Let Melbourne be Melbourne

Although Melbourne may be the “home” of many small bars, they’re bloody hard to find. Late this afternoon I was in desperate need of a drink. And, unfamiliar with the landscape of Melbourne I went in search of a bar, any bar, in which to have one. That big pub on the corner, you know the one, the famous one with the painting upstairs, looked pretty full, so I didn’t go in there. Instead, I went on a search to find an ordinary corner pub. You know, like the ones we have in Sydney. They might be old and traditional with a bunch of old blokes in the corner. Or they might have been yuppified with an indoor/outdoor smoking area. But whatever form they take, you know they serve alcohol.

They’re few and far between in Melbourne, I’ve discovered this afternoon. I walked up and down the streets to almost no avail until I finally found one. In that regard, Melbourne is in stark contrast to Sydney where we have pubs in the CBD on almost every corner.

Melbourne Walkway
Melbourne Walkway

Part of the problem for me is that I visit Melbourne so infrequently that I’ve never really got a grip on the geography. Unlike Sydney, built on gullies and ridges where you can always look up or look down to find your point of direction, and where you can always use Centrepoint as a guide, Melbourne is more difficult to navigate due to its flatness.

The city is changing too. There’s lots more people living in the city. And everywhere you look there’s a new apartment block. Or there’s an architectural “statement” of some kind or another. In some ways it’s more of a “city” than Sydney due to the concentration of activity around the CBD. Sydney is more spread out. More like a group of cities than a city itself.

As I think I wrote the last time I visited Melbourne, the city has a great charm that I hope it doesn’t lose as it grows. It would be a shame if it lost some of its “Melbourne-ness”, as it grows larger and larger. Let Melbourne be Melbourne!

2 responses to “Let Melbourne be Melbourne”

  1. Flat? Flinders Street is flat and the river bank, but other streets aren’t…..well perhaps compared to Sydney they are. Never thought about it much, but you are right. Our corner pubs have pretty well gone. Good that Sydney still has a few, especially my favourite in Cumberland Street.

    • What happened to the pubs Andrew? Was it a slow process or did they disappear all at once? Canberra, of course, has never had them, but it genuinely took me by surprise, because I would have thought the licencing laws in Victoria would have been supportive of small corner pubs.

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