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Carnival 2000 – the CBD

Sydney icons

A first visit to Sydney is almost overwhelming to the senses- so many icons: the Harbour, the Bridge, the Opera House, the historic Rocks, Circular Quay, the beaches. This story is not about those.

A work assignment provided the opportunity to live and work temporarily in Sydney CBD, the central business district, for a week- to experience for myself the life of a Sydneysider.

Everything in Sydney is smashed, mashed or scrammed

Sydney suitsIt doesn’t get more central than Martin Place. An apartment rather than a hotel room provided a greater sense of being at home away. Joining the vast human throng early morning, the gyms already at capacity, lining up with the suited and high-heeled for takeaway breakfast at the nearby up-market food court, then being swept into Wynyard Station for, in my case, a reverse commute to Macquarie University on one of Sydney Transit’s double decker trains.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner, everything in Sydney is smashed, mashed or scrammed – and that includes the streets, trains and platforms. The city that gave us smashed avocado, “scram on rye”, now offered us mashed prawn curry.Mashed prawns- Frankie's pizza by the slice

In the evening the pre-commuters would pile into the supermarket for readymade microwave meals or deli counter treats, before calling in at the bottle shop (no alcohol sales in supermarkets here) for something to get them through the evening. Happy hour and Friday evening knock-off drinks saw the greatest combination of suits at leisure anywhere in Australia, whilst the decibel level rose sharply walking past every outdoor bar; everyone had so much to say.

We had been guided to Frankie’s Pizza by the Slice– a subterranean hideaway for that endangered Sydneyside species: leather-clad rockers – and for a moment it felt like we were back in Glasgow.  Ross, our friendly Scottish barman, amidst the pinball machines, took pity on us, “Sorry, I’d love to make you a vodka martini, but all I’ve got is pre-made Margaritas served in a plastic glass.” But he wrote the names for four cocktail bars on a coaster, and we headed to Kittyhawke on Philip Lane, back amongst the suits and $20 cocktails, back to Sydney proper, and on to the weekend.

To be continued…

See also:

Suburbs of Sydney I

Suburbs of Sydney II