As a born and bred southern Aussie, it’s traditional to vilify Sydney whenever possible.
Too commercial, too trashy, too shallow (despite the depth of the harbour) too grimy, too crime infested, too Oprah-loving (more about this next post) too glitzy, too demanding of attention.
It gets heaps. In contrast, the cultured, finely honed jewel of the south — Melbourne — can feel left out, especially given that this metropolis screams class! Diversity, depth, cuisine, breadth … yep, I’m biased. I’ve even been known to tease friends from Sydney about some/all of the above, perhaps due to jealousy? Maybe because Melbourne stands in the international shadow of sister Sydney, forever being situated so far down under, with a reputation for ridiculous weather and an airport called Tullamarine!
I mean Tullamarine? The name hardly inspires confidence compared to ‘Kingsford Smith’, the aptly named Sydney airport. Still, it would be UnAustralian for a Melburnian not to hang crap on his/her Sydney counterparts, or indeed, Queenslanders … in fact, anyone not living in Melbourne or Victoria!
Yet with any visit to our harbour city, I’m reminded of what a beautiful place it really is and how the water setting establishes one of the most photogenic vistas. The city sparkles. The water frontage creates a special feeling, the movement of boats on the harbour is always spectacular, the fireworks, the opera (Oprah) house … the bridge.
Architecturally speaking, the Sydney Opera House is (possibly) the most iconic structure on the harbour, but my eyes are always drawn to the iron coathanger. The Sydney Harbour Bridge, all hinged and historic and unusual, watching from its dominant spot, allowing transport to pass under, drive over, walk above.
The harbour makes Sydney. It’s always been there, allowing man (and woman) to develop the urban sprawl around it.
It’s sights like these that truly make Sydney the picture postcard place, the city that is the envy of its southern sisters and northern inlaws, the place on international visitors ‘to do’ list. And rightly so.
Beyond the harbour? Well, that’s where my fairytale ends. This southern sister loves holidays in Sydney, but wouldn’t wanna live there. Nothing personal, mind you, it’s just the restaurants, the roads, the weather (did I mention the variety in Melbs?) the traffic, the housing, the cost of living, the cafes, the food, the shopping, the cuisine …
But the harbour? It rocks!
Ah, Sydney! Never, ever change.