I was recently invited to Accor‘s Tale of Three Cities competition, and figured it was perfectly suited for my blog and general interest in travel and urban living! Of course, once I had selected one from my four favourite cities, the difficult part was over. So here, I give you the three things I love about Melbourne!
1. Melbourne’s creativity
Melbourne is a city of dreamers and artists, poets and songwriters. I grew up in a city where time is money and money meant success; moving to Melbourne was a revelation. It is a city that understands that integrity and passion is valuable. It is the type of place where you can be anyone you want to be, and that is rewarded. It is a city which nurtures its creative side, which draws inspiration from nothing, and which believes that anything is possible, as long as its expressed honestly.
The city’s creative side is splashed across the walls of its graffiti-laneways; it’s hung in the coffee shops which often double as personal galleries; it’s played in the streets where passers-by encourage and contribute, and it’s the place which convinced me that my passion – writing – was worthwhile, and to believe that by sending my words to the universe I was somehow contributing to the tapestry of city life.
2. Melbourne’s coffee
Coffee is Melbourne’s addiction; it is served in espresso bars in atmospherically bustling laneways, on the way to work, on the way home, on lunch breaks and at the weekend. No meeting is really complete without a shot of espresso in some form. It might not be native to Melbourne, but Melbourne’s coffee culture has developed to be one of the world’s best.
Coffee comes in forms as varied as Melbourne’s famously fickle weather. Italian-style espresso or cappuccino, Greek frappe, Australian iced coffee (decadently topped with ice cream and whipped cream), laboratory-esque siphon methods popular with the city’s native hipster scene. Cafes are constantly inventing new ways for us to get our caffeine fix, and for them to stay cool and ahead of the game. You can tell a lot about a Melburnian from where they buy their coffee, and how they order it…
3. Melbourne’s refinement
Melbournians are a curious lot; harmonious and educated, they are friendly and yet insular, gregarious yet thoughtful, interested yet knowledgeable. The city’s refinement contrasts starkly with other, more brash metropolises, and buzzes with a harmonious air that invites outsiders to join in, yet not necessarily adapt; the city adopts and celebrates difference. It values education and considered opinion, not mindless drivel and unquestioning populism.
The diverse (and incessant) conversations in the thousands of cafes concern ideas and ideology, culture and counter-culture, sports results and theatre productions. Melbourne’s refinement puts it a class ahead of many other cities, and further encourages its artistic sphere where we are inspired and encouraged to write, paint, sing, dance, theorise, philosophise and create. And then wash it all down with another perfectly crafted coffee.