Jane Hutcheon


08 Nov

Career Daydreaming Personal Travel

Jane Hutcheon

There have been several conversations about daydreaming in recent days, reminding me of my own career daydreams over the years.

When I lived in London some years ago, I became mesmerised by the food culture.  This surprised me, because I’d always thought Australia had one of the most diverse and innovative food cultures in the world.

The U.K. was awash for food shows - Jamie, Gordon, Hugh, Raymond, Heston and of course, the best ever version of MasterChef. I devoured them all.

Having just spent two years in Jerusalem, where I shopped in the markets of the wondrous Old City and learned about finding the best hummous and falafel, I found the whole food thing in London very inspiring and I decided to enrol in a food-writing course.

One thing lead to another, and in my spare time, I became an infrequent restaurant reviewer for Time Out London.  I was assigned to the Chinatown beat (because of my background in China and Hong Kong) and of course it was all secretive; you didn’t announce yourself to make sure you got a real experience.

I continued this for another publication after returning to Australia, until I got my ‘termination notice’ from the friend who’d employed me.  It came at the right time.

Over the years, I’ve also dabbled - quite fanatically - in finding decent chocolate during my travels and becoming knowledgeable about Champagne.  

An old friend reminded me last night that my first writing assignment at university (which was given a bare pass by a former tutor named Peter Temple - now one of Australia’s finest crime writers) was on the subject of chocolate.

And I discovered that there is a competition for amateur champagne lovers, some of whom become such experts, like Bernadette O’Shea, that their passion becomes their livelihood.

I realised that I could search out fine chocolate whenever I liked and bore people talking about it.  I realised too, towards the end of my brief time moonlighting as a food reviewer, that I was fed up finding new ways to describe noodles (slippery, slurpy, silky, sublime).  Trying to describe the difference in the ‘bead’ (size of bubbles) in Champagne… well, I realised in all of these passions, I really just wanted to consume and enjoy them. Very much.  

Having to dissect and explain what makes chocolate, food and champagne so enjoyable just took away the magic.

It's always good to dream.  For some the dream becomes something enduring.  

Thankfully for me, I did not give up my day job.

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07 Sep

Brooklyn Travel

Jane Hutcheon

Brooklyn, New York is hip.  

You can almost smell its resurrection, it's ... redemption. Here's a recent longread from the New York Times about the borough written by long-time resident Wendell Jamieson.

The wholesale renovation going on in this once industrial, down-and-out neighbourhood is exhilarating.

In Brooklyn Bridge Park the family-friendly waterfront along the East River, there's plenty of fencing and temporary walls to hide construction.









But no space is left useless.  

I particularly admire the focus on photography.  Aren't Elegence and Eloquence delightful?

The role of the snapper (definition: one who snaps) today has been relegated because iPhones have turned us all into photographers. I think covering fencing with art is a great way to use space.

We should do more of it here.


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07 Sep

Benches, Central Park Life Travel

Jane Hutcheon

I could spend hours checking out park benches...

Let me rephrase that.  

I love beautiful wooden park benches. The ones that have plaques on them, with words, about loved ones missed, love requited, passion unrequited.

Here are two I photographed recently in Central Park, New York.  

(We don't do benches well in Australia. Poorly-made seating that breaks easily and messages that often lack poetry, humanity or humour.)









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