Adam Tour Diaries #5: Graffiti and Graves

By Adam Savage

Adam and his family head to Newton for some exploring and end up at a beautiful cemetery.

Can it be diary #5 already? Going strong!

Today we rode Sydney’s awesome public-transit trains. They’re clean, silent and comfortable, and they show you a city that, like my home city of San Francisco, offers a new experience around every corner. It’s not one city, but hundreds of different environments that just happen to be near each other.

I love taking the train; it’s my FAVORITE way to travel. Seriously. I’ve even taken the train with Mrs. Donttrythis from Oakland to Chicago (with a stop in Aspen for some food and friends)! Sydney’s trains make me wish I could commute like this every day.

These MythBusters fans missed their train to take this photo.

Ran into these MythBusters fans. They actually missed their train to take this photo. Those backpacks? Apparently full of Red Bull. No kidding. They’re participating in a contest to make it completely across Oz using only the salty Kool-Aid-flavored drink as their currency. They were so sweet and gracious. I hope they win!

Our destination today was the hipster center of Newtown. Having lived in NYC’s East Village during the ‘80s and now living in SF’s Mission District, I felt right at home among the antique shops, clothing and art stores, and the good food and piercings and neck tattoos.

Thing2 chilling because we overshot our stop and had to go back. The maps were slightly confusing on first blush

After lunch Thing1 went off to find a cool jacket with the budget I’d given him, and the rest of us wandered the back streets of Newtown. We came across many lovely sights.

Also in Newton there’s an old cemetery in Newtown called Camperdown. Founded in 1848, it gave us some stunning opportunities for the photographs. A few are below.

A stitched pano of my wife looking for her next photo.
I might have tilted this to make the grave look more artsy. I’m not buying it.
That’s some real lens flare right there. You’re welcome.

I grew up near one of the oldest continually operating churches in the United States -- the Old Dutch Church in Tarrytown, N.Y. -- and it had an ancient and attached graveyard.

The headstones at Camperdown reminded me mightily of wandering through my childhood.

My wife looking gorgeous. Not difficult.

Everyone was wandering around doing exactly this. I took about 100 photos.

My fave photo of the day.
So happy when a photo turns out better than when you hoped. The glow is just perfect!
Another stitched pano of this crazy Middle-Earth tree. Thing2 is up there somewhere...

Sydney is full of lovely and compelling old-city touches like this amazing building right across from the entrance to Camperdown.

And a water fountain that I liked. The wall you can see behind it in the distance (covered with graffiti) is the outer wall of Camperdown.

We headed back to the hotel for some R&R before heading back out for ANOTHER MEAL. I’m gaining weight fast here. We ate some lovely Chinese food in Sydney’s Chinatown (I was too full to take photos, sorry) and then headed off to Ding Dang Dong for a solid hour of karaoke with Wife, Alice and kids! There’s just no way you get to see photos of THAT.

There’s some terrific graffiti in Newton.

We even found an artist in the actual process of making a mural, and we stopped and took some photos and admired his line.

I bonded with this artist’s crew over camera equipment.

Also there’s an entire store here devoted to BUTTONS. Of course all I was interested in was the GIANT BUTTON IN THE WINDOW. They also had a massive 4-foot long wooden sewing needle I coveted.

I love this giant button.

This trip I’m experimenting with blurry as an aesthetic. This is exactly the kind of Old-Western-Town-meets-hipsterville coloring that Newtown feels like.

This coloring feels like Newton to me.

Did I mention that I love love LOVE triangular buildings? From the Flatiron in NYC to Coppola’s in North Beach in SF, I love them all. This is a fine addition to my collection. (In my fantasy I have a secret hideout in the top floor of each one, hidden behind a bookcase.)

Totally reminds me of my childhood.

Tomorrow is a full day of press to promote the Australian tour. Jamie and I are doing both radio and TV, and then we fly to Melbourne to prep for the first show of the tour.

While on tour in Australia and New Zealand for the Behind the Myths stage show, Adam is blogging about his adventures and exploration of each city he visits.

Aug 9: Away We Go

Aug 10: Holy Crap, This is a Long Trip

Aug 11: Sightseeing in Sydney

Aug 12: Sew, Pram, Nose