* Sydney atones for her crimes by virtue of sheer bloody gorgeousness; it’s easier to get away with bad behaviour when you’re pretty.
I am one of a small, quiet minority of Melburnians who understand that to live in Melbourne is human, to live in Sydney is divine. Like Sydney, Melbourne has prohibitively expensive real estate and a rich selection of perma-snarled highways and roads. Unlike Sydney, those roads don’t tend to take us any place special. We can’t unwind after a week in service to our inflated mortgages and rents by jumping into an ocean pool in Bronte, or Curl Curl, or one of Sydney’s countless other picture postcard spots. There are no whales to be watched within an hour of the CBD. We can’t walk off a big breakfast on the Manly to Spit trail, or by strolling the perimeters of the harbour, from Lavender Bay to McMahons Point and beyond. More than once, looking into the window of a high-rise apartment, I have considered the thought that a cat with a harbour view has a better quality of life than me. In Melbourne, the scope of our outdoor options is limited; an ice-cold plunge into the open sewer of a Port Phillip Bay beach cannot, even with the most optimistic of hearts, compete with a morning swim at Mahon Pool in Maroubra.
* The news last week that 15,000 of the globe’s residents chose Sydney as the best place in the world to live has stirred up a predictable mix of outrage and pride.
* Brett Whiteley described Sydney Harbour as “optical ecstasy”. There is no optical ecstasy to be found in Melbourne, only optical antacid.
* When I took my kids to Sydney late last year, my youngest daughter, contemplating the boats bobbing on the harbour, the sweet heavy frangipani air, and the sunshine, turned to me and asked, with a perplexed look on her face, “Why doesn’t everyone live here?”
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