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Sydney's Pride crossing gets a new home

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Years after NSW roads minister Duncan Gay ripped up the rainbow crossing over Sydney's iconic Oxford St, despite massive community objections, the City of Sydney council and the state parliament has approved a new location one block off the strip on the corner of Campbell St and Bourke St.

The news spread quickly as the location was announced on major TV networks and Sydney's and is a fitting announcement during Sydney's annual Pride festival - which coincides with global pride events every June as well as the Mardi Gras in Feb/March each year.

Councillor Christine Forster stated on facebook:

"I have just been notified by the Lord Mayor that the NSW Liberal-National Coalition State Government has approved the installation of a new rainbow crossing at the corner of Bourke and Campbell streets next to Taylor Square.

I first wrote to the Minister for Roads asking for the installation of this rainbow crossing in July 2016. I’m thrilled to see that finally what I requested 2 years ago will come to fruition in time for the 40th anniversary of the 1st Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras on 24 June.

I know that the rainbow crossing will become a celebrated and iconic landmark in the heart of Sydney’s LGBTQI community."

Lord Mayor Clover Moore stated: "It's back!

I am excited to announce that we have been working with the Roads & Maritime Services to finally bring Sydney a permanent rainbow crossing.

This permanent pride artwork will be installed at the intersection of Bourke and Campbell streets, near Taylor Square where our rainbow flag has proudly flown since 2015.

A good news story just in time for the 40th anniversary of Mardi Gras - this Sunday 24 June."

Sydney celebrates the 40th anniversary this Sunday with a new inflatable art installation at Taylor Square and a party at supporting venue, The Beresford. 

Stay tuned to Guidetogay.com for photos and video from the festivities if you cannot make it yourself. 

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Sydney's Taylor Square gets a Mardi Gras makeover

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A new fabulous inflatable art installation will take pride of place at Taylor Square to mark four decades of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and cement the precinct’s place in its history.

40 Years of Love, which its creators describe as a “big, bold and sassy artwork based on concepts of public protest, joyous celebration, community activation and engagement”, was announced as the winner of the Taylor Square Public Art Project today, Thursday 22 February, by Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

The project winner, launched by Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and proudly supported by the City of Sydney, is designed on a large triangular aluminium truss that rises above the existing grass island and water fountain to transform the space into a light-filled pavilion.

The installation, by artists Matthew Aberline and Maurice Goldberg from art studio Goldberg Aberline Studio (GAS), invites those passing by the historic Darlinghurst precinct to stop, stretch out on the grass to view its complex detailed work, and ponder the Mardi Gras story.

 “The Yes Campaign proved that Taylor Square was still an important meeting place for the LGBTQI community,” said Aberline and Goldberg.

“Our artwork re-invigorates the Square as a focal point and meeting place, reminding us we have plenty to celebrate.”

40 Years of Love will be unveiled on the anniversary of the first Mardi Gras on Sunday 24 June, 2018, and be installed for three months.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras called for expressions of interest from artists to create a temporary public artwork.

Mardi Gras CEO Terese Casu said “The Taylor Square Public Art Project’s aim is to create a temporary piece of art that helps celebrate the defining moments shared over the last forty years of Mardi Gras, in an iconic location for the LGBTQI people of Sydney.”

40 Years of Love “examines the themes of repression, adversity, freedom, diversity and equality” and was inspired by queer artists like Peter Tully, Brenton Heath-Kerr, Ron Muncaster, Keith Haring and Pierre et Gillesaid Aberline and Goldberg.

“With the work’s vibrant energy and complexity, we share that Mardi Gras isn’t a singular thing but a cacophony of diverse ideas, people, histories, politics and expressions.”

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City was proud to support and celebrate the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

“This wonderfully exuberant work will light up the historical heart of our LGBTI community in Taylor Square,” the Lord Mayor said.

“What began as a bloody protest almost 40 years ago is now a three-week festival celebrating our diverse and resilient LGBTQI communities – acknowledging just how far we have come in the fight for equality and acceptance. What better way to commemorate that long history than this politically-charged, joyful work.  

“I know Sydneysiders and visitors alike will love Matthew Aberline and Maurice Goldberg’s colourful and celebratory work when it’s installed alongside our permanent rainbow flag later this year.”

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T2 and Taylor Square Get A New Purpose

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The iconic yet completely hideous looking "T2" Building (The Old Taylor Square Hotel which housed the now defunct Manacle and Barracks Bars in it's basement level) has been purchased by The City Of Sydney, according to reports from the SMH.

The hotel - notorious for alcohol-fuelled violence and anti-social behaviour in recent years is to be turned into the city's first designated cycling hub.

But City of Sydney council hopes this unsavoury sight will soon be replaced by cyclists pedalling in to make use of a new bike repair centre, bike shop and a bicycle hire scheme.

Sold for a rumoured 5.5M purchase price, the council will spend additional hundreds of thousands on refurbishments including an outdoor cafe, shower facilities and an office for companies specialising in cycling tours.

The hub is at the intersection of three bike paths the council proposes, including the Bourke Street cycleway, construction of which will begin within two weeks.

''We want to create a first-class facility and a nerve centre for Sydney's cycling community,'' said the Lord Mayor, Clover Moore. ''The centre is part of a vision to restore Taylor Square to a people-friendly precinct. We are looking at ways to activate the area to make it more lively, attractive and safe.''

Our good memories of Taylor Square Hotel include the Claire deLune, Verushka Darling and Maxi Shield hit drag shows and good old Red Bull nights hosted by Penny Tration - it's what they say… a venue is only as good as it's patrons.

Will you be off to buy a bike?


Photo: An artists impression of the new Taylor Square space.

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