I have travelled to many cities across the world. I have fallen in love with New York. I have lost my senses in Florence. I have found my soul in Barcelona. Tokyo took me on a roller coaster. Rome offered solitude. The list of destinations always seems to be growing. Yet, the stamp I love most on my passport is the one that says ‘welcome home.’
Thirty-three years ago my newly married parents boarded a plane with a toddler in tow. Packed in their suitcases were their small belongings and a large cargo of excitement and trepidation. I will always be grateful for their decision to come and live here, in this place I now call home.
Melbourne. I would wax lyrical and take photos of this city forever. You see Melbourne is part of me. I could not be who I am without it. My family live here. My friends live here. My memories are here.
I live only twenty minutes out from the city. Yet there are days when the city tugs at my heart strings, pulling and teasing, begging me to come in. A few weeks ago, while sitting in the Langham hotel at Southbank, late on a Saturday night, above the din of the restaurant and the chink of glasses I was entranced by the reflection of the city lights, the buildings and the river. In that moment I remembered just how much the city defines me.
I love my coffee, good coffee. I’ll happily not drink or return coffee that isn’t good. I love my Italian. From a long cascade of restaurants down Lygon Street, I only eat at very few. Most times, I only eat at one. I love my fashion. But almost all of it is black. Black, goes with black, goes with black and it works. I love the theatre. From Her Majesty to the Princess to the Regent. I have watched the Phantom three times and will always watch it again.
Melbourne is like the cushioned, warm space of a grandmother’s lap. You rest your head, while she strokes your hair with her delicate aged hands. She pulls away your negative thoughts and heavy burdens, like silver string being cast to the wind. I could not imagine living in, or loving, any city more.
On some days, this city is my heart beat. It is the simplicity of spending my Sunday afternoon on Lygon Street, idling through the bookstore, stopping for hazelnut gelati and finishing with dinner at the little place I love. Each time I open the door, to the little yellow restaurant on the corner of Drummond and Grattan, I am greeted with that same knowing smile.
“Ahh Signora, welcome back.”
As she seats us at the same table, near the window she asks. “Three pasta mistas and the Brown Brothers?”
“Yes.” I answer, it is always the same.
Walking back to the kitchen, she pauses and ruffles PJ’s hair “the boys have grown this week.”
How could I ask for anything more than that?
What is your favourite city?
The next Conversations over Coffee link will open on
Thursday August 29, 2013
The theme is Conversations with Spring ~ everyone is welcome xx