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An Old Swamp in the City

An Old Swamp in the City

The new decade began in Australia with an apocalyptic vision of drought, fire and flood, but it’s always a bit of shock to Sydney when natural disasters sneak up on the inner city too. Last week as flood waters in Marrickville submerged cars, factories, studios,...

Here’s one for all the (library) lovers out there

Here’s one for all the (library) lovers out there

This coming Friday is Library Lovers Day, so today on 2SER Breakfast Dr Mark Dunn and host Alex James talked about three book-related historical sites in the city which have had a lasting impact on Sydney's shape and culture. [button...

The Santas of Sydney’s Christmas Past

The Santas of Sydney’s Christmas Past

Some of us still have the photos taken of us crying, having a tantrum or terrified while perched on the knee of the strange Santa at the shopping mall, his nylon beard glistening under neon lights. But what about those other Santa-like figures of Sydney’s Christmas...

Sound the alarm! Shark nets at Coogee

Sound the alarm! Shark nets at Coogee

It's summer, and for many of us, that means swimming in the sea. There has been a long tradition in Sydney of enclosing ocean bathing areas a nets to protect bathers from sharks, but the consequences of decisions about shark nets that were made in the 1920s and 1930s...

The Newcastle Hotel

The Newcastle Hotel

In honour of Clive James who died this week, today we're going to peek inside the doors of one of the Sydney establishments that helped him along, the Newcastle Hotel on George Street.   [button link="https://2ser.com/dictionary-of-sydney-newcastle-hotel/"...

James Waugh’s Stranger’s Guide to Sydney

James Waugh’s Stranger’s Guide to Sydney

We've all used a tourist guide when we've visited a new city. They can help us orientate ourselves, to find the landmarks we want to see, and understand the locals. But have you ever wondered about Sydney's first tourist guides? I recently had the joy of delving into...

The Explorer’s stump

The Explorer’s stump

On the southern side of the Great Western Highway just west of Katoomba is a colonial relic known as the Explorers' Tree. But you would be forgiven for not recognising it as a tree. Today all that remains is a concrete stump on a rubble stone podium. [button...

It’s a sign

It’s a sign

Last week Lisa Murray mentioned a few of her favourite pieces on the Dictionary, and today I thought we'd follow one of those up and talk about road markings.  While this might seem to some a somewhat mundane topic, even the most everyday aspects of the city can have...

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