Saturday, March 16, 2019

Seafood Diner in Monterosso al Mar at Trattoria Da Oscar

One of the curious things about travel by train and, choosing a hotel just out of town; up a steep hillside with an impressive view - of the beautiful bays of Cinque Terre. Is you do manage to meet and converse with your fellow guests; chatting away as you shuttle up and down the switchbacks of the hillside in the courtesy mini bus. The little van that takes you down to the beach or back up to that glorious view. It was on one of these return trips to the hotel that David and Margaret, who just so happened to be from Sydney too.. kindly recommended to us a seafood restaurant called Oscars, that they had tried the night before and thought was just fabulous! So Vivienne and I decided to give it a shot the very next evening. The mini bus drops us at the start of the beach on Via Fegina opposite, Ristorante Miky, but that's another culinary story yet to be told. continues below..
Umbrellas folded for the night, Monterosso al Mar, Cinque Terre,  Italy. Photo by Kent Johnson
Now as compact as Monterosso is, there is the new town (not that new) and there is the medieval old town on the other side of the rocky promontory. A distance of perhaps a kilometre and half of pleasant beach front promenade. Trattoria Da Oscar is in the old town, through the tunnel under the hill, of rock. Past the fishing boats, across the square skirting churches in bold marble stripes, watched over by a Madonna, by a peloton of bicycles and up a bendy narrow street. Yes there were some wrong turns and directions asked, but at last we found Oscars!
A small Madonna in a wall niche, old town, Monterosso al Mar, Cinque Terre,  Italy. Photo by Kent Johnson
a peloton of bicycles, old town, Monterosso al Mare. Photograph by Kent Johnson
Looking in from the street at  Trattoria de Oscar, Monterosso, Cinque Terre. Photograph by Kent Johnson
And we found it reassuringly busy, all the tables taken outside, though still with room for the two of us inside, away from the chatter of the American accents.. The next night we had a booking for a multi course extravaganza at Ristorante Miky. So for diner at Oscar's we decided on a simple menu. We would start with fried sardines followed by the dish of the day, scampi gnocchi. All accompanied by a bottle of Prosecco, why not!
Chef at work - Trattoria de Oscar Monterosso al Mare. Photograph by Kent Johnson
How was it? We loved our sardines, fresh and tasty and they didn't last long. Next came our scampi gnocchi, which we had discovered was to be the last serving of the special that day. The sauce was a rich, intense tomato driven infusion with a hint of spice, a little chilli? Garlic and olive oil. And it was divine, easily coating the light fluffy gnocchi and the all important scampi! We polished it all off as you can see below, leaving just the pan, and the spoon. I not only relished our shared meal, I really enjoyed the laid back atmosphere. The immediacy of the experience and the quality of food and service. It was an authentic food and travel experience to remember. I hope you enjoy my black and white pictures of our meal. (I actually turned to camera to B&W to take them) Why black and white? because I feel it lends itself to the immediacy, the directness of flavors the meal, the clarity of it all which sometimes colour diffuses. More at the end - and click on the pictures to view them large.
A serving of sardines at Trattoria Da Oscar.  Photograph by Kent Johnson
Sardines on the plate, knife and fork, at Trattoria Da Oscar.  Photograph by Kent Johnson
The ancient arched stone roof at Oscar's.  Photograph by Kent Johnson
Serving from our pan of scampi gnocchi at Trattoria Da Oscar Monterosso al Mar. Photo by Kent Johnson
Scampi gnocchi at Trattoria Da Oscar Monterosso al Mar. Photo by Kent Johnson
Just the shells remain, scampi gnocchi at Trattoria Da Oscar Monterosso al Mar. Photo by Kent Johnson
The empty pan, all gone!  Scampi gnocchi at Trattoria Da Oscar Monterosso al Mar. Photo by Kent Johnson
Oscar and a mural of Oscar! Trattoria Da Oscar Monterosso al Mar. Photo by Kent Johnson
The boat harbour at twilight, Monterosso al Mar, Cinque Terre,  Italy. Photo by Kent Johnson
After that, it was another pleasurable stole back along the waterfront to the new town and a short wait for the mini bus to deliver us back up the hill to our hotel. Diner at Trattoria Da Oscar; highly recommended.

Special thanks to White Caviar Life for making this story possible.

Telling Stories in Pictures all over..
Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
0433 796 863

Friday, March 1, 2019

Book Launch - WILDERNESS: Celebrating Australia's Protected Places..

Well thank goodness someone - many someones have been, for decades trying to and succeeding at, saving Australian wilderness areas. Not that its been a straight line of success, a graph pointing only up. Even today, I think many business people and politicians hold onto the dangerous and outmoded idea that nature is only of value - once you cut it down! So the work of the Society is a hard slog, the path rocky at best, but the rewards great, when they win. And not just a win for the Wilderness Society; but for society as a whole. As I think people are beginning to realise in the face of global warming, or whatever you want to call the great climate change disaster sweeping across everyone's doorstep.
Sydney Book Launch - WILDERNESS: Celebrating Australia's Protected Places..
I was fortunate enough to be invited to this event by the host, photographer Sarah Ducker who's own art works are marvellous pictures made in fragile environments. Sarah was kind enough to open her home in Sydney which overlooks the South Pacific Ocean for the book launch. A view with a significance that would come to bear in Sarah's speech. But first the book. The book is stunning a collection of beautiful pictures of Australian wilderness. Wilderness that we still have in large part thanks to the work of the Wilderness Society and their supporters. This is a beautiful book of photography which you have probably heard nothing about.. you can check it out and buy a copy here it's just fantastic. 'The book celebrates the places Wilderness Society has campaigned to protect for over 40 years, including Kakadu, the Daintree rainforest, the Kimberley and of course, the mighty Franklin river.' I think the reason you probably haven't heard about this volume until now is the society are just too busy dealing with the day to day of saving these vast resources - resources just as they are, from the tyranny of progress - to make selling the book a priority. Which I guess is where I come in to do my bit.
Speeches at the Sydney Book Launch - WILDERNESS: Celebrating Australia's Protected Places..
Now launches mean speeches; but I'm not going to go into any great detail other than two points from two of the speakers. Tim Gartrell, (Campaign Director for the successful 'yes' vote in favour of marriage equality at the 2017 Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey). Tim dropped this stunning piece of information; that it takes about 1.5 million dollars to lobby successfully to change legislation. Which is a bit more than an email or phone call to your local member - though that is very important too! And the current legislation is not iron clad; 'protected' wilderness areas are not as safe as one would have hoped. And some are still under development threat. So there is more lobbying to be done, and that means more money so - buy the book - it will help and you get a great book..Listening to the speeches at the Sydney Book Launch - WILDERNESS: Celebrating Australia's Protected Places..
The other speech was an incredibly heartfelt one by Sarah. The most poignant point for me was her observation of the vast ocean, seen daily from her vantage point on the cliff - how the ocean, the atmosphere, how that great vastness, over the past decade has really changed. To paraphrase incredibly poorly; the ocean has gone from a classic seascape to a constant boiling pot, a watery miasma. Which I took as a portent of things to come. So there's work to be done; these guys, the Wilderness Society have been at the forefront of environmental protection for a long time. You can donate, or buy the book using the direct links to their website. You can also help by sharing this blog post using the buttons on the side bar.Sarah Ducker speaking at the Sydney Book Launch - WILDERNESS: Celebrating Australia's Protected Places..
Sarah Ducker receives a copy of the book and a hug - WILDERNESS: Celebrating Australia's Protected Places..
 https://shop.wilderness.org.au/products/wilderness-celebrating-australia-s-protected-places
Full disclosure - I enjoyed the catering on the day and a glass of wine or a beer like everyone else. The links are affiliate free - no money or product has changed hands. Don't forget to SHARE THIS BLOG POST!

Telling Stories in Pictures all over..
Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
0433 796 863

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Darryn Lyons, Private Time Book Launch at Lyons Gallery

Darryn Lyons, at the launch of Private Time - his new book cataloguing his impressive 20th Century popular and celebrity culture photography collection. With dedicated photography galleries rare in Sydney it's great to have Darryn setting up shop in Paddington with a lot of classic work on show and for sale. Well worth heading over for a visit.
Portraiet of Darryn Lyons, Launch of Private Time at Lyons Gallery - Photographed by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney.

https://thelyonsgallery.com/

Telling Stories in Pictures all over..
Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
0433 796 863

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Modern Artefacts, Culture and Colonisation - at Roslyn Oxley 9 Gallery

Honestly if you walk into this show and wonder what it's all about; it's time for you to give up looking at art. Me; I was relieved to be looking at a show where no explanation, no tags, no room sheet is required. All this metal, moulded from the iron taken from the ground, taken from a taken land; remodelled into facsimiles of aboriginal artefacts. But now with a hard, harsh edge. And yet still beautiful. This work is so layered, political, aesthetic, historical, craft, art, anthropological. The only time I've even seen anything like it was the first time I saw several of Lorraine Connelly-Northey's sculptural pieces at Measured Response, NAS Gallery last year; just as visceral then as last nights viewing. As the man used to say 'do yourself a favour' head on down to Roslyn Oxley9 and see this show, you can thank me later. Lorraine Connelly-Northey Narrbong-Galang on until the 16th of March. (Click images to view larger).
Portrait of Connelly-Northey, Roslyn Oxley9 Narrbong-Galang. Photography by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney

Narrbong-Galang installation view, opening night at Roslyn Oxley9. Photography by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney

Bag made from chicken wire with barbed wire strap Narrbong-Galang by Lorraine Connelly-Northey - Photography by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney

Two bags made from steel mattress springs and wire Narrbong-Galang by Lorraine Connelly-Northey - Photography by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney

Narrbong-Galang installation view, opening night at Roslyn Oxley9. Photography by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney

www.roslynoxley9.com.au/

Telling Stories in Pictures all over the world..
Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
0433 796 863

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Saturday Night at a Rooftop Bar in Singapore

You've been travelling for weeks, you are exhausted and arguing. It's a two day stopover and Saturday night in Singapore. Will you ever be in this city again; on a Saturday night, who really knows.. So what's to be done? Just for once I don't bother checking google maps or any of the guides. I want to go over to old Chinatown where exploring the city early one morning, I saw all these restaurants and bars packed in cheek to jowl. Quiet in the morning sure, but it looked fascinating and at night; now that's got to be be the place to be. We pull ourselves together, exit the Intercontinental from it's labyrinth of corridors and grab a cab over to old Chinatown. And the whole place is going off!
Restaurants and bars on  Ann Siang Hill and Club Street on a Saturday night in Singapore. Photo by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney.
Ann Siang Hill and Club Street are packed with people; there are tables and chairs set out on the road, people are spilling from doorways, there's a pleasant vibe, a party atmosphere and no end of venues to explore. The place feels great. We end up deciding on a rooftop bar, old building no lift, six flights of stairs maybe more.. but we have been assured its worth the work. When we make it to the top we find a lovely terrace bar, couches, a view of the other bar across the way, beautiful coloured lights, new Singapore towering in the background. I'm outdoors in the humidity and loving it! It's like being out at a summer party in Brisbane back in college days, if only there had been bars like this - if only they had kept Brisbane's colonial heart.. I like this Singapore place, I like this bar, and we like the people; it turns into a great night out in Singapore after all, and truly one to remember.
Revellers and diners out on  Ann Siang Hill and Club Street on a Saturday night in Singapore. Photo by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney.
Tables and people move out onto the street on a Saturday night. Ann Siang Hill, Singapore. Photo by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney. Photo by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney.
Ladies out enjoying a drink at Ann Siang Hill, Singapore. Photo by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney.
Colonial buildings lit up in coloured lights at night, Ann Siang Hill, Singapore. Photo by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney.
Drinks at the bar, Singapore. Photo by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney.
A view of the bar and the rooftop view of Singapore at Screening Room. Photo by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney.
Bar food a screening Room Singapore. Photo by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney.
A group of friends enjoying a night out at Screening Room Rooftop Bar, Singapore. Photo by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney.
Framing a shot on the roof top bar in Singapore.  Photo by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney.
View back to the CBD from the rooftop terrace at Screening Room, Singapore.  Photo by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney.
Neon lit limo-taxis on South Bridge Road Singapore -  Photo by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney.
We ended up at Screening Room Roof Top Bar - great location, friendly, our snacks were good though we did find the establishment a little pricey. No doubt on par with similar establishments with a view.

Special thanks to whitecaviarlife.com


Telling Stories in Pictures all over the world..
Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
0433 796 863

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Doctor Molotov as Bowie at Darryn Lyons Gallery

Last night saw the launch of a new David Bowie exhibition at the relatively new Lyons Gallery situated in the heart of the Paddington Fiveways. An impressive collection of editioned images are on display from a variety of photographers, some as famous in their own right as the subject himself.  Curator, Sandra Schnellhaus-Stephen has done a wonderful job of selecting and displaying the work in an immersive gallery environment. If you love the era of classic sixties and seventies celebrity photography, and on into the nineties, this gallery is a must for your list.
Bowie Exhibition at Lyons Gallery - Bowie affectionardo Kendall AKA Doctor Molotov; photographed in front of a beautiful Terry Oneill of Raquel Welch On The Cross. Photo by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney.
I even managed to meet and photograph costume designer and Bowie affectionardo Kendall AKA Doctor Molotov in her Spiders from Mars suit; photographed in front of a beautiful Terry Oneill photograph of Raquel Welch On The Cross.

Lovely evening, thanks to everyone at Lyons Gallery, check them out at 248 Glenmore Road Paddington, NSW 2022.

Telling Stories in Pictures all over the world..
Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
0433 796 863

Monday, December 17, 2018

Christian Paul Watches - Havana Days Launch Event

So close to Christmas, so much going on! Last week Vivienne and I attended three events with this lovely pool party, launch event - HAVANA DAYS from Christian Paul sandwiched more or less in the middle. So what is Havana Days? It's inspired by lazy days in the Caribbean with a look back to the 1940s, elegant watches embracing the design ethos of the era; and limited edition leather accessories. Purses, luggage tags, passport holders and cosmetics bags which take a more modern twist on the Havana theme with bright colours and tropical motifs, Toucans, Parrots, Hibiscus flowers, Pineapples and Pink Flamingos; it's all very tropical. A gold pineapple also puts in an appearance on the face of their Myer exclusive watches.
Kent Johnson with Christian Paul CEO Zaid Alsulaibi and Vivienne Shui - Havana Days pool party Launch Event - Photographed for Street Fashion Sydney
Yours truly with Christian Paul CEO Zaid Alsulaibi and Vivienne on the right.
Of course the pool party launch was also Havana themed, cocktails, cakes and a grazing table of all the good things you like to eat while sipping on a lazy long drink. Fortunately I can work whist sipping cocktails and was able to engage Christian Paul CEO Zaid Alsulaibi to get the low down on the brand and Zaid delivered. Australian owned, Australian designed, customer and quality focused, looking to a long future in the watch industry. I was captivated by the stories of this relatively young brands desire to grow strong and some of the good fortune it's already seen - a fan engraved and presented one of the brands signature watches to celebrity Selena Gomez; she slipped it right on and; one Instagram later... it's always nice to be part of a success story. Now I haven't actually worn a watch for the better part of the last ten years so it was with great interest that I slipped on the 'Reid' watch from the range that I found in my goodie bag. It's one with rose gold and a tan leather strap. I have begun wearing it and it does feel like quality, and it does feel and look like a good dress watch, which is exactly what it is, and waterproof too; so if you fall in the pool at that pool party; the watch is going to be alright. Zaid was a wealth of information about the brand, 'Japanese movement' 'stainless not brass' 'assembled in China yes' 'it's about the right level of quality control at every stage'.  It all sounds very good and once again, Australian designed, Sydney - designed! So if I have piqued your interest you can check them out here - www.christianpaul.com.au/havana-days/
HAVANA DAYS by Christian Paul - Flat lay photo by Vivienne Shui - White Caviar Life
HAVANA DAYS by Christian Paul - Flat lay photo by Vivienne Shui - White Caviar Life
Ladies in white at the cocktail bar - Havana Days pool party Launch Event - Photographed by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney
The grazing table and some pool toys - Havana Days pool party Launch Event - Photographed by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney
Vivienne with a Cuban cocktail - Havana Days pool party Launch Event - Photographed by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney
Pink flamingo cup cakes and goodie bags - Havana Days pool party Launch Event - Photographed by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney
Presentation table for Havana Days pool party Launch Event - Photographed by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney
Watches and accessorises of the Havana Days pool party Launch Event - Photographed by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney
Limited edition leather goods accessorises - Havana Days pool party Launch Event - Photographed by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney
In the pool but not in the pool - Havana Days pool party Launch Event - Photographed by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney


Read Street Fashion Sydney's previous Watch Event Write-ups Here.

Telling Stories in Pictures all over the world..
Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
0433 796 863