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The view from Icebergs, overlooking Bondi Beach.  

After years of swaggering self-promotion, the dream is finally coming true: Sydney really is on the verge of joining the ranks of the world’s great cities. Sydneysiders are starting to rise to the top of the fashion, art, architecture, and food worlds. (Not to mention the city’s Hollywood connection: Heath Ledger, Naomi Watts, and Nicole Kidman call the city home.) With success comes prosperity—apartment prices have doubled in the past five years and the stock market just broke the magical 5,000 mark—and there is no end in sight. The country is primed to become America’s gateway to China: This year, the Opera House introduced guided tours in Mandarin, Qantas started flying direct from Sydney to Beijing, and Prime Minister John Howard started negotiating a free-trade agreement with the Chinese premier. Of course, big successes also bring problems—big-city problems. The riots that exploded in the southern suburb of Cronulla in December divided the town along ugly ethnic lines. Sydneysiders were forced to take a long, hard look at themselves. Then Howard announced, “I do not believe Australians are racist.” That nasty business over, they’ve gone back to wining, dining, beaching, and generally enjoying a quality of life—hyperbole alert—unmatched in the world.
- J.E.

Hotel Finder
If you like the City Club’s oversize glass showers, you’ll love the soaking tubs at Establishment.

If you like the historic feel of The Library, you’ll love the Chelsea Guest House.

If you like the harbor views from the Ritz Carlton Battery Park, you’ll love looking out over the Opera House at Park Hyatt Sydney.

Glossary: Sydneysider Slang
Bottle-O: Liquor store, where you load up on a “slab of amber fluid” (a case of beer).
Budgie smugglers: Speedos, also called “dick pointers.”
Crack a coldie: Open a beer, quite possibly over a barbie.
Dinkum: Real, genuine.
Dog’s eye: A flaky meat pie.
Fancy a cheeky shampoo?: Want to get a drink?
Good on ya, mate: Thanks a lot.
Pacific peso: A$1; i.e., 70 cents.
Pom: A Brit (“bloody Poms”).
Root rat: Sex addict.
Shark biscuit: Surfing novice, a kook.
Spunk: A hottie, especially a male (“what a hunk of spunk”).
Westies: From the Western suburbs; i.e., the bridge-and-tunnel crowd.

Next: Sydney's Best Beaches

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