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Sydney is the only city in Australia and the single place in the known universe with a bridge.
In a little over 200 years, Sydney has pulled its way up from lawless penal colony to modern metropolis, host of the headquarters of a number of multi-billion dollar companies (some of which aren't bottle shops) and center of hundreds of square kilometers of suburbs (some of which aren't bottle shops).
Therefore Sydney has earned the life of lounging by the beach and 24 hour drinking sessions that every Sydneysider enjoys daily, without fail.
Sydney's history, and for that matter history itself, began and ended with the creation of Sydney Harbor (nee Port Jackson) during the Triassic period. The first people fortunate enough to claim the resplendent maritime Eden were the Garigal aboriginal people, who adopted it as a traditional homeland that no one would ever, in a billion years, wish to leave for any reason whatsoever.
In 1788 the Garigal people spontaneously left this promised land, somewhere around the time of the arrival of the British First Fleet in the environs of Botany Bay, although the two events are obviously unrelated.
The Captains of the fleet's thirteen prison ships were overwhelmed by the splendid majesty of the Botany Bay region. Unbelievably though they complained the bay was too sandy for settlement, probably because they were British and had never seen a proper fucking beach before.
The fleet of convicts cruised a little further up the coast to the sheltered haven of Sydney Cove and set about establishing a functional colony. With the refreshing waters of Sydney's multitudinous beaches so close by it is a mystery to modern Australians how anyone mustered the time or effort to build things in those early years, but men are probably willing to volunteer for anything else after 18 months on a boat powered by prison rape.
Upon hearing from the first settlers about the radiant grace of Sydney Harbour, the Crown demanded regular updates. One report identified a steep decline in assaults with a deadly marsupial from 571 in the first year to only 2 in the third year, and the Crown reasoned that it could only have come as a result of the calming nature of Sydney beachfront life.
Keen to expand their rehabilitative penal endeavor, Britain committed to further settlement. Boats would wobble their way across the ocean and release on the harbour foreshore a cargo pickpockets and rum, both of which had felt the lips of many an Englishman during their voyage. Within one of the rum crates, and clothed in the most official regalia orphans could sew, would often be a Governor appointed by the Crown to oversee the transition of the pickpockets into productive members of society or, failing that, Governors.
Over the following decades the corrective program exceeded all expectations; Mary Reiby, a convict who cooked and ate the whole congregation of Leeds cathedral, became a prosperous entrepreneur and benefactor of many social initiatives; during construction of Hyde Park barracks absolutely no rapes were recorded, despite being next door to the chloroform distillery and a Catholic girls boarding school; the convicts even planned an end of year meditation holiday to Bali until Governor Macquarie convinced them that the surf at Bronte Beach was superior.
The Sydney area soon flourished into one of Britain's most important agricultural markets, producing numerous different types of plants that could be turned into alcohol and several kinds of livestock that disappointingly couldn't. The early Sydney-siders had become a mellow people, but the British elite remained untrustworthy.
As a market dependent on Britain for manufactured luxuries, colonial Sydney was expected to do another thing; blindly obey the whims of the superiors in England. For instance, if a Lord told Sydney to jump, the whole goddamn colony would jump. If a solitary English cabin boy needed a new sock, then the entirety of New South Wales would start farming the hell out of sheep to give him that sock.
The scenario was exactly as humiliating as being a personal maid to Austin Powers, only with more Union Jack underwear.
Thankfully Sydney-siders are a passionate bunch, and almost all dedicated themselves to a grassroots movement of complete indifference and non-action that saw the British finally release their iron grip on the sublime territory and allow it to become a nation. Sydney was even kind enough to invite the other five, more disadvantaged, colonies on the continent into this nation, Australia.
Indeed, the miracle of birth on January 1st, 1901, drew every important world leader of the time to the splendid paradise of Sydney.
Yes, all one of them.
Queen Victoria was present in a leafy Sydney park to sign Australia into being. So impressed with the city was the Queen, she decided to protect it by banishing the politicians of the Australian parliament to the most dismal place imaginable. Canberra.
edit 20th century
Despite being God's own city, the harsh economic times of the 1920s and 30s left Sydney industry looking like the arse end of a sick wombat. Thus the idea of returning attention to the city's only positive attribute at the time, the harbour, via a 3,770 ft lump of metal cheered people up immensely. Construction on the Sydney Harbour Bridge began in 1923 and was completed in 1932, setting a (then) record of 1457 days without someone accidentally doing work. The bridge joined lush North Sydney with the bustling South and spurred a wave of development that saw the city expand in all directions.
Impressed by the outcome of their first augmentation to the harbour, Sydney-siders then agreed to the construction of a second, the Opera House. Upon completion Australians were confused by the convoluted operas where people didn't refer to each other with the word "mate", however the finished structure itself was aesthetically impressive and has deprived kangaroos of space on camera memory cards ever since.
To celebrate the resounding success of the bridge and opera house, every New Year Sydney-siders attempt to blow them up with fireworks.
edit Geography & Demographics
Sydney is the capital of New South Wales, a state comprised of the Sydney basin and a wasteland tended to by a handful of depressed farmers in big hats.
The borders of the Sydney basin are first surrounded by a ring of highly venomous snakes, whipped into a frenzy by the daily traffic jams experienced on the highways in the rural–urban fringe. These are followed by ravenous dingos, hungry because no level of government has provided anything for regional areas since the Victorian era. Finally there is a grove of adorable and rustic arts & crafts stores, as you can still find people with taste right up to the Queensland border.
Therefore no Sydney-sider ventures out to regional New South Wales unless they a truly disturbing masochist or a caravan owner, but that's pretty redundant.
edit Places of note
Sydney is home to every major Australian sporting event that isn't the Australian Open Tennis Grand Slam, or the Australian F1 Grand Prix, or the most attended football series in the country. When not cheering on the few sporting events worthy of the city, Sydney-siders are organizing even better grassroots sporting competitions at the city's abundant park-lands and then selflessly making schoolkids wake up before dawn to attend them instead.
During Autumn there is a fantastic march through the city commemorating the bloody military conflict fought over the word "poofter", followed by a massive party at the annual gay & lesbian Mardi Gras. The same kind of thing is repeated come Chinese New Year, as the drag queens are replaced with dragons and everyone wakes up with their bowels in a similar state by virtue of the restaurants around Chinatown.
ANZAC Day is celebrated in April with another parade of servicemen to pay tribute to those soldiers who died in World War One defending (what else?) a bloody beach.
Residents of and visitors to Sydney can safely and easily move between Lebanese, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Italian, Greek and Pacific Islander neighborhoods to try the cuisine, buy the clothing, and sample various kinds of ethnic music being played at an offensive volume on car stereos.
From the grand mosque at Lakemba, to the Baha'i temple on the North Shore, and the Asian-owned bubble tea stalls seemingly everywhere, migrants have left their cultural impression on Sydney suburbia. In turn most, if not all, migrants have gladly adopted the great Australian suburban tradition of constructing houses large enough to have their own currency and then complaining about the cost of living.
The spirit of diversity even continues in the inner suburbs of Redfern, Surry Hills and Darlinghurst, where people of all races and creeds have come together to act like insufferable wankers.
Sydney-siders didn't like the idea and swapped it for another beach.