A couple of times last night, I looked at all the people around the Domain/Mrs Macquaries Chair/Woolloommoolloo (I can't remember what to double, so I play it safe by doubling the lot), I wondered: why on earth do all these people want to see a ship?
Then I realised: I was there to see the ship, too. I'm still not entirely sure why.
The SMH has a lovely little tirade online.
NSW Police Commissioner Ken Moroney ... acknowledged that the "city almost came to a standstill" and he acknowledged that attempts to disperse pedestrians and vehicle traffic had been "problematic".
Premier Morris Iemma said today he accepted responsibility for the debacle... Mr Iemma said it was appropriate considering his announcement this morning of 1400 new environmentally friendly buses for Sydney.
One thousand of the buses have already been announced and the rest had already been budgeted for.
Police reported a "crowd crush" at the Royal Botanic Gardens about 9.10pm after thousands of people were locked in when its gates shut at its regular closing time of 8.30pm.
The Botanic Garden Trust's executive director Tim Entwisle said its staff followed usual procedure in shutting the gates at dusk, but he would investigate complaints they were rude... "When finally Botanic Gardens rangers arrived on the scene there was no apology - instead we were met with a very arrogant attitude that implied that we, the public, were a nuisance."
I can believe that last. I walked through the gardens around 7pm, and at that stage the gardens' employees were busily coping with the crowd - that is, if you can call using megaphones to instruct the crowd "Hurry up and leave, we're about to close" coping. I only walked through a portion of the gardens, near the Moonlight Cinema area, and just from the part of Farm Cove I could see, there would have been easily 5000 people - not to mention the thousands around the Opera House, and the thousands still around Mrs Macquaries chair, most of whom were leaving via the gardens. Anyone shutting the gate with that crowd inside has to be mad.
As for the Premier rehashing old news... let's save that rant for another day.