Look up, not down

The first time I went to Sydney was when I was about ten, and I can clearly remember thinking it was a dirty, dirty place. Nothing has changed – Sydney still feels like it’s in need of a good clean – but there’s lots to see and do while avoiding the gaggles of tourists who throng on street corners like hustlers.

There’s the CBD, where every second shop is an Asian mini mart selling tapioca milk, and then there’s Oxford Street, where the pavement is spattered with kebab juice, vomit and glitter on Sunday morning. Up the road is Paddington, where yummy mummies pop into Incu on the weekend to pick up a cute Marc Jacobs dress, and closer to the city is Surry Hills, where I can’t afford to eat out (except at Spice I Am).

Despite the maniacal taxi drivers; the plethora of one-way streets; the male predilection for V-neck T-shirts that show chest fluff; the female predilection for Nicole Ritchie-style sunnies and a pout to match; and the irritatingly good weather, Sydney is alright (don’t worry, not planning to move there – I haven’t perfected my pout yet). It’s especially alright if you look up and around at some of the architecture, particularly the pubs. Here are a few nice ones I spotted around town last weekend.

Above the Criterion Hotel, Pitt Street, CBD

The Criterion Hotel, Pitt Street, CBD. How can the pub look so different from the rest of the building?

Okay, so not technically a pub, but I like it all the same – it’s an apartment block in Bondi. Reminds me of my home sweet home, a Stalinesque 50s block of flats remarkably similar to this but bereft of balconies, a name, and much of the charm.

And the Civic Hotel, on the corner of Goulburn and Pitt Streets in the CBD.

:: Arwen ::

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