CITY TO CITY – Parramatta to Central

Performers Tess de Quincey, Kristina Harrison, Victoria Hunt and Marnie Orr

The City to City is no fun run, but it is a whole new experience of walking.

On Sunday May 14th 2000, members of the public – especially those who live or work near the Parramatta Road – were invited to join the innovative performance group, De Quincey Co to walk all or part of the way from Church Street Parramatta to Central Station.

Walkers were invited to give their reactions and impressions along the way as part of the Parramatta Road 2000 and Beyond intiative to upgrade the road. The walk will be tough, because the concrete, noise and heavy metal will be encountered in full force; but we will also be able to notice how the places along the way are marked by human experience. The City to City is an initiative in keeping with the new thinking expressed in David Malouf’s Year 2000 National Trust Heritage Lecture, which stressed the need to deepen our sense of where we come from by discovering places that are dense with experience, places whose first quality is their ordinariness.

We will pass some of Sydney’s oldest taverns and see the roadside mannequin, the suspended piano player, the pet car and many other quirky institutions of the road. De Quincey Co, who have returned to the city from a residency deep in the outback near Alice Springs, promise “an unfamiliar encounter with the Sydney landscape, an that cannot be gained from the inside of a car.”

“The Parramatta Road is the first intercity road in Australia and dates back to the earliest years of Sydney’s history. Over the past two centuries, countless people have travelled along the road and lived and worked beside it, yet this important part of our heritage is also the place that Sydney loves to hate,” say the walk organisers . “It has been claimed that no road in Australia has had more curses bestowed upon it. In the early years, the curses were provoked by potholes, deep mud or bushrangers. Now the frustrations have changed. Heavy traffic, and a general impression of concrete, steel and noise characterise our experience of the Parramatta Road in 2000. But is it all bad?”

Discover the human side of the Parramatta Road by joining us on May 14th 2000, at 10.00 am on the corner of Church St. and Parramatta.

Parramatta Road 2000 and Beyond is a partnership of the Inner Metropolitan Regional Organisation of Councils.