I’m typing this from the 8th floor of the NSW Rugby League association, which is a very fine place to have a Travelodge. I’m here with two Girlchildren- the trip is a birthday treat from Grandmother to them, and I’m the facilitator.
The view out of our window is the side of another multistory building pretty much as far as the eye can see (it’s the Law chambers above Silks cafe) and puts you very much in mind of an urban scene from a graphic novel. I should have published a photo essay, but I had a couple of camera disasters. Long story short, few photos if any will ensue.
Things which are interesting/fabulous/awesome about Sydney:
Circular quay, well duh. It must be hard to Sydneysiders to understand how weird it is for the rest of us to sit on the quay by the Rocks and gaze at the bridge and opera house. We’re so used to seeing photographic and other representations of them, the real thing looks somehow… surreal.
The way that the Harbour bridge climbers appear in the afternoon, climbing up the bridge like ants.
The ferries. So fun!
Balmain. The way the ferries stop just at the end of a suburban street. I went for a wander round and it was so relaxed, but it would get you fit walking up those hills. I had a glass of Chardy in the Commercial hotel courtyard and tried to imagine all the old socialistic Nation Review types arguing there way back when. But yes, the area is very trendy now (not the pub, I found it quite unpretentious.)
That big bridge over Darling harbour which slowly rotates, and the control tower looks more like a little garden gazebo than a piece of industrial equipment.
Again on Darling Harbour, that little light ship called Carpentaria.
Friendly taxi drivers
Regurgitator with I <3 Hiroshima and New Pants at the Metro. (Using the teenagers as an excuse to revisit my wasted yoof – and the black on black overpainted and gaffa’d decor and the sticky carpet are straight out of the early 80s, as are most of the musical influences.)
Things which are maybe not so interesting/awesome about Sydney:
The pavements. They’re slippery, and the sloping bits at the crossings can be dangerous. I saw two people come to grief on my first walk.
The billions and billions of tacky souvenirs.
The extreme dagginess of the Australiana at tourist traps like Centrepoint tower (although the view from the top is pretty spesh.) There are a bunch of Skywalkers clanking past at intervals; one of the group leaders looks like Daniel Radcliffe, and doesn’t he love himself.
Eateries aren’t quite as varied, cheap and thick on the ground, and the ones at Darling Harbour: Bloodyawful.
The men in front of and behind me at the Metro: Tank (in front) and Fucking Nuisance (behind me).
But on the whole we really loved Sydney. (OMG those buildings! The rocks! the harbour!)… to end on a really good thing: Meeting up with Suz and Tigtog, Suz’s partner & NZ friend and the wonderful Olle for a quick drink at a lovely pub in inner Sydney. (As I said, camera challenged, so no pictures.) It’s great to put faces to names.
I’m out of time.