Dear Sydney - It's pretty difficult to describe how great you are. There are so many reasons and so many facets to your awesomeness. So to say thanks for hosting us I figured I'd just give you my top 11 things that make you an awesome city (other cities take note):
11. You have a chain of stores entirely devoted to cupcakes.
10. You are an infinitely walkable city with excellent running options; because jogging around the Sydney Opera House is almost as amazing as jogging around the White House. Almost.
9. SoCal-style beach livin', surfing and surfer dudes/dudettes are but a 30 minute Manly ferry ride away.
8. People refer to 'ol Mr. McDonald's restaurants as 'Mackers'.
7. As you boast few cafes (at least that we found) that have free wifi, people actually go out to read the newspaper (like the actual print version - remember that?) and drink coffee. Or wine.
6. There are decidedly more active people (running, playing lunchtime rugby, etc.) on your streets than there are overweight people.
5. Snapper pie at the Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay.
4. You intertwine the arts into everyday life (through urban gardens, chic shopping, museums, etc.) better than most.
3. Your ever-fashionable citizenry have cool accents and while you are having some difficulty these days with your immigration policies (aren't we all?), you are a land of tolerance, immigrants and opportunity; a place where world traveling backpackers (not us, don't worry) can easily earn US$15+/hour as a minimum wage doing... well... just about anything.
2. You have an opera house that is not only architecturally mind-blowing but also constantly in pursuit of new, innovative ways to entice all cross-sections of the population (including orchestra-loving septuagenarians, skateboarders, Janet Jackson aficionados, toddlers and everyone in between) to step through your doors.
1. Except for the horrendous value of my hard-earned US$ on your streets, you are a very livable place. Other great cities of the world (New York, Istanbul, Tokyo, London, etc.) have many of the above qualities but are they really as livable as Sydney...? Guess I'll just have to find out some day!