I have been able to locate numerous videos of the event but no still photographs. Maybe there is some sort of embargo.

Here is a link to a video:

An email from Tim B, in respect of last Friday's Funny Friday:
The first part not so good, but the jokes at the end are ok
Thanks, Tim.

The first part referred to by Tim was to stick figure humour.


An email from Steve M , , , 
in respect of yesterday’s post where I mentioned the locality where he lives, Razorback, near Camden:
Interesting Bytes about our locale today Otto, thanks. I work from a cottage in the grounds of our little farm, and during an inspection a few years ago, the local council told us that it is at least 90 years old, if not considerably older. There is no trace of it in the council’s records and they think the cottage was erected long before folks needed building approvals.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect about the cottage is the fact that soon after we moved to the property one of our dog’s (a blue cattle dog called George) was walking ahead of us and the door to the cottage was open. George wandered in alone and moments later he came flying out, or was bundled out, breaking his foot in the process, howling and shaking with fear. The cottage was completely empty.

Subsequently we have had two different spiritualist / mediums inspect the building, and both say it is inhabited by spirits from times gone by. Upstairs are the spirits of several red coats and downstairs is inhabited by aboriginals. We were told to show respect every time we visit the cottage, and ask permission to enter. I work there most days and the dogs accompany me - George has had no other problems since we adopted the courtesies suggested by the mediums. We subsequently discovered that the adjacent property has a ‘water hole’ (just behind our cottage, in fact) and it is regarded as a sacred place by aboriginals, and was used for healing ceremonies until about five years ago when the owners (the Catholic Church) sold it.

Regards always

Steve m 
Fascinating. Thanks Steve.

Steve's farm

Steve's cottage, where he does his writing (Steve is an author).
(Is it called Wombat Cottage because he eats, . . .?)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Quote for the Day

Edmund Lee is an author, entrepreneur, social media strategist, and speaker.

Sydney Suburbs continued: Bexley, Bickley Vale, Bidwill




Bexley is located 14 kilometres south of the Sydney central business district. It is part of the St George re and, formerly located within Rockdale and Canterbury Council areas, it is now part of the local government area of Bayside, being the merged councils of Rockdale and Botany Bay.

Name origin:

In 1812 one Thomas Sylvester was granted land in the area of what is now Bexley and upon which he established a farm. It became known, not unsurprisingly, as Sylvester’s Farm. Yen years later he sold his farm to a young Englishman named James Chandler, who was granted a further 485 hectares/1.200 acres of high land in its virgin state. It stretched from what is now Bexley North to Rockdale and Kogarah. Chandler named the area after his birthplace, Bexley in the south-east of London.

  • Chandler became known locally as the Squire of Bexley.
  • Chandler’s estate was heavily timbered. A track through the centre of the estate, used by timber-getters, is today called Forest Road, the main road in Bexley and the location of the commercial area. 
  • Queen Victoria Street, Gladstone Street and Beaconsfield Street commemorate the British Queen and two of her prime ministers. 
  • Chandler sold his land in 1836 to Charles Thompson, unhappy that his landholding had attracted bushrangers, escaped convicts and other odd types. Thompson subsequently sold the land to Charles Tindell, who began subdividing the land by 1856 for home sites. An upsurge in development began after the railway line to Hurstville was opened in 1884

Forest Road, Bexley 1951

Bexley School, 1914

Original Bexley Public School, 1892

Arncliffe to Bexley steam tram, date unknown

A Forest Road view today

Bickley Vale:


Bickley Vale is a rural locality located 54 kilometres west from Sydney and 2 kilometres west of Camden, is part of the Camden area and, to be honest, I hadn’t heard of it until now. It was assigned the status of a suburb in October 1991.

Name origin:

The name Bickley Vale was taken from the property owned by the Sidman family, and later became the name of their residence at 69 John Street in Camden. It was demolished in 1984 for the erection of the Camden Senior Citizens Centre. Prior to 1952 the Sidman family owned the newspapers that have today evolved into the local newspaper the Advertiser.

  • Bickley Vale is located within an area of land granted by Governor Brisbane to John Macarthur, soldier, entrepreneur and pastoralist. This 1823 grant consisted of 2,023 hectares/5,000 acres and adjoined Macarthur’s Camden Park Estate, which had been granted in 1805. It was here that Macarthur established his flourishing wool, wine and wheat industries, founding the Australian wool industry and giving rise to the identification of the area as ‘The Birthplace of the Nation’s Wealth’ as suggested on the Camden sign on Camden Valley Way. 
  • In 1885, 1,500 hectares/3,600 acres of Camden Park Estate was subdivided into small farms of up to 53 hectares/130 acres each. 
  • Bickley Vale is the only location in the Camden municipality to remain virtually untouched by residential development, with only a handful of occupied dwellings. Much natural forest and many wooded areas remain.
  • Another notable fact: friends and Byters Steve M and Diane M reside in the area, in a locality named Razorback, population 1,082 (census 2016). Razorback is the name used to describe the mountain range since the earliest days of the colony but there is no definite explanation for the origin. It has been suggested that it looks sharp-edged and flat-topped, like the edge of a razor but it might equally be named after wild pigs. (Apparently the term “razorback”, also used in the US for pigs, refers to domestic pigs which have escaped into the wild and the offspring thereof, not to native pigs.)

A house on Burragorang Road, Bickley Vale,

Dowles Lane, Bickley Vale



Bidwill is located 48 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the City of Blacktown.

Name origin:

Bidwill is named after John Carne Bidwill (1815-1853) appointed as botanist in charge at the Botanic Gardens in 1847.


From Wikipedia:
Bidwill was dominated by the development of public housing in the 1960s and 1970s. In recent times, Bidwill has been associated with social and economic problems. These have resulted in an increase of crime and such trouble as riots.

Bidwill is primarily a residential suburb with extremely limited commercial activity. It is quite close to the suburbs of Mount Druitt and St Marys, which have larger shopping centres, banking facilities and railway stations.

Limited commercial facilities such as supermarkets and service stations are available at Emerton and Plumpton rather than in Bidwill itself. A small supermarket complex existed at Bidwill in the 1990s, but failed due to competition from larger facilities nearby. There have been ongoing attempts to reopen the shopping complex.c

According to the 2011 census of Population, there were 4,588 residents in Bidwill. 72.7% of people were born in Australia. The most common other countries of birth were New Zealand 4.1%, Samoa 2.7%, England 1.8%, Philippines 1.1% and Fiji 0.8%.          

Housing is very heavily dominated by public housing built throughout the 1960s and 1970s, with large numbers of freestanding fibro houses and extensive terrace-style complexes. The houses are gradually transferring to private ownership and as this continues these government-built premises are being replaced with privately built, modern homes, similar to those being built in other areas of Sydney.

Most local housing is owned by either the Department of Housing or Aboriginal Housing Office.


Bidwill shopping complex, opened in 2009, remains closed despite government attempts to have it reopen.