Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas in the City

Perhaps only a quilter would see them like this, but I'm loving the Sydney City Council's banners this year with their bright kaleidoscopic stars resembling paper-piecing.

These stars take 3D form on the modern, metallic Christmas Tree in Taylor Square, busy hub of the hip suburb of Darlinghurst, where they glow like starry barnacles.

By contrast the Martin Place Christmas tree is green and looks rather more traditional. Large 3D stars dangle from its branches, and an illuminated ribbon swirls spectacularly around the tree from top to bottom bearing greetings sent from smartphones.

David Jones, our high-end department store, reuses its trees each year, and I say why not? I could never tire of these hot pink, magenta and silver baubles :-)

What would Christmas be without a nutcracker? This very proper fellow guards the ground floor escalator in David Jones.

David Jones' Christmas windows are an institution in Sydney, and no excursion to the city at Christmas would be complete without a visit. This year DJs is celebrating 150 years of trading, and some of the windows feature miniature scenes from the store itself, including the famous David Jones Christmas Choir.

A vision in blue and silver, this Christmas tree at St Vincents Private Hospital in Darlinghurst is one of the prettiest this year.

Being a Catholic hospital they also have an almost life-sized nativity scene, a beautiful reminder of the Reason for the Season.

The Town Hall has become the "screen" for vivid projections, and where I was standing I was part of a bank of enthusiastic amateur photographers and tourists all attempting to capture that perfect shot of this wonderful light show.

St Mary's (Catholic) Cathedral, beside Hyde Park, has its own spectacular lightshow projected on the facade but I haven't yet had the chance to see it in person and photograph it. 

I can, however, show you the magically lit interior of St Andrew's (Anglican) Cathedral next to the Town Hall.

Hundreds of fairy lights accentuate the soaring sandstone pillars and arches so that the Cathedral looks almost Medieval.

The biggest surprise of all, though, was the installation of three giant Christmas trees at the front of the church. Massed with constantly twinkling fairy lights, they are simply enchanting and give the Cathedral's neo-Gothic interior an other-worldly look.

My photo isn't the clearest, but I hope you can see what I mean, and appreciate why, for me, it was the highlight of my trip to the city to see the Christmas lights.


  1. What a wonderful tour of Sydney's Christmas lights!!

  2. Thank you! When we lived in Sydney I worked for the council at Town Hall, so I really miss not coming into town and seeing all the lovely decorations, shop windows etc. Your photographs of lights at night are wonderful and much appreciated.

  3. Sydney just does up everything in an ultra-grand, spectacular way. I'm so glad you shared this pictures so we could get a glimpse of it. How marvelous it would be to spend Christmas in your beautiful city. Love the trees, and the various ways they're interpreted, but it's the Town Hall projections that take the cake, so to speak. I've never seen anything like that, and now you say St. Mary's Cathedral does it too? It looks amazing - even better than Independence Day fireworks! I wonder if any place in the US does that projection show onto a building? I've never heard of it done. Seems that after the initial investment in equipment for doing it, there wouldn't be much more cost to making it an annual thing. Don't they do something similar on the Opera House? Anyway, I simply enjoyed seeing these pictures. Makes up for not having a tree in our own house, nor being anywhere that has a tree up. I've really missed out this season.

  4. I really have to get into the city and see it all before its too late!


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