A love letter to Melbourne

Welcome Back Melbourne

Jessica Taylor Yates

Posted October 20, 2021

An ode to everything we’ve loved and missed about the great city of Melbourne.

Dearest Melbourne,

You had me at overpriced coffee.

I have spent so many nights in lockdown dreaming of our reunion. Thinking of your art and café-filled laneways, your beaches, sport stadiums, galleries, and shows.

As we have grown together, from my paper tram ticket that needed a holepunch to my Myki I always forget to top up, I always discover new and exciting things about you.

I've spent hours strolling around your many perfect botanical gardens, only to discover a new outdoor pop-up, perfect picnic spot (dogs allowed a plus), or hidden fairy tree. I've missed the butterflies I feel before heading to one of your glittering film events that make me feel cool; hipster art gallery exhibitions I try to understand; or raging music festivals where I don't really know the songs but dance along anyway.

I've missed heading down your laneways and themed streets, riding along Beach Road on one of your bike trails, watching dogs in heaven at the off-lead beaches, and cursing the fact that I missed the exit and now have to cross the Westgate in peak hour.

It has been too long since I got on one of your busy trams to footy at the G, or taken the train into town to enjoy your festive fireworks, fabulous musicals, crazy concerts, and graffiti-filled walkways.

From Footscray to Frankston to Fawkner and Ferntree Gully, I’ve loved taking in your multicultural melting pot of food, drink, fashion, and entertainment.

I love you more than any other, but lately, Melbourne - there have been times I felt I had lost you.

The Royal Botanical Gardens in Melbourne.
The Royal Arcade in Melbourne.
Chapel Street Bazaar in Melbourne.
Spring Racing Carnival fashion in Melbourne.
SkyHigh in Melbourne's Dandenongs.
A gin paddle from Four Pillars in Melbourne.

For the past 18 months, having spent so much time apart, I wonder - are you still the same?

At times, I felt like I didn't even know you anymore, for your once vibrant and charismatic soul had turned to being lifeless and empty. I will admit, I have spent many nights on Instagram looking at other cities and (almost) thought of being unfaithful.

But something always kept me grounded with you. And the old saying goes, distance makes the heart grow fonder.

Melbourne, whilst we have had our ups and downs, I have missed you dearly.

I know when we see each other again, things will be different for a little while longer.

But it is not too long now, Melbourne. Soon, we shall meet again.

I'm sorry for grumbling about your weather, your confusing city parking signs, your people who block escalators in peak hour and your hook turns. And of course, the trait that made you famous: your four seasons in a day. Melbourne, I swear - I didn't mean it.

Because to me, you are perfect.