Having on average the most clement weather of all the major cities in Australia, Melbourne is a bloody gothic looking city with lots of laneways in the inner city areas. It has unbelievable amounts of low density urban sprawl. Melbournians have a bit of a reputation for smoking a few too many cones, which is largely deserved, and for wearing a lot of black clothes, also true. It was the capital of the federation before we kicked the pollies out. For comedy, live music, culture, getting a decent feed, nightlife or any other big-city way you might want to spend your free time. Melbourne hosted the 1956 olympic games, remembered by many as the "friendly games", even though there were a fair few defections etc. . Like the rest of australia, melbourne is populated by a good deal of those of british and irish stock, but has a large number of people of german, dutch, italian, chinese and vietnamese descent. There is a strong koori community in Northcote, and many africans of various national ancestry in the inner northwest. Melbourne is the most greek city outside of greece (Experience has shown me however that the average greek in athens generally has a much better better grasp of english than first generation greeks in melbourne). Most of the swedes seem to have at least one family member working for Ericsson. The true heart of Australia, it is looked down upon by sydney, who are just jealous because it always rains in sydney, but recognised by the rest of the nation as so.

This node contains ironic references. Some parts of it are not meant to be taken seriously, except if taken from the point of view of a competitive Sydneysider, which I am.

Contrary to the opinions of some previous reviewers of this city, it always rains in Melbourne, lending a rather grey pall to the atmosphere; in Sydney it merely rains sporadically in downpours.

Melbourne is not exactly seen as the heart of Australia, except perhaps when one refers to conservative Anglophilic Australia.
Melbourne is seen as being slower than Sydney, and fonder of right-wing governments. This 'world-class' city is, however, said to be classier than its northern cousin, in that your well-dressed Melbournian is more likely to be seen in camel-and-black than your red-and-animal-patterned Sydneysider.

Melbourne is infamous for having stolen the Formula One Grand Prix from its poorer Western cousin Adelaide, which could barely afford the loss, and for corporatising many public institutions such as secondary schools.

Melbournians went through a bit of cosmetic surgery recently, administered vigourously by one J. Kennett, MLA aka 'Bloody Jeff' (now a peak-time Melbourne radio announcer) who, after stabbing the Victorian electorate in the back one too many times, was Caesared himself after a devastating several years as Premier.

The final blow came when Sydney got the Olympics in 1993.

Unfortunately the blow for Sydneysiders was worse.

I've lived here for a few years, and I think that Melbourne is one of the greatest places I've ever lived. I do not make this assertation lightly, and to show why, I've got a list of why Melbourne is a great place to live:

  • Parks: Victoria isn't called the Garden State for nothing, in the small area of the inner city, there are a great number of parks, the value of the real estate upon they which they're situated must be worth the government budget alone. You have the Treasury gardens, the Fitzroy gardens, Flagstaff gardens, Carlton gardens, and of course, the vast Botanical gardens/King's Domain. The entire area of all these parks must more than equal the size of the central business district.

  • Bicycles: I'm a bike person, so it's natural I should mention this, but Melbourne has a high proportion of bicycle users. Because of Bicycle Victoria's efforts, we have bicycle lanes that run parallel to almost all major roads and many insiginificant ones, including a really cool one that runs on pontoons on the Yarra river. Local government statistics say that St. Kilda has one of the greatest proportions of bicycle users outside of China. Bikes are allowed on interstate roads!

  • Food: Melbourne has one of the greatest restaurant cultures in Australia. Also, due to the multicultural population, there's a large variety to choose from. When I heard about that "Outback" restaurant chain in the United States, I almost laughed my head off. I also regularly eat in the Cantonese style morning service (that's the one where they wheel trollies of food past your table), and I can safely say that Melbourne's morning service is one of the best in the world, due to a large cantonese population, fresh seafood, and the best meat that Australia has to offer. I don't say this simply because I like food! I've eaten morning service in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Kota Kinabalu, Los Angeles, Shenzhen, and San Francisco; and Melbourne ranks highest.

  • Outdoor performances: For some reason, people here like "Opera in the Outback" and similar things, but opera and plays have been held in the King's Domain for ages.

  • Buskers and eccentrics: Melbourne city proper is usually full of people busking. A walk through on most days, and you can hear music everywhere. Melbourne also has more than its fair share of eccentrics, including but not limited to that Communist-socialist half naked Vietnamese guy who can be seen campaigning near Flinders St station, and the gentleman who doesn't believe in patents, and walks around with his inventions on large placards to give them to the people.

  • Australian History: Okay, Greater London probably has more historic buildings in a 2 kilometre square radius than all of Australia combined, but Melbourne was Australia's first major city, and the largest outpost of the British Commonwealth in the southern hemisphere. The Australian Parliament was first convened here, in 1/1/1901, and Queen Victoria stood on the steps of the Exhibition Buildings to proclaim the Federation.

  • Sport: Melbourne is the home of Aussie Rules football, and has more football clubs than the rest of Australia combined. If you don't like football, then surely you can enjoy the sight of muscular men in really itty-bitty shorts, running around and smacking each other. Football shorts are teeny, I swear it, are no longer than the span of my hand, and are usually made of synthetic stretchy something.

That's all for now, if I haven't convinced you, you should go to Florida.

I love anything you can find in a city. Today I went online and checked prices for two tickets to Melbourne. One for eroticbetty, one for me. I was in a glorious mood today just considering what we might do there. I haven't been there since before i turned eighteen! That’s an entire level of the city that has thus far eluded me. I cannt waaaait to actually go to the Crown Casino. The gold, the glitz, the epileptic lights. The Crown Complex is actually three city blocks long and sparse and lavish with designer stores you basically have to be a movie star to actually walk into. The food court is my favourite place ever to get fruit salad. There are 16 cinemas there and they have carpet with stars on them which is much more nifty than tacky train style décor in many, more smalltown theatres. eroticbetty and I are going to go to the hedge mazes... Weribee Mansion .. and we're going to go hang out in my cousin’s boss’s loft. It is in Brunswick. Now, my favourite Melbourne street is Brunswick street, but that’s in Fitzroy. You got here for trimmings, cafes, bars, spirits, all night bookstores, fabulous fabulous people, writing inspiration and all of funk, jazz and a little slut and trouble. Smith street which I think is still in Fitzroy is excellent for when you want to be retarded and wear something that makes you look like a canary about to get married, or like a corpse or something. It’s a street for not caring, just being blasé and ‘whatever’ about everything. It is a big fat combo street, with lots of retail factories and strange specific shops (like, vegan shoes).

I also like Lygon street, in Carlton, for design stimulation, for restaurants, for class, for magnificent artworks of clothing, for Italians, for black, for autumn leaves, for gnocchi, for wine, for beautiful romantic bookstores and for memories.

My British friend Lori and I strolled along Southbank Promenade one night, which is cobbley at times, and architectural and fountainish and tall. Lori said that the Yarra River was reminiscent of the Thames.

I have not even gotten close to exploring the entire city but I am already deeply in love with it. I have heard people say it is a “metropolitan Byron Bay”, but I wouldn’t be so sure..

Melbourne is a crisp kind of cold, it has a brittle kind of sand.. and there’s something creepy about being at the very bottom of the continent staring out to the sea and knowing there is no life beneath you until Antarctica. It is very black and sophis, very tweed coat and seven hundred dollar shoes you only wear four times. It’s the gardens that get me though. Victoria is “the garden state”. I will take so many pictures. I miss the cemetery near my house, my golf course, the white ponies on my street. I miss the Goths in capes at Flinders street station and the art gallery and the lightshow in the Crown Casino and all the pretty asians, and the zoo. I miss scarves but not of the AFL variety.. in fact there is one thing I do not miss.. football.

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