Very polite compared to Denver. Sydney reminds me of the old Denver, before the Californiafication of it, when people were nice to each other, and overly polite. The past two decades have been very unkind to the Capitol Hill crowd, as we are the undesirable element right near prime real estate. Sydney has its uppity side as well, but for the most part, Sydney beats Denver in courtesy and hospitality. I am always being told to hush up, so people here are quieter than Americans. Aside from kids, no one really belts out or lets the argument go where the neighbors can hear. I am pretty much to loud all the time, as I was loud even for an american. In that respect, you might say people are uptight, but that would be the wrong impression. Sydneysiders just don’t let things unravel in public, and trust me, they do let their hair down. It makes for a really nice night out, thousands of people around, and no fighting, no harsh words, just people having fun. Denver public events, I do fear for two things, over reactive police patrol and gangsters. They are both likely to let out the wrong reaction because you bumped into someone…at an entertainment festival… where people are expected to get distracted…, and both can cost you your life. Sydney Police are polite, and very present, but you see them smiling, not searching for something to hurt. I saw a few biker types, but no one looking to start a fight because I was looking at a display behind them.
I know I have harped on this a thousand times, but USA is in the wrong, and it is for many reasons. Having lived and traveled around the Oz for a few months now, I am most amazed and in love with the people. People are just nice. I wish americans would be as nice to each other as well. There are problems here, and being a white boy from the states I am not going to encounter them much, I understand that, but people for the most part are just nicer. Polite, and expecting the same, it feels like I am in a country full of the proverbial over-nice canadians, but the accent is wrong.
Well, first of all, you do not have to miss american food much. Hamburgers are big here, with the exception that they use beetroot instead of pickles. Pizza is a little dryer and smaller, I could squeeze the Pizza Hut crust and NOT get oil dripping out. Barbeque is the rule, not the exception, and being from Texas, I really enjoy that. I have had grilled cheese (on the grill grilled cheese, it is awesome, and not a sandwich,) sausages, lamb, beef, and pork. We just finished getting the grill ready to be used, I could not let it be stored unused on the back porch anymore, and she handily agreed, get it going! Chicken rules over beef here, in fast food. There is plenty of beef mind you, but there are some four major chicken fast food outlets, all busy and all good. PeriPeri, Red Rooster, Oporto, and the rather surprising on every corner damn near KFC. I love the lamb too, and it is as popular here as beef is in the US. And good… it is yummy, delicious, and perfect, so much lamb. Seafood! I can not even come close to comparing seafood in Denver. More sushi, and fish is actually eaten often here, not just by rich people shopping at Markczyks, or poor people eating tilapia. Barramundi is delicious, and I have cooked hasa at home, both great fish. In Denver I had a hard time finding good brisket, looks the same over here, but instead of me missing it, I find I am always happy with the choices I have in front of me.
In general, the food is way better, both in quality and choice.
Sydney radio is great, just great. I get to hear real artists here, not just the big 40. I hear them too, but it’s not over and over and over. Triple J is a great station that has launched many a career, and takes chances on new and local artists, everyday. I had the great concert with Temper Trap, and the great venue, so now it is looking for that much-loved smaller scene and set. I will find it, and I will listen to it. I love the music on Saturday mornings, it is called Rage, and they play music videos. Nothing but music videos, just like we used to get, way back in the day. Rage also likes new and local artists, if they have a decent video. Denver I was very much involved with the local music scene, and it rocks, I have not had the chance so much here, but I live in the sticks, and I have other goals these days. I may not have much to do with music for two or three years, but that is ok, as I had a great time in Denver.
I would not say there is a winner here. I was involved in Denver, so I know how diverse and amazing the music is there, and I stayed that way, even when I was in the middle of being a depressed shut in. Sydney has a LOT more support for local music though.
The Vivid Festival is put on by the Museum of Contemporary Art here in Sydney, and the museum is a lot bigger and more involved than in Denver. There is a constant presence of art here, not just marketing, but actual art. I see a lot more sculpture than in Denver, and in general, people seem to have more aesthetic and less consumer culture here than in Denver. Two popular shows here showcase ordinary people trying their hands at being chefs and home renovators. What ordinary people here know reflects the culture at large, which in general, does go back to a better educated population. Trash culture is not as prevalent either, most of it oriented either around sports or biker culture.
All in all, Sydney is more art oriented, and people themselves reflect the city as well.
I hate to say it, but Sydney is the clear winner in my book. I loved Denver for a long time, but it eventually fell apart in the tyranny of pseudo-capitalism. Friendly and educated, Sydneysiders are fun folk, quick with a smile and a hug. I am enjoying this part of the world, and feel my future lies here, under the Southern Cross.