Friday, January 23, 2009

Sydney Has the Harbor ...

and Melbourne has everything else.

This is what a Melburnian told us in our first hour in Australia. We have heard variants on it since in Melbourne. Sydneysiders, by contrast, look on Melbourne as quaint and economically "dead" (as a businessman told us).

Yesterday my son and I walked for hours around just a little corner of the Sydney Harbor foreshore. This was the bit, though, with the Royal Botanical Garden, the Opera House, and the Harbor Bridge. It is true: Melbourne, with its huge, orderly bay, has nothing like the shorefront here. And, of course, there is more to Sydney than the harbor. We have just begun to explore the interior neighborhoods. The central business district does have the vibrancy of big money. Sydney is older, and that extra 50 years of pioneer history matters in giving depth to the town. The Asian parts are notably bigger and more varied than Asian Melbourne.

The Sydney-Melbourne rivalry will probably last as long as Australia does. There will be no settling it. The competition is good for the country.

But for the Gruntleds, Melbourne appealed more to our sense of order and intellect.

(Let the rival comments begin).

1 comment:

Rob Kinzel said...

"Sydneysiders, by contrast, look on Melbourne as quaint and economically "dead" (as a businessman told us)."

Sydneysiders are just compensating for their lack of an inherent moral compass.

I would lash out at a more culturally prosperous community if my lineage included broods of prisoners.

And, Melbourne will possibly have (or already do have) reasonably priced direct-flights to Antarctica.