When I took to watching late night TV in the 70s and 80s the broadcast would end at midnight with the song My City of Sydney and I remember the colour chart staring back at me from my parents TV (it was a solid box with a drawer underneath that contained a turntable – broken – by me playing with it many years earlier.) I felt I was leading the bohemian life being up so late, watching Debbie Reynolds and Jimmy Stewart in black and white on Bill Collins’ Golden Years of Hollywood. Sydney is still my city in many ways. Though the city centre changed physically very quickly soon after I left in the 80s, with Darling Harbour and the closing of main streets for pedestrians, it is the childhood city of my heart still, and many aspects of it are unchanging.
The water, the earth and stone, some places, and the friends and family I visit are like a continuing song (a bit better than My City of Sydney) inside my body and mind that rises up when I am here (there). Now I can eat Iraqi food in Auburn and catch a glimpse of people smoking bright green hookas on the footpath. Eastwood shops is abuzz with market garden veggie stalls and the pick of Asian cuisine. In the 70s and 80s it was Lebanese food in Surry Hills and Italian in Leichardt for me.
I am so honoured to be launching my first book of all my own work, a poetry chapbook called OPEN (Rochford Press) with Anna Couani’s thinking process (Owl Publishing) in The Shop Gallery (Anna and Hilik’s gallery) next Sunday 2pm March 10 at 112 Glebe Pt Rd Glebe (I used to live in Bridge St when I was at uni and worked at Sydney College of the Arts down the road in Personnel as a clerical assistant.) (I visited Anna on the way home from work, to home in Ashfield, the highlight of my day). If you are in Sydney next weekend please join us and celebrate.
Open by Sarah St Vincent Welch