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This is not a door

Artwork by Christian Robert-Tissot
Artwork by Christian Robert-Tissot

I was born and raised in Bronte, NSW and moved to Melbourne in about 2000, looking to avoid the post Olympic architectural slump. I am often asked if I miss Sydney, which of course I do, however we then move onto the game of differences between the two cities. After 16 years I have finally boiled it down to one single notable difference other than their respective coordinates. In Sydney, the first floor balconies of old terrace houses are accessed via a door however in Melbourne it is normal to climb through a window… there are no doors. Mention this to any Victorian and they will give you a strange look and say “what do you mean it’s not normal to climb through a window”. Unless you’re a cat, a burglar or a cat burglar, climbing through a window is not normal. I was at a function at our Government House and noticed the same thing, the main lawn is accessed through a series of windows, they may be door sized windows but they are not doors.

That’s the difference between Sydney and Melbourne, the rest of it is simple geography… and it may have a little bit to do with the architecture, beaches, fit-outs, restaurants, bars, service, no lockouts, the arts, international sporting events, AFL and the weather.