T Edi­tor’s let­ter

The Australian - Wish Magazine - - Editor's Letter - David Meagher Edi­tor

he first time I vis­ited Can­berra I thought it was the most ex­cit­ing and cos­mopoli­tan place I’d ever been to. I was seven years old at the time and it was also the first trip I had taken in an aero­plane — a fact that may have in­flu­enced my im­pres­sions.

I’ve been back many times since and, although the city is not with­out its charms, I’ve al­ways found it want­ing. I’m happy to de­clare my bias here: I’m not a big fan of small to medium-sized cities any­where. I like big bustling me­trop­o­lises and I like small lit­tle vil­lages and towns; but for me small cities al­ways feel like they are trapped be­tween a rock and a hard place. They’re too big to be con­sid­ered charm­ing and too small to be taken se­ri­ously as a ma­jor cen­tre.

The his­tory of Can­berra doesn’t help mat­ters ei­ther — just imag­ine what Syd­ney or Mel­bourne could have been if one of them was made the cap­i­tal. Then again, imag­ine what Can­berra could be if there was a high­speed rail link con­nect­ing it to the two state cap­i­tals.

But be­fore our Can­berra read­ers start an an­gry email to me, I’ll get to the point: Can­berra has sud­denly be­come cool, and I don’t mean in the cli­mate sense. There is a new­found en­ergy in Can­berra that has seen restau­rants, ho­tels and cafes open all over the city. Mi­landa Rout, our se­nior writer and for­mer Can­berrabased po­lit­i­cal re­porter for The Aus­tralian, trav­elled to her old stomp­ing ground for this is­sue to find out what’s hap­pened in Can­berra that led The New York Times to la­bel it Australia’s “de­cid­edly hip­ster un­der­belly”. Her story starts on page 34.

One of the most suc­cess­ful mixed-use de­vel­op­ments in any Aus­tralian city has been the New Ac­ton precinct in Can­berra by the Mo­lon­glo Group, which is home to, among other busi­nesses, the ac­claimed Ho­tel Ho­tel. Codi­rec­tor of Mo­lon­glo, Nec­tar Efkar­pidis, told Mi­landa: “What we wanted to do was in­ject a bit of messi­ness. It’s what we have in the big cities as they layer over time. You can­not have the good and the in­ter­est­ing with­out the grit and the messi­ness.” We also sent a video crew to Can­berra and you can view that on our web­site.

Speak­ing of me­trop­o­lises ... for our fash­ion and cover shoot this month our fash­ion team trav­elled to New York for an ex­clsuive shoot with Tif­fany & Co.’s in­cred­i­ble Blue Book col­lec­tion of high jew­ellery.

I hope you en­joy the is­sue.

Grilled salmon at Lons­dale Street Roast­ers, the ac­claimed Ho­tel Ho­tel, and break­fast at A. Baker are a few of Can­berra’s new­found de­lights

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