The summer holiday feels mid-swing. There are still so many opportunities to go out, see friends, enjoy everything this city has to offer.
Independently to the Sydney Festival (though I was simply assumed they were related because of the coincidence of timing), the Sydney Opera House has put on the Summer Playground for all of us looking for a Coney Island themed spot to spend our day. There is a playground and a pop-up bar, set against Circular Quay in full view of the Harbour Bridge.
My friend Steve was partly responsible for this event – building the sand pit, the jetty and arranging the greenery. Edible Kids’ Gardens created the space for kids to play with natural materials and discover the world. He had always wanted to introduce permaculture to the world.
He proudly told me he created the checker board and pieces out of natural, and I would guess sustainable, materials. I wanted to have a game with him, but couldn’t find the right moment to ask.
The Opera House created this playground and organised daily music performances and entertainment to encourage everyone to visit this space.
Steve and I hadn’t seen each other in a few years, at least not since I returned to Sydney from Brisbane. We were old friends from nearly two decades ago. We inadvertently sat in the VIP area beside the stage, which made me want to act important and stately. I looked for anyone in the area wearing a bowtie or a waistcoat.
“We haven’t changed,” he said.
It felt like we were the same. The same voices and the same mannerisms. Though perhaps we were more aware of our surroundings and our places in the world.
My ears caught one of the lines being sung, “… coffee, and other grown up things…”
The Summer Playground felt like a place where you could go with parents and kids, hang out and eat nachos, and ignore for a while those grown-up things.