Watch and wan­der in the park

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - SU­SAN KURO­SAWA

You don’t need to wan­der far for sat­is­fy­ing re­sults in the world of Instagram. Some­times the best and most pho­to­genic dis­cov­er­ies can be more or less on your doorstep and may go un­no­ticed on a daily ba­sis, such as, in my case, the fab­u­lous clock tower loom­ing over Eddy Av­enue a few min­utes from my of­fice and Surry Hills apart­ment. It sits atop Cen­tral Sta­tion, a mas­sive sand­stone ed­i­fice that dom­i­nates the south­ern end of Syd­ney’s CBD and is the city’s big­gest rail ter­mi­nus. It is from here that trains zoom in­trastate and across bor­ders, in­clud­ing in days past the old “red rat­tlers” that chugged along and some­times swayed alarm­ingly. But now the trains are all sleek and sil­very and rather anony­mous in de­sign and, while cer­tainly more ef­fi­cient, en­tirely lack­ing in char­ac­ter. I walk past the clock tower most days and never fail to check the time, which seems much more of an oc­ca­sion that con­sult­ing my watch or iPhone. The tower was un­veiled in 1921, 15 years af­ter the open­ing of the sta­tion proper, its de­lay due to the hia­tus of World War I. It stands at the south­ern end of Bel­more Park, past this av­enue of plane trees and the curved benches and di­ag­o­nal paths car­peted in yel­low­ing leaves this Syd­ney au­tumn, and the scene looks pos­i­tively Parisian. Year round there are ibises galore, their beaks the shape of gi­ant cro­chet hooks, which are most ef­fi­cient in turn­ing out the rub­bish bins. They are not pretty crea­tures and the seag­ulls are pesky, too, mostly be­cause tourists feed them as they wait for open­top buses to ar­rive for jolly out­ings to the eastern beaches and best sights. It feels like a bird park some morn­ings and not in such a good way when a pass­ing pi­geon poops on your head or woolly win­ter hat. There are al­ways peo­ple prac­tis­ing tai-chi and even a per­sis­tent jug­gler some morn­ings, but he is not a very good one and sends skit­tles fly­ing ev­ery whichway, which at least wards off the ibises, or “devil birds” as my daugh­ter-in-law, Ella, and I call them, as they are wont to give us the evil eye. The park leads north to Chi­na­town and it would be easy to walk around the block in­stead to go and buy dumplings and stalky veg­eta­bles, but I like the scruffy na­ture of this patch of Syd­ney guarded by that im­mense tower, keep­ing per­ma­nent watch.

Fol­low on Instagram: su­sankuro­sawa

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.