Wrangling three small, sweaty grandchildren off the Manly ferry yesterday in 30+ degree sunshine, I realised something was missing: The covered walkway that used to curve from Circular Quay to the colonnade that runs down to the Opera House.
It’s not a long stretch – perhaps fifty metres – but when it was first built, you could at last walk under cover from the station to the Opera House, with just two small gaps.
In a tux.
In a ball gown.
Or just in shorts and backpack, like the millions of visitors who come to our city to see the best view in the world.
Not now. The walkway has gone, apparently as part of a building site for a block of flats. Actually, I thought I might might have dreamt about it, but I checked and you can see the erstwhile walkway cover in the bottom right of the Pullman Hotel’s website here.
And actually, I thought for a moment that East Circular Quay might be public land, but quickly corrected myself for my foolishness.
So my grandchildren scorched on the way to the Gruffalo show at the Opera House, and got wet on the way back after a southerly buster hit.
Now that’s really not of much consequence. We live here and we can go to the Opera House whenever we like.
But what a great message for the 8.2 million visitors who visit the Opera House each year: It’s not worth our trouble to get you there in comfort.
Stuart Campbell has lived in Sydney since 1978. He writes quirky novels about love, betrayal and redemption.