There is absolutely nothing Not to like about Sydney. The food is fabulous, the transport quick and reliable the hustle is exciting, and the pace of the place makes you feel pleased to be alive. Apart from the fact that I might well keel over from exhaustion, I could very possibly live here. I sure do love coming for a visit.
Vivid has been the impetus to visit again this year, and I can feel the old woman veil being firmly placed when I say that I really don't feel this year's lights are as good as last year's. I am not whinging, just saying.
There seems to have been a shift away from presenting wonderful things to look at and wonder about. This year it's all about keeping the kids entertained with cartoony stuff and interactive bits and bobs and the abstraction and the quiet invitation to think and wonder and imagine has taken a poor second place. No prizes for guessing which I would prefer, but then I am an old woman, not the energetic mother of youngsters whose minds and fingers need constant play and direction.
A decision was made to expand the number of precincts and this too seems to have diluted the overall effect. There can only be a finite wheelbarrow of cash and the more hands out the less useful it becomes.
The Chatswood precinct had it's rookie outing and while I liked the stuff near the train station and the sculpture in the mall, my imaginings of the stuff I had read about it all, far exceeded the reality. And sadly last night when we trooped off to Martin Place, which was my favourite last year, so we saved it for an outing all on it's own to be savoured and enjoyed, well there was nothing there. There are interactive games and bits for parents and kids like at The Sydney Show, but one of the attraction operators said that there were no light projections out of deference to the victims of the Lindt Cafe siege. I am not sure if this is true, or just a throw away line to stop people whinging, but if it's true then it seems to be a very strange sort of demonstration, and I reckon the organisers aught be publicising these facts so that folk without children just don't bother going there.
The fountain at Martin Place was my pick, but I think it's there all the time.
I like things that are as they appear on the box. I can't help feel a bit cheated when the hoopla is more than the reality, and not just a little more.
So if you are popping on your sneakers and leaving the kids behind, head for the Cahill Expressway for a long look around. It is magical and beautiful, and not too crowded and then wander down to The Rocks for a look from there. There is nothing about this view that gets old. The ballet / movement projection onto the bridge pillar at The Rocks is also lovely and is perhaps best seen walking towards the Opera House, or on a ferry ride out of Circular Quay.
Down at The Rocks before the lights came on. Bloody marvellous place.
If you are taking the kids, take a little blanket so they can lie on the ground and watch the animal film in the Argyle Tunnel, let 'em have a look at the vid on Customs House, and have a play one the stuff at Martin Place.
There is something for everyone, and I am just being selfish, cos last year it seemed like it was all for just for ME.