Who's Your City?, by Richard Florida
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Archive for the ‘Melbourne’ Category

Melbourne vs Vancouver vs Portland???

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Hi there. My husband and I are tossing up between Melbourne/Vancouver/Portland as a next possible long-term move (in the next couple of years). Each has pros and cons it seems, and we tend to go round and round in circles, never quite sure which city is the best choice for us. So I thought why not put the question to all you intrepid globe-trotters out there who may have experienced one or more of these cities to ask what you think? I summarise below what my husband and I think distinguishes these cities based on their perceived pros/cons – I welcome your opinion on whether you agree or not with these assumptions:

MELBOURNE PROS – Progressive and open towards difference; Curious and enjoy debate; Relatively low crime; Pedestrian friendly and great public transport; Cultural/literary scene; Good job opportunities (our backgrounds are in public sector and writing/ psychology).

CONS – Major water and sustainability issues; Rising crime?; Anti-Indian/Muslim sentiment?; Expensive rental options.

VANCOUVER PROS – Progressive and open towards difference; Pedestrian friendly with great public transport; Relatively low crime; OK economy/jobs.

CONS – Too politically correct/afraid of conflict and debate; Tame to point of slightly boring?; Expensive rental options; High cost of living; Cultural/literary scene not as good as Melbourne/Portland?

PORTLAND PROS – Progressive; Pedestrian friendly and great public transport; Great cultural/literary scene; Low crime; Good cheap organic produce; Rental options cheaper than Melbourne/Vancouver?

CONS – No jobs; Culturally homogenous by comparison

Sent by Kaye

Something’s not quite right

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

Don’t get me wrong, I love Melbourne. I love its little alleyways with the surprise of gorgeous busy cafes. I love the public transportation (most of the time). I love how the parks and natural. I love its quirks.

But something just doesn’t fit me and never has. Almost as if I’ve married the wrong woman. I love big cities and Melbourne is big enough but feels like it’s on the fringes of the world. It’s also too flat(!) and the natural vegetation aro und here tends towards the dry and dusty the further out you get. I’m more of a hills, forests, ocean kind of girl, really!

Not just that but I feel a little as though once you get out of the city centre, just like anywhere in Australia, there’s a problem of ghettoisation. Ethnic clumps (including WASP ones), areas where there’s only one kind of trendy arty person, rich areas, poor areas. It’s better than Sydney for example, but it gives me pause. I’m of Sri Lankan origin, bisexual, a doctor, I want to raise a family one day and have a house and garden, I want to live close to the city… not all of these things fit and if they do I feel like it is only because of my earning potential- in which case I end up with all the rich yuppies.

Not to mention the lack of support that the government has been known to give ethnic minorities, immigrants, refugees, gay people… the conservatism of the general population is at odds with my own core values.

I’m scared to move because I don’t k now that anywhere will be any different. Perhaps it will be xenophobic, difficult to make friends. Perhaps the social welfare system (something which I value highly) will not be good. Then of course the language barrier if I move out of the English-speaking world. Then there’s also the problem of my medical registration and its international applicability (even though I’m a local graduate of a major Australian university).

However, I’m more scared to stay here and never experience the world.

Where on earth should I go (literally)?

sent by Snipergirl from Melbourne, Australia