Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Melbourne vol. 2: Melbourne vs Sydney

Well of course Melbourne is on track to become Australia's biggest city. I conducted my own investigation into the Melbourne - Sydney divide many years ago when I packed my bags and moved north. Having grown up in Melbourne, I decided it was time for a change of scene. Sydney seemed so inviting - the glamorous harbour, the tranquil weather, the beautiful people with their tans and their little dogs and their weekender yachts.

Turns out Sydney is a lovely place is you're stinking rich but pretty tough if you're semi-broke, in your twenties and living in a share house. I lived in Newtown - described to me soon after I arrived as "the suburb you live in if you wish you lived in Melbourne." The tranquil weather turned out to be hot and humid and left me with a permanent sheen of sweat and a bad attitude. The public transport was great if you didn't mind endless delays and line breakdowns and getting on the train to Bondi only to end up in Bankstown. The pubs were full of pokies and the beers (sorry, midis) too pricey. I stuck it out for two years and then flocked back to the loving embrace of that grand old dame, Melbourne.

Sydney had its upsides: Glebebooks, Bill's, the Bondi to Bronte cliff side walk and Mardi Gras. I'll give it its beaches and its beauty. But give me the Merri Creek over the harbour, the roar of the MCG over the clamour of Coogee and the Palais Theatre over the Opera House. Sydney, you're beautiful but you drive me wild. Melbourne, be mine. x

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