Summer in Sydney means… Lego is stuck in tarmac and bird ownership disputes

Secret place in Sydney you escape to?

We are a city of secret parks. My favorite is a few streets down at Forest Lodge in one of those neglected sandstone canyons where the ground is too rough to build on. This one is called Orphan School Creek Playground. There’s a sandpit full of donated toys, a lawned area, and a winding path down to a creek. I call it the Dragon Forest because it looks like a place they could live.

The best summer food is…

Yum cha in the East Village in Zetland on the way home from a morning on the beach at Little Bay.

I know it’s summer when I smell…

Petrichor, the scent that rises from dry ground when raindrops begin to fall.

My favorite summer song is…

I go with Once in a lifetime by Talking Heads, a song about not living your life on autopilot.

The worst thing about summer is…

Low-intensity asymmetric warfare with mosquitoes.

My next hideout to escape the city is…

A cliff walk in Royal National Park down to Eagle Head Rock and back ending with fish and chips at the Bundeena Community and Services Club.

Guilty Pleasure?

I can, and often do, walk past world-class gelaterias to grab a plain old chocolate topper from the van at Jubilee Park in Glebe.

What aspect of summer life would you change and what would you like to stay the same?

We need trains to all main beaches. We’re a physically and socially fragmented city, so let’s piece it together with better, easier public transport. This would have the added bonus of annoying the NIMBYs. One thing we need to preserve is the native wildlife that still hops, shuffles and swoops through town, so let’s preserve our greenery and nurture more. Sydney belongs to possums, pademelons and mighty owls as much as we do. I make an exception for the mosquitoes.

Summer in Sydney is a series in which Herald staff reveals the best – and worst – of our city in the hotter months.

A cultural guide to going out and making love in the city. Sign up for our Culture Fix newsletter here. Summer in Sydney means… Lego is stuck in tarmac and bird ownership disputes

Callan Tansill

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