Ahhhh Melbourne, wonderful city I shall miss you. From the very first moment, you have captivated me. I’ve been wondering what to write about this enigmatic wonderland since I got here. Usually it’s quite easy to get the measure of a new city very quickly, but with Melbourne, I’ve been here over 3 months and am still discovering new suburbs and Melbourne-isms. So what should I talk about?
Perhaps Fitzroy, the first suburb I really explored which charmed me with its quirky bars and restaurants (Naked for Satan, anyone?) and its equally quirky people? One of the things I wasn’t jazzed about in Durham, North Carolina was the abundance of “hipsters”. To me, that word took on a connotation of fake, über cool wanna be’s who went out of their way to be ‘ironic’ in order to gain attention and be seen as different just for the sake of being different instead of just being them. It was annoying to say the least. In Fitzroy, you have similar fashion sense, music taste, and microbrewery obsession without the ego. Something about it is…I don’t know… More honest somehow. These hipsters are the way they are because that is the real them. And I love it. I love seeing people be the real them and I love the freedom it afforded me to be who I wanted to be.
Maybe I should talk about Richmond, the up and coming suburb I lived in for most of my time here? Perfectly situated to be an easy tram ride (or two) from Fitzroy, the city center, and St Kilda, Richmond is what Fitzroy was 20 years ago. Also known as little Vietnam, this suburb has some of the best Asian food the city has to offer, as well as some of the cheapest. I will miss Fina’s Cafe, a vegetarian, Vietnamese place where I quickly became a regular for their gluten free rice paper rolls and yummy iced mochas.
Or maybe I should discuss St. Kilda, aka my playground? Who can resist the weekly Thursday night market, full of delish food stalls, handmade clothing and jewelry, street performers and tarot card readers? This summer tradition is one of the few places where outdoor drinking is permitted (byoa). Combine that with a convenient beach, amusement park, and tons of bars and you have the reason St. Kilda is extremely popular with the 18+ crowd.
My point is that Melbourne has a lot to offer. No matter what vibe you’re feeling (and mine changes daily), you’ll be able to find it in Melbie. And so I bid you adieu Melbourne. Thanks for the great times, I’ll definitely be back.