Ten Years of Mirror Sydney

Ten years ago, in May 2012, I pressed ‘publish’ on the first post on this blog. With Mirror Sydney I wanted to turn a reflective eye onto the city and the suburbs, and record observations of places that were in some way out of step with the more rapaciously-changing, exclusive version of the city.

I started with a place that had been emblematic to me when I first moved into the inner city, the Camperdown Velodrome. When I came to know the velodrome, in the late 1990s, it was disused and overgrown. A few years afterwards it would be remodelled into a park and would cease to have a hold over me, but for that in-between time it carried the promise of the kinds of places I was drawn to, ones outside of the ordinary, where there was a stronger sense of the layers of time that make up the city. In its abandonment it had a sense of possibility, one shared by many places I have written about since. Such places suggest through time, and into the many versions of Sydney that co-exist, clashing and interweaving.

Mirror Sydney has become a view of the city that brings attention to what is just outside of immediate perception. This might be places hidden in plain sight, that hold some kind of resistant or subversive force, or anachronistic places that meddle with the illusion of now being only the present moment. Many of these places might be considered vanishing, or disappearing, but Mirror Sydney is as much about endurance, and persistence: what remains around us in our daily lives, in our memories, and in the stories we tell about the places that mean the most to us.

Thank you for reading and supporting Mirror Sydney in its various forms – blog, book and podcast – over the last decade, and I hope it has gone some way to inspire your own thoughts and connections with the city and its places. The Domain Expressway still runs, the ghost platform still fascinate, new contenders for the city’s ugliest building regularly arise, and there is always more to notice.

Strong afternoon sunlight and the other Harbour Bridge, Warwick Farm, 2017

7 Comments on “Ten Years of Mirror Sydney”

  1. Margaret Astar says:

    Vanessa – I enjoyed your book so much – and plus every WordPress post that I have read since then! You have really opened my eyes to so many special Sydney spots, hidden in plain sight. And I will look forward to many more posts. I must also search out the podcasts. Thanks so much for sharing all your interesting research! Margaret

    • Vanessa Berry says:

      Thank you Margaret! I’m so happy to hear you’ve enjoyed following Mirror Sydney in its various forms.

  2. eternalproject says:

    Thank you for all the words, Vanessa. x

  3. John Tipper says:

    Thanks for your 10 years of always interesting and entertaining posts, Vanessa. There’s always something waiting to be found in our city. Regards, John

  4. Julia F Davis says:

    Thank you for your writing and thoughts Vanessa. Really inspiring!

  5. Suzanne Curr says:

    Thank you, for your unique perspective on the corner shop, the old milkbar, the disused amusement park, the overgrown garden where thousands of cars zoom by each day, all those memorials and memories…………..thank you.

  6. Phillip Leeds says:

    Hello Vanessa,

    Thank you for the decade of fine writing that is Mirror Sydney. It is always a delight to see a new post appear in my email so I can read your unique insights into parts of Sydney I may remember, or have never seen.

    I kook forward to lots more of Mirror Sydney.

    Kind regards and thanks again,

    Phillip Leeds Springwood NSW

    Sent from my iPad


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