Is Sydney the “New” New York?

Ok Sydney,

I’ve lived here long enough to understand that you’re awesome! But are you the “NEW” New York?

By watching and re-watching episodes of Sex and the City where Carrie Bradshaw has a captivating affair with the BIG APPLE, I started to realise, that we are not too far from those pushy New Yorkers after all?

On second though, are we turning into those pushy New Yorkers that are so often stereotyped on TV shows? “Hey, I’m walkin’ here!”

I have summarised my ” New” Sydney argument  with:

1. The Traffic

No one has to tell me twice that traffic is “BAAAAD” in NYC, but what about Sydney?

NO matter what time of day, weekday, weekend, public holiday, I like many other Sydney siders am used to spending my time in traffic….Why? Why aren’t people at work during the day?

And note, have you ever tried parking on a weekday at a Westfield Chatswood or Bondi Junction? When I specifically avoided the noon lunch rush and arrived at Chatswood at 3pm on a regular Tuesday afternoon, I found myself circling around the carpark for a decent 10 minutes before I found a spot (even with all those ceiling light indicators!). WHY? Who are all these people that can afford to continuously shop on weekdays w/o working. I will also add that the Mall, to my surprise was not filled with pensioners, mums and students. There was a fair chunk of all types of demographics walking around doing squat!

2. The “TAXI”

The world famous yellow cab New Yorkers can’t live without? DO we have a version of you here in Sydney under the pseudonym of Silver Service ?

Have you ever tried to hail a cab around Christmas period from the city which starts in December? Let me correct you, Christmas season starts in September! So between September and the start of January the next year, make friends with 1 taxi driver and get his mobile phone number in case you are stuck out at 4am in a queue of 10,000 other people (most of them don’t have their heels on at that time any more) waiting for a cab at a taxi rank…

And if you’re going some location where this particular taxi driver doesn’t want to go ( hey, its a free country!), then you gotta get out of the cab and wait for another one (this one applies to all year round timing, not just Christmas season)

Somehow we need to be psychic to guess where this cabbie I’m hailing wants to go next, and if I happen to live in the wrong direction to where he wants to go, or an area that will fall short of a $60 charge, TOUGH! Invest in some good running shoes I say!

Relying on cabs has become a weakness – they rule us (how very New York of us!)

3. Wall Street Hubs

How many times have Samantha Jones picked up a suit in SATC? (I’ve lost count!)

Did you know that you can go to specific clubs/bars, for that specific reason dubbed “the Laundromat” in Sydney?

Why? Because you go there to pick up a suit! Anything around Martin Sq and King St Wharf is suit area. Go on a Friday and wear a suit to fit in! Uniform gathering begin anywhere from 3pm and onwards.

New York dating scene? I think YES

Although I wouldn’t suggest picking up ‘suits’ at the Laundromats if you’re looking for something more serious. (If you know what I mean?)

Only Sam Jones can get away with that. Other mere mortals like us, need to be, well – just ourselves!

4. Food obsession

New Yorkers pick the “IT” restaurants and form 20 tier queues to get on the waiting list!

Sydney dwellers do the same, we love restaurants, love food, love Master Chef! Whenever there is a good restaurant in town that opens up with a huuuuge waiting list, its important to go there and later do the recommend to friends and “been there, done that!” .

Try all the restaurants at the IVY, all the latest and greatest TAPAs places around Darlinghurst, Bondi or Surry Hills.

Drop in Rockpool, Tetsuya’s, Assiette – whoever has more “hats” or just mention Neil Perry (personally one of my favourites)

Oh and for dessert….little colourful biscuit like FRENCH….shall I dare go on?

Of course, its the Macarons. When exactly did Sydney get obsessed with those? They are amazing, but I want to know how this ungodly obsession began? Did the French find a way to hypnotise our bakeries over night?

However way it happened though, people have been going crazy!

Cooking classes for Macaron art are sold out until September, bakeries and cafes in Sydney are getting a name for themselves just because they stock these little cookie like treats.

Try Baroque @ the Rocks

Not only do you get to enjoy these:

but you can also take a stroll and enjoy this view:

maybe that’s why macarons are so famous, @ Baroque they come with their own view  ( this was my favourite Sunday afternoon!)

BTW cooking classes ( you make these , cost you $220 per person)

“THE MASTERCLASS” they call it ( we all know what that name sounds like and where it came from ;))

Maybe you pay premium for getting a ” brief history of macarons and where they came from”?

Just try this, go to Google and type in Macarons. You’ll probably get more education from the first 10 searches than all the schooling years put together. Sorry school curriculum, but we need to know about the history and the science of these now…

And Mr Adriano Zumbo, your recipes for Macarons are too hard! It’s like a 10 step maths formula I couldn’t solve in 3 Unit maths all those years ago. That’s probably why you’re the master patissier ( sigh!)

5. Fashion obsession ( more like BRAND obsession)

Using Lucy Liu to get a Hermes bag, getting mugged over a pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes, all too familiar scenes in Sex and the City. But has Sydney become the next Big Apple in the fashion sense?

Um, yes we have…

Have you seen the queue outside ZARA on day 1? Only Oprah caused more of a crowd on her first visit to Sydney!

Check this video out:  “It’s gonna be crazy, I hope I don’t have to run or fight anybody!”  (Bah!)

Went into ZARA today (purely out of curiosity!), and still there are crowds of people ( no face control any more!), but plenty of BIG, bouncer looking security guards and frantic women (and MEN – who may I add did not look Metro at all!) running around the store in extatic, how can I put it, um…Happiness? I don’t know how you can describe it, but it looked like people were a bit shaky in the body and hungry in the eyeballs…

Can I point out the same thing happened when the first GAP store opened here? And now there’s hardly anyone in it…

Also, ZARA stores exist all over the world, I’ve seen about 10 of them ( on the same road) in St Petersburg, Russia, about 100 in Asia, and people seemed to have been able to live without neuroticism knowing there is a ZARA store in their city!

Don’t get me wrong, ZARA is a great brand, good quality clothes, edgy and stylish, but nothing to lose your head over ladies!

So when did we hang up the Aussie name and moved to New York? I am not quite certain. This article would probably drag on for another 10 pages if I start mentioning iPhones, iPads, camping out in tents on George st, but it probably gives you a better idea on how it all started? Oh and when we have MTV telling us how to live, Apple as not food but phone, I doubt we can go back to just being the old Sydney.

But the good news is New York is never OLD, and so Sydney will forever be New Sydney with lots to go crazy about when you live in this city!

What do you think Sydney? Are we the “NEW” New York?

Check out these links for mentions in this post:

Hat Awards NSW

Adriano Zumbo macarons

Baroque bakery @ the Rocks

Zara opening chaos

Adriano Zumbo

HBO Sex and the City

Zara opening,11869