Literary Tourism: OZ’s Real Emerald City

Sydney, Australia, is The Emerald City. There are different cities claiming the identical title (I’m taking a look at you, Seattle) however none of them forged a twinkle in comparison with the flicker of Sydney.

I imply, Sydney is inexperienced; like, actually inexperienced. We’ve additionally had various bananas male leaders who originated from Sydney (Howard, Abbot, Turnbull, present Prime Minister Morrison). And it IS the most important metropolis within the Land of Oz. All it wants is a bunch of studying nooks to find your favorite Oz characters.

Oh, wait. We have that too. *depraved grin*

Welcome to the Wonderful Reading of Oz: Emerald City version.

Dorothy Gale – Kinokuniya Bookstore, Level 2, 500 George Street, Sydney CBD

Located in The Galleries, excessive above the busy George Street, Kinokuniya Bookstore is The Bookstore value battling by means of a metropolis. It has all of the favorite genres on supply however the actual attraction is the in depth vary of Japanese and Chinese books. It’s the most important assortment in Australia. It is straightforward to think about Dorothy enamoured with so many books that may’t be discovered anyplace else. Of course, you’ll be able to all the time sit within the cafe after your buy however in case you can withhold on the drinkies, the best place to learn up on Dorothy is within the Kids Section on the naturally lit bay-window seat, overlooking the busy road under.

Toto – Cook+Phillip Park, cnr College and William Street, Sydney CBD

For these of us who can empathise with Dorothy’s love for her little canine, Toto, the Cook+Phillip Park has a pleasant open space AND permits canine to be off their leash. This is among the few locations very near the town the place you’ll be able to catch some rays, play together with your canine, and nonetheless have the quiet area for studying. And if the climate is much less accommodating, you’ll be able to all the time duck into the St Mary’s Cathedral subsequent door. Stunning structure with the peace and tranquillity to rival a library. Although, you gained’t be capable of deliver Toto into this one.

Sydney Literary Tourism

Aunt Em and Uncle Henry – The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Conservatorium Road, Sydney CBD

For that homey really feel on your studying, head to the Botanic Gardens and their herb backyard within the south-west nook. It is a sensory delight sitting amongst the backyard, with loads of bench seats for a spot of studying. Nearby is an equally basic rose backyard and ‘Pioneer Garden’ with some previous colonial fashion crops to encourage that farmhouse really feel. The whole space is crammed with hidden treasures and lazy hideaways to learn away on a regular basis on the earth. However, it’s the Herb Garden the place I might look forward to finding Em and Henry Gale. Reading collectively on a bench seat, Henry mendacity down together with his head in Em’s lap whereas her hand casually performs with the lavender rising subsequent to her.

Sydney Literary Tourism

The Scarecrow – NSW State Library, Cnr of Macquarie St and Shakespeare Place, Sydney

The Scarecrow would in all probability lose his stuffing as soon as he gazed upon the New South Wales State Library. The publicly accessible sections unfold throughout two buildings related by an underground tunnel. I’ve been right here many occasions during the last 10 years and I nonetheless expertise a thrill strolling alongside that path. Along the partitions are historic gadgets and excerpts from Australian historical past. In the previous, it has been predominantly ‘White Australian History’ however the shows are being up to date with new reveals to incorporate extra variety. There are loads of tables, chairs, computer systems, and desks on your analysis work however for those who’re on the lookout for a quiet spot amongst the just about tangible air of literary historical past in Australia, discover a nook in that passageway.

Sydney Literary Tourism

Tin Woodman – Berkelouw Books, 19 Oxford Street, Paddington

Berkelouw Books is a bit of out of the CBD, however well worth the prolonged stroll (or brief bus journey, in case you are so inclined). Located in Paddington, its identify provides a sentimental nod to the primary Berkelouw Books opened in Rotterdam, Holland by the house owners’ nice nice nice grandfather in 1812. Upstairs is the right little cafe (and wine bar… did I overlook the wine bar? How might I overlook the wine bar?!?). This shop prides itself in an awesome illustration of variety throughout its guide assortment, each new and second-hand. Mention of this cafe/store in Sydney is nearly like an prompt entry-pass to the cool-book-nerds-book. Every nook appears to beat with a literary pulse, with a lot love and affection given to each guide. It is just cute.

Cowardly Lion – The Chinese Garden of Friendship, Pier Street, Darling Harbour

As an grownup re-reading The Wizard of Oz, I can’t assist however consider the Cowardly Lion as an extension of Sun Tzu’s Art of War.

“Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.”

He all the time appeared to be battling extra inside himself, whereas nonetheless being there when his pals wanted him. Unlike Dorothy charging by means of the town to succeed in Kinokuniya, the Cowardly Lion can be a lot better recharging in The Chinese Garden of Friendship. It is a constructive oasis within the depth of the town. Even with the high-rises throughout, you hardly discover them. It is THAT tranquil. There can also be a stunning cafe related to the Gardens. I like to recommend visiting across the time of the Moon Festival in August; their mooncakes are divine. You’ll additionally see a couple of lions across the backyard to maintain you firm. Almost as many as there are studying nooks.

Sydney Literary Tourism

Witch of the North – Nutcote, 5 Wallaringa Avenue, Neutral Bay (North Shore)

Just to clear one thing up, we aren’t speaking about Glinda right here. In the books (and that is Book Riot, so in fact we’re referring to the BOOKS), Glinda is the Good Witch of the South. In the unique, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the Good Witch of the North is the primary witch to satisfy Dorothy (and never be squished by a house first). Although unnamed within the first guide, we shortly study the Witch of the North is a ‘good’ witch who is far beloved by her individuals and much more highly effective than first perceived. Her kiss is sufficient to shield Dorothy from everybody she meets within the land of Oz. That’s some tremendous safety mojo.

The Witch of the North jogs my memory of May Gibbs, the Australian authoress with a candy disposition and penchant for shielding these much less lucky. Located within the Lower North Shore of Sydney, Nutcote was the harbourside residence of Gibbs. It is now a museum devoted to the artwork and social work from May Gibbs herself, in addition to the unique backyard which impressed so lots of her illustrations. There is a stunning Tea Room situated on website, or alternatively, you possibly can deliver your personal picnic to settle in with a great ebook and an incredible view.

Witch of the West – Elizabeth Farm, 70 Alice Street, Rosehill

I might be trustworthy. I used to be by no means a fan of the Witch of the West in any of her types. Nope, not even in Wicked. Sorry. I merely didn’t really feel the love. To be truthful, it’s type of the identical method I really feel about Parramatta and Western Sydney. I’m simply not a fan; probably as a result of it’s too removed from the ocean for me? However, I’ll concede there are some hidden surprises across the Western Greater Area of Sydney. And sure, I’m prepared to placed on my huge woman footwear and enterprise out to seek out them.

Since books don’t often like water, I can simply image the Witch of the West having fun with the sunshine at Elizabeth Farm in Rose Hill. It was initially constructed within the early 1800s for John Macarthur, a British Army Officer and the pioneer of the wool business in Australia. The Farm is now a part of the Sydney Living Museum assortment as a recreated 1830s backyard and ‘access to all areas’ museum. On actually scorching days, you possibly can search reprieve within the cafe however I like to recommend the large tree in the direction of the again of the farm, on the other aspect to the kitchen.

Sydney Literary Tourism

Witch of the South – The Grounds of Alexandria, 2 Huntley Street, Alexandria

Okay, THIS one is Glinda. And wasn’t she a powerhouse! The very same could be stated about The Grounds of Alexandria, situated in Sydney’s southern suburbs. Like Glinda, The Grounds are inherently good at every part they do. Gather collectively a variety of cafes and eateries? Done. Offer an area for kids to unfold out and burn off some power? Lovely nook over there. Dress up for particular events? They have that coated. And most significantly: DO THEY HAVE A READING NOOK? I counted at the very least 4 quiet studying corners the final time I used to be there. Glinda: Put in your sparkly footwear and Eat. Your. Heart. Out.

Witch of the East – Gertrude & Alice, 46 Hall Street, Bondi Beach

Yeesh. Here’s a difficult one. Y’know, as a result of she type of died originally. And she was a nasty piece of labor, who enslaved and liked footwear greater than individuals.

Let’s concentrate on a studying oasis within the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, near the notorious (and just a little overrated) Bondi Beach. Now, I’ll begin off by saying Gertrude & Alice is NOTHING just like the Witch of the East. This place is a tribute to the notorious Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas. I can’t keep in mind if Alice’s brownies are on the menu however the assortment of books honour most of the writers from their time interval; from Ernest Hemingway to Ezra Pound and some extra in between. It is each a guide shop and a cafe, together with new and second-hand books. And sure, it’s a brief stroll to the seashore, should you’re sporting the suitable footwear.


Wizard of Oz – Green Square Library, 355 Botany Road, Zetland

It appears pure to put the Wizard of Oz in a library however not one thing as reference-based because the State Library. No, the Wizard wants one thing with pizazz; a library with presence. The good studying spot for any Wizard must be the brand new Green Square Library, a City of Sydney Library on the very southern finish of the Sydney City district (accessible by each bus and practice). This new constructing just lately gained the International Architectural Review Library Award for 2018. It is lauded because the world’s best library design. And it’s beautiful!

The library is underground, accessed by stairs and elevators descending from the coffee shop on the bottom degree. It has an enormous open backyard within the coronary heart of the library and loads of studying areas inside for wet days. The kids’ part has cozy sits and cubby holes positioned inside the cabinets. Adults can take pleasure in extra secluded seats and desks at one other finish of the library (keep in mind to thank the librarians and the managers for this in your method out). To put it brief, this little library on the outskirts of the Sydney City is every little thing you weren’t anticipating. And it nonetheless solutions each considered one of your studying wishes.

Sydney Literary Tourism

Ozma – MCA Cafe, Museum of Contemporary Art, 140 George Street, The Rocks

The final and probably most essential of all of the Oz characters is Princess Ozma, ruler of the Land of Oz. To be truthful, we don’t actually study her till the second guide of the collection, The Marvelous Land of Oz. It is far later we study the Princess is a benevolent, compassionate, and pretty modern chief with utopian views for her residents.

The ultimate cease on our literary tour of Sydney should then be the Museum of Contemporary Art, situated on the foreshore of Circular Quay, down on the Sydney Harbour. After you see the passionate and evocative reveals all through the Museum, journey upstairs to the MCA Cafe with the best views of Sydney Harbour, Circular Quay, the Sydney Opera House, and down into the CBD. And you don’t have to be royalty to benefit from the menu! By Sydney CBD requirements, the menu is reasonably priced and completely scrumptious. Pull up a seat within the nook, soak within the sunshine, and enjoy a great guide. The good spot to look out over your area.

Sydney Literary Tourism

Whether you’re an area on the lookout for a brand new cubby-hole, or a vacationer on the lookout for a literary perspective, Sydney all the time shines like a jewel. I nonetheless get a thrill each time I journey over the Harbour Bridge and see the view of this superb metropolis. And it doesn’t matter what the opposite cities say, I do know Sydney is what L. Frank Baum imagined the Emerald City to be.

‘In the civilized countries I believe there are no witches left; nor wizards, nor sorceresses, nor magicians. But you see, the Land of Oz has never been civilized, for we are cut off from all the rest of the world. Therefore we still have witches and wizards amongst us…’ – L. Frank Baum


Don’t overlook to deliver alongside your copy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

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