About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Sydney Road
Melbourne is a city divided by a river.

The Yarra meanders its way down from the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, mountains that run much of the length of east coast Australia. It is dammed in the Yarra Ranges National Park, ninety kilometers to the east of Melbourne and flows through the countryside, then suburbs, which are mostly to the east, becoming saline at Dights Falls before emptying into Port Phillip Bay at Port Melbourne, just south of the city.

Even though Melbourne is in a constant state of flux, as are most growing cities around the world, there is north of the Yarra, which is Mediterranean and Middle Eastern in culture, and south of the Yarra, which is considered more Anglo Saxon. Property values are higher in the south, and when someone asks where you are from, they really mean which side of the river.

Snaking northwards from Melbourne is Sydney Road; it takes you all the way to Sydney in New South Wales, which Sydney people unkindly believe is the best thing to come from Melbourne. Whilst I'm here, there is a long standing joke that Sydney has been playing on us and the rest of the world ~ they never fail to tell you it's always raining in Melbourne, and the joke is, Sydney has twice the annual rainfall of Melbourne.

Enough of the interstate rivalries, Sydney Road is one of the most cosmopolitan roads you could find anywhere. You have not been to Melbourne until you have eaten at a Turkish restaurant along this strip, where there are more than fifty Turkish restaurants and shops. Franco Cozzo, an Italian furniture retailer, made his fortune here after releasing a television ad in both bad broken English and Italian. Halal butchers abound as do Middle Eastern cake shops with their wonderful nut pastries scented with rose and orange flower water.

Sydney Road is not trendy and has only a few pockets of glamour along its extrordinary length. The parking is difficult, tram lines run up the centre of it, competing with cars, if you get stuck behind a tram forget about getting past. For glamour and glitz Chapel Street leaves it for dead, but there is something uniquely Melbourne about it. If you are after the weird or wonderful, chances are you will find it here, at a great price.

I'm not sure there are too many other places around the world that could accommodate so many different cultures in its bosom, that have become such a vibrant part of the fabric of the society from whence they've sprung. Sydney Road is the meeting point for all these differences.

Maybe every country needs a Sydney Road.
 
  posted at 1:41 pm
  3 comments



3 Comments:
At 1:05 am, Anonymous augustusgloop said...

Or you could just live in Sydney...

lol. Sorry, couldn't resist.

 
At 10:15 am, Blogger Ange said...

I've lived in Brunswick on & off for years now & love Sydney road, love watching the changes over the years, great to see the old places still there & also some new interesting places to check out

 
At 11:12 am, Blogger neil said...

Hi Augustusgloop, a good trout fisherman knows just where to cast his fly ;-)

Hi Ange, It's a fantastic place, I can still remember the first time I went there, it was like a whole new world.

 

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