Sunday, August 7, 2011

City in Pages - Sydney Part 1

Now that I've taken you through my lovely home-city of Melbourne via some of my favourite YA books, I thought I'd move up the coast a little and give you a taste of Sydney! And who better to start off a little virtual trip than with the works of Australian YA Queen, Melina Marchetta- as her works Looking for Alibrandi, Saving Francesca and The Piper's Son are all set in Sydney, with a particular focus on the inner-west (Leichhardt, Glebe, Stanmore and Annadale).

image source: we ♥ it

Looking for Alibrandi
Published by Penguin Books Australia, 1992

Martin Place
In the Sydney CBD, Martin Place is made up of a collection of beautiful old buildings, including the Sydney General Post Office, Challis House and the Henry York Davis Building. It also houses the Cenotaph (a monument recongising the ANZAC forces who fought in WWI), a fountain and amphitheatre (which was where the Have a Say Day event in Looking for Alibrandi was held).
Darling Harbour and Circular Quay
If you have ever seen a postcard of Sydney, chances are you will have seen the Darling Harbour. It is the city centre of Sydney and the precinct is home to the Sydney Entertainment Centre, the Convention and Exhibition Centre and Sydney Aquarium (to name just a few). Circular Quay is a major transport hub (it has a bus, train and ferry interchange) as well as prime tourist and cultural attraction, with its stunning views and picturesque walks, and access to parks and restaurants. On New Year’s Eve, it’s also one of the best (and most crowded!) spots to watch the Sydney fireworks from.
University of Sydney
The oldest university in Australia, the University of Sydney was founded in 1850 and each year educates around 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Ranked as one of the Top 3 Universities in Australia, this sandstone university is spread across Camperdown and Darlington and has some of the largest (and most prestigious) Medicine and Law faculties. It is a beautiful campus, and not surprisingly Josie’s university of choice to study law in Looking for Alibrandi.
Sebel Townhouse
Once a hugely popular hotel in Kings Cross (and often frequented by celebrities and considered the hotel of choice for the Australian music industry). Apparently it was also the first hotel in Australia to accept credit cards! Unfortunately it closed in the early noughties and has since been converted into luxury apartments, like a number of other hotels in the area.

Saving Francesca
Published by Penguin Books Australia, 2006

Hyde Park
On the eastern side of Sydney’s CBD is Hyde Park, 16 acres of parklands which is home to the Archibald Fountain and the ANZAC War Memorial. Named after London’s Hyde Park, the Sydney park was originally used for various sporting events (including horse-riding and bare-knuckled fighting), but is now mostly used for leisurely walks and a lunchtime stop for tourists and CBD office workers.
The University of Technology of Sydney is the fifth largest Australian university. It came out of Sydney Technical College and the New South Wales Institute of Technology, and is the only Sydney university with a main campus in the CBD. The most distinctive feature on the Broadway campus is the Tower building (which is 32 levels high! and is often considered one of the ugliest buildings in Sydney). It also has one of the largest Business faculties in Australia and in Saving Francesca, Mia lecturers in Communications at UTS.

The Piper's Son
Published by Penguin Books Australia, 2010
Leichhardt Oval
Home to the West Tigers (rugby league, for those of you – like me – who don’t really follow sports ...) It’s a smaller ground (with a maximum capacity of 20,000), and despite its older facilities, still manages to draw a large crowd at the few home matches it hosts. 

Maroubra Beach
One of Sydney’s best surfing beaches (and also known as the beach of choice for the infamous ‘Bra boys').
The Italian Forum
Located in Leichhardt in Sydney’s inner-west, the Forum is a residential complex, which also houses a number of shops and eateries on the bottom level. I also have it on good authority that it’s home to excellent gelato (Tom, Georgia and the Finch-McKees and their friends walk to Norton St for gelato after a particularly heated dinner).

Central Station
The main transport hub for Sydney’s City Rail (I’m assuming it’s the equivalent to Flinders St in Melbourne!) and also the biggest train station in Australia. It has 27 platforms (!!) and the trains run from 4am to midnight. One of the things I thought was most interesting about the history of Central Station (which I discovered when researching this) was that the site of the station was previously used as the Devonshire St cemetery.

If you enjoyed this post and haven't read my City in Pages series before, check out the earlier posts:
Melbourne - Part 1
Melbourne - Part 2
Melbourne - Part 3

This post is part of Aussie August - a month of sharing all-Australian reviews and content.


Sas (Tea Mouse) said...

Wow, this is such a clever idea Steph! It's so brilliant when you get to see some of your favourite places in books, and it so rarely happens for us Aussies when there are just so many US based books out there. Really, I am in love with this feature and I can't wait to see then next one!!

Cass (Words on Paper) said...

Nice feature. :) Score for UTS being up there haha. *:P at Sas*

Steph said...

Sas - awww thank you! I'm so glad to see you're enjoying it

Cass - thanks!

Nomes said...

i love these posts ... and this one is all sydney and MM goodness. I am very familiar with sydney, so i love having it in the book <3

(also, not in this post, but i also went to the post office in Yass ~ and though of jellicoe road .)

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