Cracker by Damian Christie

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Cracker: Sydney-side

25 Responses

  • Jo S,

    The interior of the Sydney Opera House looks gorgeous, I've always appreciated it from the outside, but never had the opportunity to attend a concert. Hmm, may have to make the extra effort next time I visit to indulge in some orchestral music ....

    is it autumn yet? • Since May 2007 • 80 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    “you can’t wear your thongs there” advised the concierge

    Times have changed. I stopped referring to them as thongs in Oz, because people thought you were talking about underwear.

    One thing that’s obvious when you head to Australia – they’re doing very well.

    Yes, it was a bit of a shock to me just how well. Even my brother-in-law, the sole breadwinner and a nurse, has stopped crying poor to us, it's just untenable after you get yourself 50 inches of TV and build a huge extension to your property.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8015 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I only went to Sydney once - over 30 years ago. I didn't so much like the City, but I loved the outskirts. We went to the Blue Mountains which I thought were magnificent, even at 16. And I really really loved the hotel at the top where you had a panoramic view of the whole thing. Just lovely.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3112 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    Hmm it makes good sense I suppose, if you live in the south, don't waste money travelling to Auckland (reportedly a hell hole, with despite Ms Tizards best efforts ghastly traffic problems) fly to Sydney and see the real thing

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 521 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Indeed Raymond, indeed. I'm thinking next time instead of Westfield St Lukes (definitely a hell hole, and you should try and get a park on the weekend) I'll pop across to Sydders for the weekend ;)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1121 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    I'm currently in Sydney, and it's my first time in this city. I like the place, and they seem to know in Australia how to make good use of public spaces. They don't seem afraid to spend public money on monuments and works of art, which is something my own city (Auckland) has been lousy at. It helps that they have a much larger population, I guess, but they also appear to have a more positive attitude. Not sure I want to live here, but it's a great place to visit and be inspired.

    Yorke of The Atatu • Since Feb 2009 • 787 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Don't suppose you dropped in to see the dugongs in the Sydney aquarium?

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 1901 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to ScottY,

    They don't seem afraid to spend public money on monuments and works of art, which is something my own city (Auckland) has been lousy at.

    Wellington offers a model to follow, and it need not cost too much either.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 3896 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Deep Red, you should check out what Councillor Cathy Casey is doing. She's going around locating all the public art, sculptures and statues around Auckland and rehabilitating them. There seems to be quite a lot of good stuff.

    But Wellington's are wonderful, and I'm particularly fond of the wind sculptures on Cobham Drive.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 1901 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to ScottY,

    I’m currently in Sydney, and it’s my first time in this city. I like the place, and they seem to know in Australia how to make good use of public spaces. They don’t seem afraid to spend public money on monuments and works of art, which is something my own city (Auckland) has been lousy at.

    I travelled to Australia quite a few times as an IT journalist, and their commitment to public spaces was always an inspiration.

    I'm not sure I'd want to go as far as living in Brisbane, but the arts precinct across the river from the CBD is amazing. In Melbourne, they took out a road -- a road! -- to make way for a broad pedestrian concourse along the Yarra, from the railway station to the sports complex. I fear we'll never be that good.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17939 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I fear we'll never be that good.

    We don't have enough roads to just go chucking one to pedestrians, although it seems that is the way Queen St is going.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8015 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Russell Brown,

    In Melbourne, they took out a road -- a road! -- to make way for a broad pedestrian concourse along the Yarra, from the railway station to the sports complex. I fear we'll never be that good.

    We managed to pull it off with Cuba St years ago.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 3896 posts Report Reply

  • Scott Gamble, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    @Hilary
    Re: public art and Councilor Casey researching it.

    Details of Ak public artwork here on the Ak Public Libraries website: http://bit.ly/egM9wf
    (disclosure: I helped research this about 10 years ago)
    Good to see public artwork getting some attention though. It can make a city.

    On a change of subject, I live in Sydney and it is bigger and better than Ak in many ways. But also much worse too. (traffic, house prices and availability, awful, awful rich twits etc)

    Basically it's just Ak but 4x the size. No real differences. Except that their city beaches are miles better than our east coast beaches.

    Australia • Since Apr 2011 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • st ephen,

    keep it down you lot! Mention public artwork and this is what you'll get…

    dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 193 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Scott Gamble,

    Except that their city beaches are miles better than our east coast beaches.

    Unless you're scared of sharks.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8015 posts Report Reply

  • Scott Gamble, in reply to BenWilson,

    Unless you're scared of sharks.

    I surf regularly at Tamarama and Bronte and have yet to have any contact with sharks. In fact, in over 20 years of surfing I've never even seen a shark! And most of the time in Ak I would surf at Maori Bay, which has a seal colony (aka shark attractors) on Oaia Island.
    Just lucky, I guess.

    Australia • Since Apr 2011 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Scott Gamble,

    Just lucky, I guess.

    Must be! The one and only time I went to Bondi they had 3 shark warnings in 1 hour, and I could see the shark from the cliffs. The surfers, however, ignored it, even when it came close (which you could see because a boat followed it, trying to shoo it away).

    But you're right, you'd be bloody unlucky to be attacked by a shark.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8015 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Downtown Sydney is really nice. The Western ghettos are horrible - Sydney (like LA and a few other places) is big enough that the outer suburbs are beyond reasonable travelling distance of the CBD. Which is fine if you're retired in Windsor, less good if you're unemployed in Bankstown.

    Auckland is going this way, I feel.

    But the way NZ's going, I might wind up living in Australia, unless we get a government that stops sucking dollars out of the country to give to their rich mates.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4209 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Auckland is going this way, I feel.

    Are gated communities a big thing over in Sydney?

    But the way NZ's going, I might wind up living in Australia, unless we get a government that stops sucking dollars out of the country to give to their rich mates.

    How many bodyguards and coils of razor wire could it all buy? Forget Black Budgets, here's the Barb Wire Budget.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 3896 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Auckland is going this way, I feel.

    Yup, it's one of the reasons I'm not so bummed about it. If Auckland ended up like Sydney now, or even 20 years ago, it would be a whole lot choicer.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8015 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    There was also a (hot) visual artist from the Ukraine, whose chosen medium was sand sprinkled and swept over a light box, projected onto the big screen.

    Kseniya Simonova I'd imagine. This is her pretty famous work in Ukraine's got talent which is about the invasion and massacre in her country during WW2:

    (18 million views on youtube, and that's not the only version up there)
    She's actually a trained psychologist, she learnt sand art as a side line to her job.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6145 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    In Melbourne, they took out a road -- a road! -- to make way for a broad pedestrian concourse

    Whereas in Auckland we took out the planned pedestrian concourse between Britomart and Vector Arena (you can still see the beginning until it becomes a narrow service lane with wheelie bins beside the supermarket) - so that property developers could erect more of their cheap ugly apartments and offices. Now spectators have to wend around inadequate footpaths and spill onto the roads. Screw the crowds, I'm alright Jack.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • JLM,

    Now you're talking about Auckland, a plug here for the Auckland Transport Blog which is one of my favourites, despite living at the other end of the country. At least one massive, evidence-based information filled posting every single day.

    Back to Sydney, walking round the traffic-calmed streets of Surry Hills was a revelation and an inspiration. Blocking off one end of a street so you can't barrel through in your car. What a radical idea!

    Judy Martin's southern sl… • Since Apr 2007 • 221 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to JLM,

    a plug here for the Auckland Transport Blog

    I love their work. Extends to thought-provoking big-picture pieces like this guest post by planning historian Chris Harris.

    What both these articles point to is that Len’s team seems to have a strong focus on the South and West, while their government-backed critics seem to think that Auckland’s suburban future lies mainly north of the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

    This difference of perspective is a manifestation of a very real and growing division between two Aucklands, one white or East Asian and prosperous; the other poorer, browner and, these days, much more likely to be unemployed. The one made up of settler landlords, the other made up of their indigenous tenants. The one conservative, the other nationalist and radicalised.

    ...

    This probably does not reflect a conscious plan to bring about growing segregation and estrangement between Two Aucklands. Rather, it reflects the fact that most roading plans have a short term and risk-averse logic. They meet current travel demands that link middle class settler suburbs to office parks, and poorer, indigenous suburbs to warehouses.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Sacha,

    How best to call the divide? My take: the Nikau Curtain.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 3896 posts Report Reply

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