Suzy Wrong’s Glittering Tips For Exploring Sydney During WorldPride 2023
A theatre critic, radio presenter and actor (Hungry Ghosts), Suzy Wrong moved to Sydney from Singapore in 1996. When the famous Amsterdam Rainbow Dress visited Australia in 2022, Sydney WorldPride asked Suzy to model the “living work of art”, which features the national flags of countries where being LGBTQIA+ is still illegal. When the laws change so does the dress. To her delight, shortly after Wrong wore it, the flag of her home country, Singapore, was removed.
When she’s not sitting in dark theatres, Wrong loves exploring corners of Sydney that aren’t featured in tourist brochures.
“This is a whole-day affair. Nan Tien Temple is located on the outskirts of Wollongong, which is a 90-minute drive south of Sydney. The gardens are beautiful and there are two big worship halls and a great vegetarian restaurant. It’s a good opportunity to have the sort of quiet, serene, meditative moments that we don’t have living in Sydney.”
“I started collecting records six or seven years ago when it became trendy again. Glebe Record Fair is held twice a year, with more than 100 stalls, in the Peter Forsyth Auditorium, near Glebe Markets [in the Inner West]. There are all kinds of people you wouldn’t normally interact with but we can spend an hour or two sharing space, poring over music. Music does bring people together.”
“My favourite Chinese restaurant is XOPP in Haymarket. It was opened by the people who ran the famous Golden Century in Chinatown. XOPP (xopp.com.au) has a very old-school ’80s-immigrant vibe, which I love, with beautiful tanks of live fish, crabs and lobsters for you to choose.”
“Yiribana is a gallery that shows First Nations artwork exclusively. It’s just moved over to the new Sydney Modern. It’s meaningful to me because it was the first time I came in touch with Aboriginal art. I cherish the time I had there in the old building and also at the Asian Lantern galleries, which is quite an unpredictable space and changes frequently enough to keep things fresh.”
“Trans Glamoré is held on the first Thursday of every month at the Stonewall Hotel on Oxford Street in inner-city Darlinghurst. They have trans performers headlining the events but it’s really an excuse for trans people and their friends to spend time together. The Pollys Club is an established institution that holds LGBTQIA+-themed dances, usually in Marrickville [in the Inner West], to raise money for charity. It’s a good place to hang out with a more mature crowd.”
“Sometimes it feels like half the restaurants in Newtown are vegetarian or vegan. There are lots of people doing inventive cuisine, not just salad and chips. My favourite is Vina, a small Vietnamese place and probably one of the first vegan restaurants there so it has sentimental value for me. You can have a pho, which is fast becoming a national dish in Australia.”
“A lot of my friends in the industry show their work at the Old Fitz Theatre so I spend a lot of time there. It’s an intelligent, artistic, daring theatre in Woolloomooloo where you get a taste of what Sydney is like outside the predictable, more conventional face of who we think we are – and the food is sensational!”
SEE ALSO: Daniel McDonald’s Guide to Exploring Sydney This WorldPride
Image credit: Kristoffer Paulsen