Manly vs. Melbourne

I was in Sydney last week for the excellent WDS08, but it was some other aspects of Sydney that I want to write about this time.

1. Soul

Sydney doesn’t seem to have one. I find it an intensely sad city – I’m sure there are exceptions, but Sydney is beautiful in spite of what has been done to it, not because of it. I’ll admit that the areas I visited probably skewed my view, but at any time you can see thousands of people rushing along and not noticing the real world around them. It’s hard not to lust after harbour views, a fancy boat and a sports car when there is so much wealth so obviously on display, but I reckon Sydneysiders have forgotten how to be happy in themselves. A shame.

2. Rugby

While I was in Sydney, there was an incredible build up to the Rugby League Semi Final between the Cronulla Sharks and (the common enemy), Melbourne Storm. I honestly don’t give a toss about Rugby – the game bores me to tears, but I was amazed at the level of vitriol and wildly biased reporting that flooded the press and airways before the game. They had totally written Melbourne off well before the game started. Of course, Melbourne trounced Cronulla something like 26-0. I went back to my hotel room and watched the last 30 minutes or so, but the commentators wouldn’t give up… with literally minutes to go and a huge deficit – they continued to call the Melbourne players slow and tired. Obviously not as slow and tired as the Cronulla players, but that didn’t seem to register.

I can sort of understand the controversial comments from Melbourne Storm’s coach and Manager, I’ll be they get thoroughly sick of listening to that sort of garbage all season. Anyway, it’s all down to a Grand Final against Manly, who also thrashed their opposition, so they seem to be a worthy opponent.

3. Coffee

It’s a long standing joke that you can’t get a decent coffee in Sydney. I don’t think it’s really that bad, but there are still plenty of fancy cafés that don’t seem to worked it out. However, I am delighted to report that things are improving and I have found at least one place where the fussiest coffee snob can get a brew that is nothing short of superlative. It’s Manly once again – hmm… is there a pattern here? no! – but tucked away, just off the garish Corso, is Scuzi Mi (sorry, I can’t remember the name exactly) in Darley Road. You really can’t miss it – amongst the franchise cafés Sydney seems to be flooded with it, stands out like a sore thumb. I chose it because it looked like it belonged in Sydney Road and the long macchiato I had was nothing short of sensational.