Sundry. A synonym for diverse, countless, or distinct. At times I love it, loathe it or am oblivious to it (which is probably most of the time). Yet, this is what Sydney is to me.
When I paused to think about Sydney, a list began to surface in my mind. At the top of this list was George Street, the city’s main and oldest street (apparently the oldest street in Australia). I began to think of George Street as a continuum: running only 3 kilometres, it carries with it a mottled group of elements that make up its final whole. It begins with the multicultural element that is Chinatown which evolves into an over-commercialised cluster of shopping malls. It then continues onto a cosmopolitan district of high-end fashion and financiers. At its end is a vital aspect of Australia’s colonisation history: an area known as ‘The Rocks’. And like any continuum, you can choose to perceive its beginning or end from either side of the street.
Sydney has something to offer everyone no matter your age, occupation, financial freedom (if you have any at all), sexual orientation, taste in music, food or political opinions. This is what I find beautiful about Sydney.
And how has the beautiful Sydney possessed me? In such a small yet busy city that holds so much diversity, I have casually met or befriended individuals from all walks of life throughout my formative years. This ranges from friends who work in finance, living with creative types who study art and design, to forming friendships with students & travellers alike who have come from all over the world. Whomever I meet, I am taken on journeys of varying magnitudes.
I have dined in some of the city’s most prominent restaurants but will always love the seven-dollar Thai lunch specials. I can attend birthday drinks at the ritzy King St Wharf only to make my way over to an underground joint, or a quirky bar that you’ll find at the bottom of ‘some’ steps on the side of ‘some’ street. I have watched the Sydney Symphony at the Opera House as well as local rock bands playing in one of Sydney’s many pubs.
I love the option of being able to do a bush walk at The Blue Mountains one day and snorkel at Gordon’s Bay the next or sunbathe at Coogee Beach. I can take a walk through boutique designers on Crown or William Street in Surry Hills or Paddington, then rummage through pre-loved possessions and alternative styles on King Street in Newtown or local weekend markets.
My undying love for travel means I am always planning my next adventure. Europe, South America, Tokyo… Where to next? However after all this contemplation on what Sydney has to offer, I came to the realisation that while all the planning and saving is happening for my next trip, here in this city I am already experiencing moments that amount to much more than what a single visit to another country could offer me.