Journal 5: Sydney thoughts 1/16/11

Sydney is a beautiful city. It is surrounded by two harbors at the north and south with the Pacific Ocean to the east. It has modernistic structures like the Opera House and slim skyscrapers. Along with this modern flare Sydney also has grandiose British structures. Parks, boulevards, and extravagant public clocks. The architecture has numerous cultural influences. The skyscrapers look much like the nimble structures of Japan. Florescent lights at the top of each building advertise the sponsor of the building. Fujiflim, Sharpe, and SamSung are just a few examples of the over-sized illuminated signs that are on the top of the tallest buildings in Sydney. The building that is the most telling of Asian-Pacific structures is the Sydney tower. Much like the Seattle Space Needle, Sydney has an observation tower just waiting to be knocked down by a migrating Godzilla swimming south to avoid the winter.


On the street level Sydney has quite a few buildings that could remind someone of London. A Victoria building here, a King’s Cross there. Akin to London, Sydney has a King’s Cross, Hyde Park, Charing Cross, and Statues of Queen Victoria. Sydney even has a statue to Queen Victoria’s dog Islay. Talk about excess, imagine how disgruntled Sydneysiders must have been when their tax dollars were spent to erect a statue of the Queen’s dog. Based on the appearance of buildings alone Sydney seems like a mixture of Nagoya, Japan and Montreal, Canada.


I sense a similarity between Canada and Australia. Both were enormous British possessions with limited economic power, small populations with vast and uninhabitable lands, and a native people. Neither Australia nor Canada broke away from the Empire. They remained within the empire until they were released into the Commonwealth. Australia unlike Canada remained with the British longer and unlike Canadians didn’t shake off the accent. A book I recently read said that, “ Australia looks like America, but sounds like Britain.” I would like to adjust this claim to, “Australia looks like Canada, and sounds like Britain.”

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