The View From Your Window Contest: Winner #33


A reader writes:

I have no idea, but in the words of Liz Lemon, “I want to go to there.”

Another writes:

After getting a number correct without winning, I haven’t had a clue for the last few weeks, and this one’s a wild guess.  Just based on the number of yachts, the affluent, colonial nature of the architecture, and the only vantage point I could find that makes any sense, I will guess the New York Yacht Club, 5 Halidon Avenue, Newport, RI.  Looking forward to see how just how abject of a guess that is.


My gut reaction was northern Italy, lake region – Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, or Lake Garda.  The red and yellow buildings, as well as the density of the development, led me to believe it was Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy.  And the square-topped tower you can see far in the distance seems typical of the area (kind of near Verona).


Sorrento, Italy? It helps that my mother is from Gaeta, just a little north of Naples. The marina is unmistakable (unless I’m wrong, of course).


My 9-year old daughter and I feel that it is Napoli, Italy.  Her first observation was that the trees indicate that there must be a change in season.  The architecture reminds me of an older, European style, and she thought that because of the boats, it must be Italy. All of my kids (9, 7 and 6) are really enjoying this game.


If it weren’t winter, I’d guess Switzerland or Italy. So probably Southern Hemisphere. I know next to nothing about boats, but I have a hunch it’s New Zealand, so I’m going to guess this is a harbor.  From Google images, Wellington Harbor looks too built up. The view looks a bit like some photos I found taken in Devonport, New Zealand. But I have to run to my Spanish conversation group soon (my husband mentioned the contest was up right as I was getting ready to walk out the door, and I couldn’t resist) so I’m going to guess somewhere in Torpedo Bay, Devonport, New Zealand.


Lima, Peru? This has no chance of being right, but it gives me an excuse to make sure you know that even those of us who never enter the contest derive enormous pleasure from it.  I usually spend a half hour or so muddling around before I give up, but I always love the Tuesday reveal. Thanks to all who make this possible and all those smart smart people who can figure it out!

One reader who figured it out:

Darling Point, New South Wales, Australia:

Darling point

This is the third week in a row for me! Still not expecting to win, and actually, part of me doesn’t want to win … would it mean I’d have to retire?


This is looking out across Double Bay towards Blackburn Cove, on the south side of Sydney harbour.  A beautiful spot for a long, liquid lunch on an autumn afternoon.  Takes me back to when I lived in Sydney (1991-93), and makes me wish I was back there.


I used to live off in the distance, and south a bit.  This was too easy for any Sydney-sider – the abundant red-brick buildings are an immediate tell.


The tree in the foreground is a Norfolk Pine, making this somewhere in New Zealand or Australia. The city looks big, which means Australia. The boats and density around the harbour suggest Sydney. It only took a couple of minutes to identify the features in Google Maps.


The park at the very bottom of the window view is Steyne Park. If you were to look to the left side out of the window, you’d see up to Darling Point.  No doubt a fantastic place to view the New Year’s Eve Fireworks, and an even better place to be sitting on the 26th of January when Australia Day is celebrated!


Water tower I noticed the water tower in the distance.  Since it seemed far away but still pretty large, I figured that it must be something of a landmark.  A search of Google Images for “water tower” and “bay” – since the body of water didn’t look like a river or a lake – turned up the attached photo from Flickr of a similar tower surrounded by buildings that looked a lot like the buildings in the VFYW photo.  The location given was Rose Bay, NSW, near Sydney.  I explored a bit with Google Maps and found that Double Bay, next to Rose Bay, had the same kind of semicircular jetty and piers.


The Redleaf beach shark enclosure in the distance is the giveaway. As soon as I saw it I immediately heard the gentle lapping of the salty water, the distant horns of passing ferries and boats, the buoyant conversation and laughter of the kids and parents and gay boys on the the pontoon. It strikes me as something magical that the dusk light, the colour of the sky and water are so specific in Sydney that I can identify it within a few seconds in any given photograph.

This is the city I was born in and have lived all my life, and despite traveling in three other continents, I always longed for home. Now for the first time I am preparing to leave, to follow love and live with my boyfriend in another city. But the unique light and colour of Sydney will always be inside me no matter where I go. Today though I will pack my towel and head to Redleaf one last time before I leave. Its overcast, mild and humid – not a bad day to read under a tree and watch the men in speedos.


This one was amazing easy. I immediately saw this photograph and thought, “Sydney”, where I spend a fair amount of time Double-bay_008294l(three weeks) every year, since husband is an Aussie.  The inlet, the marina, the style of the  apartment houses and the low lying hills and greenery all screamed “Sydney Harbour” to me. So I grabbed my iPad, hopped on Google Earth and did a quick survey of the Harbour inlets and found something that, from above, approximates this scene at Double Bay. This photo seems to confirm it. (Note the tan colored apartment house to the left, which matches up with the one in your photo.) Here‘s a view looking from the other direction, towards where this photo was taken. This image definitely confirms it.

The irony in all this is that, when I showed my husband your photo and said, “This is Sydney, right?” he looked at it, smirked, said “Nope. Don’t think so.”


Happy memories of a long-ago summer in Sydney, where I sailed out of Rushcutter’s Bay, which is one bay closer to the Bridge and the Opera House. The sheds with the little wharf are where they sail those spectacular but annoying 18ft skiffs from – annoying because they whizz across the harbour in packs and adopt a robust approach to the rules of the road rather than lose speed and end up (spectacularly) capsizing.


Nearby are the fashionable shops and cafes of Double Bay (also unflatteringly known as “Double Pay” for the steep markup in prices simply for the privilege of shopping here).  Historically, it’s been thought of as something like Sydney’s version of Rodeo Drive.


No wonder Nicole Kidman had a house there.


The enclosed swimming area is a famed gay mecca, Redleaf pool. Double Bay is also referred to as Double Park, as there are many, many SUVs about the place. And it was a hotel in Double Bay where Michael Hutchence, the lead singer of INXS, committed auto asphyxia :(


Just off to the left of the picture, Double Bay curves round to Point Piper where you will find the most expensive domestic real estate in Australia.  Just off to the right of the picture is the route of the City-to-Surf, the annual 14km run from the centre of town to Bondi.  The run goes up the hill and round the water tower that can be seen in the top left of the photo before heading back towards Bondi Beach. It’s the one time of the year I visit this part of Sydney.  (I prefer to stay on the North Shore – the other side of the Harbour Bridge – where we have much nicer suburbs.)

Another emails a video showing the opulence of the real estate:


I’m not a Sydney-sider but I immediately recognized Sydney Harbor (I had the pleasure of growing up in Perth, the cultural wasteland on the other side of the country).  The photo is of the very exclusive Double Bay and looks like it was taken from an apartment in 35A Southerland Crescent.  As the photo suggests, Sydney is a wonderful city is you are very rich.  But most residents live in the endlessly drab western suburbs. If I were ever forced to return home, I’d move to Melbourne.  Sydney has its gaudy harbor, but Melbourne is a much better place for non-gazillionaires to actually live.

Another sends a follow-up email and nails down the exact address (along with a half-dozen other readers, including one who created a wonderful 4-page PDF presentation):

Oh no!  I should have checked all the tabs I had open before hitting send! I’d like to change my guess slightly; I think it must have been from the building at 4 Marathon Road. Check out this old real estate listing for a near identical picture.

But the tiebreaker this week goes to the following reader, for reasons that will become obvious:

Wow – lightning can strike twice.

I am an Australian living in Switzerland for the past ten years, so I immediately recognized Sydney Harbour with the boats, the fenced off swimming area to protect from sharks, and VFYW Double Bay 007the style of houses.  Being fairly-clustered, old multi-storey apartments means it is close to the centre. A couple of minutes on Google and you can see that it is Double Bay.

What is amazing for me is that I happened to be flying into Sydney today for the first visit in three and half years.  I was planning on going for a run along the harbour shore, so I headed off to Double Bay!  I can’t be certain of which apartment block it was taken from, but the best guess I could work out was the block at 4 Marathon Road. Here are some pictures on that run – one with the view in the background, one on the jetty in the middle of the pier, and one with the Lausanne apartment block that the photo was taken from.  All of them were taken by some friendly passers-by who will now be checking out the Dish.

Hopefully this will get me over the finish line: I have had a few correct answers, most notably when I managed to go VFYW hunting with my parents and take my photo for contest #8, where the location was Lausanne, Switzerland, near where I now live. It is such a nice symmetry to be able to do the same on the other side of the world in the country where my journey started!