From antiques to photography, cinema to sculpture, Paddington's art and culture scene never fails to surprise.
Fancy yourself the next Annie Leibowitz – or just want to know how to capture your kids on film with images you can be proud of? The Australian Centre for Photography, the country's longest-running contemporary art space, offers a range of courses and master classes by some of Australia's leading photography experts. The centre also hosts a changing program of free exhibitions and events.
Hidden in Paddington's leafy backstreets are some of the best galleries in Sydney such as Global Gallery on Comber Street. It features five exhibiting spaces and fresh exhibits each fortnight. The famous Blender Gallery, located in an old terrace house on Elizabeth Street, specialises in music photography and limited edition rock'n'roll prints. It's also home to the Just Shoot Lomography store and café.
Bookworms flock to the eclectic and international titles sold at quirky Ariel Books on Oxford Street, while Berkelouw Books, across the road, is great for live jazz and Q&A events with local authors.
Paddington's also known for its alternative cinema scene. Cinefiles should check out the independent and world cinema line-up at the grand old Chauvel Cinema, operating in the heritage-listed Paddington Town Hall since 1977. Down the road, the sleek, Palace Verona serves up the best in international cinema, be it a quirky Coen Brothers offering or the latest Woody Allen.
Historic ruins meet architectural urban design at Paddington Reservoir Gardens, a relaxing oasis of boardwalks, lawns, sitting areas and a stunning sunken water garden. Moss poetry, part of a typographical art installation known as Modern Day Mossages, was a recent short-term installation.