Stir Crazy in Sydney

It’s been a really busy week. Well, a really busy several weeks, which explains my lack of posting lately. I’m finding that I’m coming home most nights mentally and physically exhausted and collapsing on the couch. I’ve also been working on the weekends, and so my Saturday has been pretty much collapse on the couch also. But there’s light at the end of the tunnel, as many of the deadlines I’ve needed to meet have been met.

Sure, I’m working on Sunday for a few hours, and I’ll actually be “on the radio” tomorrow (on digital/streaming/Radio Australia) between 1 and 3, but I’m also actually heading out for lunch tomorrow for a few hours (don’t ask how it’s possible to be in two places at the same time, it just is). We haven’t decided on a venue yet. I’m guessing that will depend largely on the weather which has been fairly crappy most of the week.

After about four or five days of continuous rain now, like most of Sydney, I’m starting to get a little bit stir crazy. Sydney goes into shut-down mode whenever it rains. It doesn’t rain that much, but when it rains, it really bloody rains. Sydney also goes into a state of denial about the rain. The other day, for example, I saw someone jogging at about 6-am with an umbrella, as if the only option was to run in the rain, when it would have nice just to stay in bed. I was on my way to the bakery, but very quickly returned to bed and considered for a brief moment “a day working from home” :)

In my own case, I don’t have what you would call a “regular umbrella”. When it rains, I either buy a new one, or try to stick to covered areas. This week, I bought a new “rain jacket” which I thought was a bit of a bargain at $39, down from $129. I look fashionable, and I have some wet-weather protection. But to be frank, I’m sick to death of wearing the bloody thing. Four days in a row and I think it’s starting to look like I only have one set of clothes.

Sky Phoenix at Westfield in Sydney's CBD
I did manage to go out during the week though. A bunch of visiting colleagues were in town, and we went to a Chinese restaurant, the Sky Phoenix in Westfield which was very bloody good. Lots and lots of prawns. Very tasty. Chicken excellent. I caught up with mates, as always, on Wednesday night at our favourite pub.

And then tonight I went to the Lord Mayor’s Christmas Drinks at Sydney Town Hall.

Pipe organ played at Sydney Town Hall for Lord Mayor's Drinks
Pipe organ played at Sydney Town Hall for Lord Mayor’s Drinks

There was a wonderful contrast between Clover Moore’s speech when she spoke about Sydney as a “global city”, and people wanting late night shopping, restaurants, bars and so on, and the reality outside. I left the drinks at about 7.45 (they started at 6.00), and already Sydney was pretty much deserted.

Sydney's Pitt Street Mall on a wet night
As I walked through the Pitt Street Mall there was hardly anyone around. Surely, with a population of 4-million, there would have been a few people around, or has the rest of Sydney, like me, retreated to indoors?

4 Replies to “Stir Crazy in Sydney”

  1. It’s a quirk of Sydney that once or twice a year we have a run of about four days of continuous rain during which I begin to think it will never be clear again and then miraculously it does clear and those gloriously sunny days return. I can’t wait for the current deluge to end.

  2. Not that many people actually live in the centre of Sydney around Pitt St do they. I thought that the last time I stayed in the city, “where is everyone”. I think they live around Surry Hills, Newtown and the suburbs adjacent to the city but not in the actual CBD. Apart from having those little “hole in the wall” bars you love so much :) Melbourne also now has a really big inner city population with lots of apartments right in the CBD. Many are international students but its not only students and there are always people around.

    1. It’s changing dramatically and quickly in Sydney also. For example, around the ABC, there’s new student accommodation recently opened, more on the way (within weeks of opening), and a brand new apartment block under construction in the carpark. This will all add several thousand people to the CBD in just a few metres. There’s another major project just a couple of hundred metres away which will also add several thousand on the old CUB site. Meanwhile the other empty carpark is being turned into the new Frank Gehrey designed UTS building. The rate of change is quite amazing. Meanwhile, I think Sydney remains far more decentralized than Melbourne with Parramatta, Chatswood, Blacktown and Penrith where people NEVER come into the city.

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