Brisbane is a city of possibilities; an accessible hub of cultural adventures.
After living here for almost three years, I am still regularly amazed at how a seemingly quiet Saturday morning can transform into a day of unexpected delights.
This Saturday was one of those days; unscheduled, uncompromised spontaneous adventure.
10.30am: The morning sunshine has put a spring into the step of Davies Park market-goers. I have a French crepe and a Black Star cold-pressed coffee in hand. I am lounging in a park, there is hula-hooping, banjo-playing, laughter-yoga and many shiny, happy Saturday faces around me. Life is good.
12 noon: Casual feet move me towards the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) in Brisbane’s cultural centre by the river. I love that Brisbane is so easy to walk. It’s a ten minute meander with friends from the Davies Park Markets in West End to the South Bank precinct. I enjoy the sting of the sun and the crisp July air. Cyclists whiz past, embodying the enthusiasm I feel.
12.30pm: Ticketed ($20/adult), we start our GoMA experience with a journey “From Dada to Surrealism”:
‘Transform the world’, said Marx, ‘change life’, said Rimbaud; these two orders are for us one in the same – Andre Breton, 1935.
3.30pm: After three hours of Surrealism, life is a dream. I have seen the ambiguous angular shapes of Picasso, the bubble-like view of Dali, the colour-clashed canvas of Miro and a bull in a cloak.
More walking – past the State Library (my favourite building in Brisbane); over the roof terrace of the Queensland Museum; under the majestic mass of singing whales; across the cultural centre bus way; through the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC); past the The Wheel of Brisbane; and back up Melbourne Street towards West End.
4.15pm Time to indulge in some culinary delights. It is a hard choice between cheap, authentic Vietnamese, Punjabi plates, Greek goodness and dessert during the day. We settle happily with plates of sashimi, gyoza, soft-shell crab, grilled wagyu and Japanese rice tea. West End delivers again.
6pm The sun has quietly slipped behind the buildings, giving way to city lights and a Saturday evening buzz.
Ten minutes of walking and we are back where we started, at Davies Park.
The river is calm and colourful. I feel the satisfaction of a successful day, and the night is still young. Well done Brisbane!