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May 14, 2006

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Helen

Oh, my, gawd... DIGITAL CAMERA AROUND THE NECK?!?!?!?!?!?!?! I am sooooooooo glad I wasn't there walking next to you!

Glad you had fun =) I know you've been wanting to do this for a while.

Uri

is the CP picture facing the west side from the north end of the reservoir?

Marcus

Actually, the Central Park picture is facing the east side from the south end of the reservoir. :)

MarkD

I like to walk around my adopted hometown (Sydney) as well. The striking aspect of your experience is its linearity. Linearity suits New York. New York is all about humanity making order of nature. New York moves with linear purpose, whether it is east/west, north/south, or up/down. There is no meander to New York. It is a serious town made for serious business. It is all about getting from here to there in in the most efficient way possible. You can feel the seriousness of the place when you walk its streets. It is the center of the American empire in a way that Washington could never be. When you are in New York you feel its energy all around you. There are only three other cities (that I have travelled to) with that big bold feel; Tokyo, London and Shanghai.

Sydney is very different. It is very organic. I live in the very heart of Sydney yet I am awakened every morning by the call of Kukaburras and Rainbow Parrots. Both New York and Sydney are harbor cities, yet New York’s harbor is a backdrop, it isn’t part of the city, it is next to it. In Sydney it is different, the harbor is its heart, the city wraps itself around its harbor like a small child hugs a favorite stuffed animal. The harbor is full of coves and peninsulas Sydney hugs the harbor’s twists and turns for dear life. There are no straight roads anywhere. One walks up and down, turns left then right, turns back on oneself and back again with every walk. At one moment you can be on a Manhattanesque street, turn a corner and you are in the Australian bush, turn again you are on a secluded beach, walk down a cove and now you are in a small fishing village. All of this on a single morning walk.

Manhattan is about humanity’s triumph over nature. New York is architecture; it is steel, mortar, and glass. Sydney, even though it is Australia’s largest city, never overcame the wildness of its natural surrounds. This is a big empty country with an unforgiving climate. Even with four million people that sense of emptiness that sense of nature’s power never leaves you in Sydney. Sydney isn’t about human triumph, it is all about the triumph of nature.

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