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

Performance art outside the State Library of Victoria, part of the Mapping Melbourne exhibition

Performance art outside the State Library of Victoria, part of the Mapping Melbourne exhibition

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

Centre Place, Melbourne

Centre Place, Melbourne

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

Art, Melbourne's favourite sport! (Model: Jessica Rowe)

Art appreciation, one of Melbourne’s favourite sports!
(Model: Jessica Rowe)

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.

 

So these are my three favourite things about Melbourne – what are yours? And if Melbourne isn’t your favourite city, then tell me about yours!

Comments (18)

  • Renuka Reply

    Melbourne’s coffee is my fav too! Besides, I loved Melbourne to the core. I would love to visit it again!

    January 21, 2015 at 1:02 am
    • Tim Blight Reply

      I hope you can come back some time, Renuka! 😀

      January 24, 2015 at 8:25 am
  • Andrew Reply

    its a fine fine city and no mistake!

    January 21, 2015 at 6:20 am
  • Anna @ shenANNAgans Reply

    The BFF is standing next to me telling me ALL the things she loves about Melbourne, its her home town. She says some of the best things she loves about Melbourne are: It is completely acceptable to eat a 3 course meal while sitting on a milk crate, the fact you can get around super easy (you guys have amazing lane ways) and anything you might ever need can be purchased at the Vic Markets. Oh, and hook turns! 🙂

    I love how freakin trendy you lot are. Its like being on a Hollywood movie set.

    Fun post Tim, hope you are well! When ya in town next? Coffee? Cronut?

    January 22, 2015 at 2:10 pm
    • Tim Blight Reply

      Hehehhehee yes, it’s totally acceptable!!! 😀 And don’t worry, I think C-town is underrated when it comes to coolness – despite the reputation, Canberra has a bit of Melbourne and Sydney in some parts too!!

      I’ll probably be in Canberra next later in the year unfortunately 🙁 … but there will be coffee and cronuts!!! 🙂 Are you coming to Melbourne any time?

      January 24, 2015 at 8:28 am
      • Anna @ shenANNAgans Reply

        Hmmm… Well, I am planning a visit to Tasmania when it cools down a little, thinking Ill leave from Melbs, soooo, sometime in the next 4-5 months I’ll be calling your face for a visit. 🙂

        February 2, 2015 at 11:12 am
        • Tim Blight Reply

          Hmmmm I might not be here by the time you come. Let’s stay in touch and work something out anyway. Tasmania sounds lovely!

          February 3, 2015 at 12:14 pm
  • Haroon Reply

    Thank you Sir for this Interesting and valuable blog 🙂

    January 22, 2015 at 7:08 pm
    • Tim Blight Reply

      And thank YOU Haroon for your precious feedback and kind support!! Without people like you, my work would be nothing 🙂

      January 24, 2015 at 8:31 am
      • Haroon Reply

        Its so Nice of you but No Sir your work is a lot more better then our comments 🙂 my Good wishes and prays are with you on this tale of three cities competition 🙂

        January 24, 2015 at 12:27 pm
        • Tim Blight Reply

          Thanks Haroon 🙂 Hope to see you in Melbourne soon!

          January 28, 2015 at 9:20 pm
  • Katie Reply

    Clearly I need to visit Melbourne, I’ve never been to Australia! My favorite city so far is Bangkok, I just love the street food! 🙂

    January 27, 2015 at 11:40 pm
    • Tim Blight Reply

      I love Bangkok too!! Yes, we’ll need to go for a coffee when you come to Melbourne 🙂

      January 28, 2015 at 9:21 pm
  • Catherine McHugh Reply

    Great entry to the competition – good luck! You’ve definitely painted a lovely picture of Melbourne, would love to go and check it out myself now!

    January 28, 2015 at 1:03 am
    • Tim Blight Reply

      Thanks Catherine!! Hope you can come here some day!!

      January 28, 2015 at 9:20 pm
  • Hiba Reply

    I love that Melbourne is a city of coffee drinkers! As a coffee lover myself, I’d love to cozy up at a cafe someday there. Hey… one never knows!

    February 24, 2015 at 1:02 pm
    • Tim Blight Reply

      Yes, we’re obsessed with coffee! Let me know if you come here – we’ll grab a coffee!!

      February 25, 2015 at 3:23 pm

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