Self-absorbed Sydney

Monday, 11 December 2006

This in the news today:

Sydney is ‘all body but no brains’ – Yahoo!7 News

Monday December 11, 12:11 PM Sydney is ‘all body but no brains’ Sydney is regularly voted one of the world’s best cities by travel magazines, but for many Sydneysiders the allure of its beautiful harbour and beaches is fading as they struggle with urban sprawl and congestion. Some urban planners say Sydney is like a supermodel on drugs – great to look at but difficult to live with.

The other quote I liked in this report was:

A benchmark report on Sydney this year began with the headline: “A city in love with its own image.” “Sydney is often described as the most deeply superficial of towns. A party town so enamoured with its postcard-perfect imagery that reality rarely gets an invite…,”

I tell people who ask me about the difference between Sydney and Melbourne that Melbourne is beautiful because of what its residents have done to that flat and quite unremarkable land, whereas Sydney is beautiful because of what God gave it- rolling hills and the harbour- and despite what humans have done to it. I’ve also describe Sydney as more like a whore with all its charms being spruiked and on display, whereas Melbourne’s charms take longer to find and then appreciate.From an Indian’s point of view, Sydney is a bit like Bombay (the buzz!)- while Melbourne is more like Delhi (smug and sedate).

A bit simplified but I think that captures the ‘feel’ of the two cities to an outsider. Of course you could also characterise Melbourne- as a friend who lives in anally retentive Singapore did recently- by noting that it had really dirty toilets!

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