Fourmillante Sydney …

… Sydney of dreams …

Last night we spent a couple of hours in the city for the first night of the Festival of Sydney. We saw:

  • thousands of people in a good mood, many sporting little electric fans that somehow lit up with an ad telling us to switch to a sponsoring bank
  • the fig trees in Hyde Park sporting ornate trunk wraps
  • a spangled woman floating beneath a giant balloon outside the Barracks Museum, who dived in slow motion to touch fingers with a little girl sitting on her father’s shoulders

  • kaleidoscopic images lighting up the wall of the law courts building
  • a hundred saxophone players belting out a tune from the upper and lower verandahs of the Mint Museum
  • twenty bagpipers playing ‘Amazing Grace’ from the front of Parliament Building
  • Black Arm Band singing ‘Treaty’ in the Domain, and even though we were half a kilometre away from the stage they really did the business (Al Green, the main act, didn’t reach as far back as us in quite the same way)
  • aerialists throwing weird shadows onto the western façade of St Mary’s Cathedral

  • A fabulous band called (I’ve just looked them up on the Festival web site) Big Bad Voodoo Daddy doing ‘Minnie the Moocher’ in Martin Place, which was packed even tighter than the Domain

I don’t have high expectations of these kinds of giant parties, particularly since being vomited on by a stranger at Darling Harbour one New Year’s Eve 25 years or so ago. Last night was like a good dream, or a dozen of them at once.

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