According to the urban dictionary, “urban jungle” means the city. It is a term that describes city streets, subways, buildings, neighbourhoods, etc. But what is it about these “urban jungles” that attracts us humans? Why is it that most of us are attracted to them like moths to the flame? Wouldn’t you rather live peacefully and quitely in a country side, away from noise and pollution?
Forget the famous Opera House or Circular Quay in Sydney, you only need to take a 10 min train trip from the city out to Newtown to really witness the diversity and variety of creative minds, curious souls, lonely hearts and inspired artists who make this city so unique.
A good friend once said: “I will never retire in the country, I love the city life too much, it keeps me young”. Some might argue that cities keep them young with all the stresses and expectations that come with living in one. I doubt that anyone would think that travelling to work on a bus densely packed with seasonal flu carriers is glamorous or worth dreaming about but yet these busses are full because the cities are full and the cities are full because people love living in them.
So what attracts us to the so called “urban jungle”? Is it the energy of hustle and bustle? Is it the diversity of cultures and experiences we get to enjoy? Or is it the “urban jungle” promise of a better life, of possibilities beyond imagination? In a big city like Sydney, anything is possible and you can be whatever and whoever you want to be.
I don’t have the right answer. For every person there will be different reasons why they love the cities they live in. For me personally it’s the challenge of being more than who I am today, to aim higher, to feel taller, to never stop growing and evolving.
Below are some snippets of the other side of Sydney – the honest side, a playful side, a side decorated with graffiti paintings and unbelievable contrasts. This is the side tourists don’t often see or hear about – this is the heart of our city and Kate has done an amazing job of showing me this side and helped me to experience true beauty of the city I have grown to love.
What made this experience even more special is the little piece of my heritage right in the middle of Newtown – a Russian bakery shop called ‘Izba’, which means a hut in Russian. We stopped for a moment to grab a snack and somewhere between the bites of Napoleon cake and an egg pie I have experienced a true harmony – my past and my present were sitting side by side, enjoying each other’s company. A Russian girl in me and a young woman I have become were both content, enjoying the city I call my new home.
Thanks for reading.
Maria Flash Photography