Melbourne is pretty great. It’s a lot like two other cities that I think are pretty great: Vancouver and San Francisco. It has lots to do, great places to drink and it’s easy to get around without a car. Jac and I were only there a week - not even long enough that I could pronounce “Melbourne” without saying the “r” sound - but it was long enough to get a feel for how excellent it really is.
The nightlife is awesome: varied and surprisingly easy to navigate. Aside from a truly dizzying array of dive bars ($1 beers!) and live music (no cover charges!) there were a host of kitschy, weird drinkeries and late night venues.
Like Mink, a vodka bar with house infused spirits and a Soviet aesthetic. Or Gin Palace, which serves The Martini That Won the 1951 Chicago Martini Competition. Or The Croft Institute, a warehouse-cum-nightspot that styles itself as a laboratory and serves precise shots in those plastic syringes that you use to give medicine to dogs. Or Ponyfish Island, a bar that is literally built on the pylon of a bridge in the middle of the Yarra river. Or 99 Problems, which looks suspiciously like it’s just somebody’s house and has a $3 Tecate night.
Even midweek, we had little trouble finding something to do every night.
But of course, there were plenty of daytimes we had to fill too.
We saw the Tutankhamun Exhibit, which was rad. I learned that Egyptians carved little statues of themselves that would apparently do work for them in the afterlife. I might get a few of them, just in case.
The National Gallery of Victoria is impressive. It puts the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Western Australia to shame.
The Australian Centre for the Moving Image is super cool. I’m fully behind any museum that considers movies, video games and the internet works of art that should be considered critically and preserved indefinitely.
Oh, and on the last day there we went to a cafe called Fandango, which is apparently The Best Cafe in the Known Universe. The food and coffee rival that of any other breakfast cafe I’ve been to, and the Secret Gardenesque courtyard in the back is goddamn idyllic.
Coming back to Perth has been bittersweet. I mean, we ran out of money pretty fast doing all that eating and drinking and seeing, so we need to get back to making coin. But in the land where bars have lineups before midnight and a drink special is a $10 beer, I suspect I’ll be missing Melbourne most weekends.