An attempt to visit every suburb in Sydney.

We're still in the North Shore , but this time we've shifted away from the shoreline itself. This is a suburb with pizzazz. ...

Vegas Veneer: North Sydney

We're still in the North Shore, but this time we've shifted away from the shoreline itself. This is a suburb with pizzazz.

North Sydney

When I was younger, North Sydney seemed so cool. From a distance, I'd look in awe at all the tall and shiny buildings, far more interesting than the red brick, weatherboard and fibro of suburbia. From the back seat of my parents' early 90s Ford Laser, North Sydney may as well have been Las Vegas.

Even today, if I come into the city by car or bus on the Warringah Freeway from the north, seeing the North Sydney skyline is somehow still exciting.

I don't have my own photo of the view, but here's an amazing Microsoft Paint picture of the skyline. Credit goes to Crossing. You can check out more of his impressive MS Paint artworks of Sydney and other places on Instagram and Tumblr

Anyway, let's find out if North Sydney is as interesting in the flesh.

Last I left you, I was walking up some stairs in Lavender Bay. Those stairs lead to North Sydney.

A few more steps and I was already in the thick of the tall buildings, traffic and shiny glass that goes into making a CBD. 

North Sydney's "city centre" is actually quite an attractive place, with both old buildings and much newer office blocks sitting side-by-side.

I took this little overpass from the nearby Greenwood plaza to get a better look, and indeed North Sydney is a beautiful place from up close too.

But that being said, this is not Sydney CBD.

On a Sunday afternoon like the day I visited, North Sydney is, for lack of a better word, dead.

Yes, the main downtown area of North Sydney sure looks the part, with plazas, monuments, historic buildings and, of course, the shiny glass,

but this is simply a place of business. Downtown North Sydney is where you go for your 9-5 (or 9-6, or 8-8, depending on your field) office job, and that's it really.

That doesn't mean I can't still explore the place. I headed north, turning my back to the suburb's town centre to see what the remainder of the suburb can offer.

Almost immediately, I hit the site of the future North Sydney metro station, Victoria Cross. (Victoria Cross is one of the stations on the new metro line connecting the Northwest Metro at Chatswood to the city and Bankstown. More info on the official site here.)

As I continued on, I hit a few more points of interest.

Firstly, there's this Christian School which seems pretty fancy.

I also hit a sudden massive block of new apartments. Assuming these don't collapse in the next 15 minutes, I imagine these may be a nice place to live if you work nearby. I do also like the contrast with the very quaint North Shore bus stops, as previously seen in my Crows Nest post.

A little further up the road are some interesting older buildings, including the North Sydney council chambers

(and the lovely public gardens next door),

this house,

and The Independent, which Google tells me is a theatre (the performance kind, not the movie kind).

Up until this point, I had been heading north on Miller Street, which could perhaps be called the suburb's third main road after the Pacific Highway and the Warringah Freeway. My intention was to loop back around to North Sydney's CBD, so I took a right turn, but not before snapping a picture of this beautiful old church at the intersection I turned off at.

In stark contrast to the suburb's glossy office centre, this bit is much more North Shore, with the very leafy St Leotards park,

featuring this memorial to the World Wars,

as well as these adorable rainbow lorikeets taking a bath.

Outside of the park, the other real hint that you're in the North Shore are in the well-kept older houses on the tree-lined street.

Special mention goes to this house which could do with a bit of a shave.

I turned into a southbound street to head back, allowing the North Shore to slowly merge back into North Sydney.

Because the train line hadn't been reopened in the few hours since I was in Milsons Point,

I made my way to the bus stop to head back to Central.

North Sydney: It's not Vegas, but it's definitely got its charm.

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