Melbourne *Old travel writing from 2013*

Cleaning out the closet of my old writing. Enjoy something I wrote about Melbourne awhile ago when I was traveling there…Excited for other new adventures ahead!

Melbourne

The Romance of The Most Livable City

People go to Hollywood to become movie stars, to Wall Street to become stock brokers, so now the question is what do people go to Melbourne for? This city which struts its little title worthy of a standing ovation – The most livable city, is still a mystery to many. No city is so well rounded, yet, its hard to predict it could at the same time become the centre of the wheel. Its not what Melbourne people do that’s so enticing, but more-so how they make a daily life so captivating and memorable. These small aspects compile to build the wonder that is Melbourne. The saying goes ‘you don’t know what you got till its gone’, yet it can just as well be ‘you don’t know what you got till you worked for it’. Melbourne has not always been the number one city, it became it.

Tour da food empire begins here. I recollect hearing that to understand people of this city one must know ‘the code’. People are either on their way to eating, just leaving from eating, or eating right now. A culture revolving around dining. You will find the rare breed foods you swore you could only find in timbuktu, you will find those everyday staple meals but made to be unforgettable, you will find creme de la cafes with neer celebrity appeal and magnetism, its all here. Follow the alcove back alleys or dreary warehouse entrances, and you will be blown away that these ‘thriller’ like entrance ways hold the key to some of the best examples of Australian hospitality. ‘After Open’ has some of the most delicious muffins and ‘After Hours’ has locals bars with unheard of beer recipes you have never knew existed. Deciding what to eat, how to eat it, and where, makes Melbourne more cluttered with options then sometimes necessary. In some parts, you can’t even decide on the restaurants by food quality anymore, since so many have upped their standards to compete with the likes of everyone else. Its a very satisfying feeling to simply just eat based on appetite and rarely on quality. Seriously, if I didn’t know any better, I would have figured the “Eat” of Elizabeths Gilberts “Eat, Pray Love”, was surely here and not ‘Eat-ily’.

A partner in crime does exist, and his name is sports. You will loose count of how many arenas there are in Melbourne, but it sure feels like more then actual sports leagues. This brings a sense of tranquility knowing at any time of year you set foot here you can consider sports an unseasonal affair. The great advantage of having this variety of different leagues and games means so many different people from different teams ride on the same train to the same parts of the city. Fans of completely unconnected sports, wearing different coloured jerseys and logos, riding the train all together is like the Great Barrier Reef of Melbourne.

Spellbinding describes this cities art perfectly. The entourage includes the city walls, the buildings, the civil structures, the clothes, the museums, the side streets. Its viral. No surprise, after all, this city decor is built by hungry artists, who due to high minimum wage or just the demand for shows and concerts, can afford plenty of tattoos, will buy organic, and even travels. Its a full time job trying to keep up with new bands and concerts, and the truth sets in that we can only see so many shows a week, and the more good acts that exists, the more they will conflict with your tight schedule. What an unforeseen fiasco. One of the biggest aspects of the art scene here is the graffiti culture. In most areas of Canada, graffiti is practically inexistent. Infact, the last time I drew and showed it to people was probably finger-painting in art class. To witness so many little aspects of a city combined together make such an artistic ambiance and brings countless intoxicating enjoyment. Even the spontaneities of people are there. Maybe you’ll see a party tonight somehow taking place on the corner of the main intersection, perhaps you’ll see corporate dad sitting next to comeup artists on the tram, or fine dining mixed with elegant dancing taking place in buildings which are pealing away and deteriorating. An array of anomalies taking place. Leave 15 minutes early and still arrive 15 minutes late would be a proper rule to galavant by.  Even the store signs are handmade, the menus hand written, and the decor hand me downs. Above all else, Melbourne’s has one bizarre craze and that is its obsession with milk crates. These can be found in peoples gardens, at house parties, outside plenty of pubs, and most surprisingly, the best rated cafes may have milk crates for seats and tables. What a contradiction since in other parts of the world, this would be seen as completely unpresentable. Thats Melbourne, walking the fine line between being rough around the edges, but also, being at the edge of innovation and originality.

The motherland of multiculturalism is here. If you take a trip to Rome, you experience Italy, but, if you come to Melbourne, you really feel you experience everywhere. The talk of the town will be of a Latin festival this week, then the anticipation awaits for mexican wrestling the following week, meanwhile your still finding time to attend your salsa classes. Maybe its Greek easter, which has traffic at a standstill and you can feel the emotion in the air. Also in the air is the sound of never ending yelling, a weather like forecast for cigarette smoke, and that trailing scent of barbeque souvlaki and homemade balaclava. French Film Festivals, a thousand miles away from France. This vast landscape of traditions and ethnicities, all being enjoyed by the everyday Melbourne people. What a new world way to experience a quality first hands education on cultures. We all remember the conventional way of travel. We would go to Amsterdam to see graffiti, travel all the way to London to see Victorian architecture, and having to stand in the heart of Florence to find streets of nothing else other then Italian restaurants. This no longer exists. The Romance of Melbourne, this is it. If the livable city assessments say anything, its that this is what the world wants – everything in one. Melbourne’s done just that, and better then any city to date. Why do you come to Melbourne? You come to here to experience the new world.

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