Melbourne – the City

Mary Brown

Meeting under the clock at Flinders Railway Station. Waiting in the wind and the rain for the green light to cross the road. The corner pub, Young and Jackson, with the picture of the famous Chloe hanging on the wall. Heat from the asphalt in the summer burning the feet through thin soled sandals and melting the tar on the road.

Walking forward, darting sideways to avoid bumping into others. The excitement and buzz of hundreds of people on their way to somewhere. The age old arcades with tiled floors and sedate tea rooms in which conversation barely rises above a whisper.

The Art Gallery, the Library and the Museum.

Laneways dark and secretive.

Chinatown, where the roofs of buildings lean in towards each other across the narrow stretch of road in Little Collins Street. The aroma of Satay chicken being cooked in the kitchen of Chinese restaurants.

Weekend window shopping when the stores are closed and the wide empty streets when it rains. The Christmas window decorated by Myer each year and at the end of the day the long wait for the number eight tram that arrives in threes.

And the changing skyline and lifestyle.

Skyscrapers rising higher and higher. David Jones with bright chandeliers and mirrors in every corner replacing the dowager Buckley and Nunn. Trendy boutiques, decked out in colourful slogans, appearing in the Laneways. The free tram ride to show off the city hot-spots and the up-to-date re-make of the Library. Fast food Eateries and Cappuccino Bars pushing out Ye Olde Tea Rooms. Swinging Singles Bars. The Buskers entertaining in Bourke Street. And Musik playing in every store.

Melbourne.

The city that evokes frustration, nostalgia … and love.

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