Saturday, August 4, 2012

South of the Border 2012 [Rant]

Melbourne was awesome! It was the first time I'd travelled with a large bunch of friends and it was worth every complicated meet up arrangement, every two day headache, and every hour of sleep lost to deafening snoring. 

Melbourne is a lot easier on the eye than Sydney. It's preserved a lot more of its old buildings, and on the whole is geared more to public transport users and pedestrians. A lot of life is to be found in its backalleys and lane ways - places that may only be accessed on foot, and I feel that the prevailing stereotype of this windy metropolis being the 'cooler' of Australia's two largest cities to be true. There is far more diversity to be found near the CBD, definitely not ethnically, but in terms of the sort of businesses that may thrive there. Businesses such as second hand shops, magic stores, zine shops, a plethora of comic book shops and independent design stores proliferate in a way they never could in a similar proximity to Sydney's centre. Also the bars and clubs seem to be more numerous and varied in the music they play. Right in the middle of the city, not a block from our hostel, we found a little, comfy bar that played friendly drum and bass, old hiphop, garage and house every night of the week - the kind of tunes usually relegated to illegal warehouse venues and the second floors of dodgy clubs once a week on a Wednesday night in Sydneytown – not due to a lack of interest, I feel, but more Sydney’s insanely strict licensing laws.

Of course, my rosy views of Melbourne are coloured by the fact that I went there on holiday, away from any responsibilities but those of preserving my life and not getting lost. And, at the end of the day, I really do love Sydney. One of the people I travelled with described it as “dirty and worn out” compared to Melbourne – a definite exaggeration as far as I’m concerned, but I can see what she meant. Sydney feels like a city, with all those glorious and filthy associations, Melbourne feels like a village. But Sydney is mine and I enjoy its hard edges, and its harder-to-find good music venues. It makes you look actively for the same ‘coolness’ of Melbourne, instead of handing it to you on a plate, or even, like many people I know, make that coolness yourself. 

I was going to put photos here, but my ranting seems to have gone on longer than anticipated. 

New post? 

New post.

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