I lived in Melbourne for five years and I loved it. It's a fantastic city in that it's big and busy and a real city, but still manages to be relatively friendly and artistic. I still have a lot of friends there, and I miss the place a lot.
When we first arrived, we stayed with friends in St. Kilda which is a beach-side suburb about a half-hour tram ride from the CBD. We wanted to stay near these friends, so ended up renting a place in nearby Caulfield. Caulfield is part of Melbourne's Jewish area and the best place to get authentic bagels and other Jewish delicacies.
Unfortunately, even though I interviewed for a job running a cinema in a nearby suburb, I didn't get it, and the job I did get was in Carlton, on the other side of the city. So I had a long commute. 45 minutes each way on the tram every day (or night when I did night shifts). I got a lot of reading done on those tram rides…
When our lease was up for renewal, we decided it was time to move. We'd been living with another couple and they broke up around the same time the lease expired, so my partner and I decided it made more sense to go and find a place of our own, preferably closer to my work. After looking at a handful of different houses, we found a place in Flemmington.
Flemmington is where the Melbourne Cup racecourse is. We lived on the other side of the tracks from the track, but it was still a nice area. And close enough to work that I could walk if I wanted to. It was also close to a very good friend of mine and we soon got into a routine of swimming and breakfast at a local cafe.
My oldest son was born in Melbourne, and that alone would be a reason to love the place. But there are so many more reasons. I love the little alleyways and boutiques tucked away along them. I love the cafes and restaurants and how different suburbs have different ethnic groups associated with them. Where I worked, on Lygon Street, it was the Italian section and that's where you go for Italian food. If you want Vietnamese, you go to Richmond, and if you want bagels you go to Caulfield.
There were things I didn't like about Melbourne, too, but I won't go into them here because over all, the good by far out-weighed the bad.
Have you ever been to Melbourne? Did you love it?