An­nemarie Kiely

VOGUE Living Australia - - CONTRIBUTORS -


and fea­tures writer is a true na­tive of the City by the Bay, hav­ing lived there all her life. Here, she puts into words the gen­uine char­ac­ter and rai­son d’être of our na­tion’s cul­tural capital. “Mel­bourne is the slow-to-know, shy on the sur­face, deep­think­ing city that makes you work hard for its af­fec­tion. It is ar­du­ously cul­tural, fiercely com­pet­i­tive — what other sky­line etches with so many sport­ing are­nas and art mu­se­ums, and has an ap­petite for ex­cel­lence that pushes fashion, food and form to the ex­per­i­men­tal edge? But don’t be de­ceived by its ra­tio­nal­ist grid — sur­veyor Robert Hod­dle got it so right with the mix of foun­da­tional plan and green park — this city is an in­vis­i­bilia of in­ven­tive forces that con­ceal in its sub­ter­ranean depths and in­ner sanc­tums. Mel­bourne is one mag­nif­i­cent in­con­gruity that breeds con­ser­vatism and icon­o­clasm, trib­al­ism and arch in­di­vid­u­al­ism, and ev­ery­where de­mands a cre­ative re­sponse to the mun­dane con­cern. It is in­cred­i­bly well versed (the first and only UNESCO City of Lit­er­a­ture in Aus­tralia), ridicu­lously well quaffed (cof­fee- and beer-brew­ing ex­alt to craft), and ubiq­ui­tously well served by food and sound (host­ing more live mu­sic venues per capita than any other global hub), which might ex­plain its re­cent rank­ing in the 2018 Time Out City Life In­dex as the hap­pi­est city on earth. “You’ve got to leave it to love it — in­dulge the youth­ful il­lu­sion that some­where else holds the se­cret to self and suc­cess un­til the squalid uni­ver­sal­ity of it all has you hun­ger­ing for the slightly odd sub­ver­sions of Mel­bourne. The city is an ide­ol­ogy rather than a tourist in­dus­try, one that wel­comes dis­rup­tion, dis­sent, dif­fer­ence, and a darn good feed.”

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