Melbourne, the coffee capital of Australia. I will wear that. You can get good coffee almost everywhere in Australia now, but it wasn't always the case. Melbourne led the way. The worst pretending to proper coffee I have had was in the Queen Victoria building in Sydney. Not only was the coffee atrocious, it was served in a kind of awkward tulip shaped mug with a handle. Worse, it cost a third more than a decent cup in Melbourne would have cost.
How outrageous was that McDonalds paid piece on Ospray Winfrey's Australian promotion? The Melbourne inner cafe latte set despise McCafes and would not be seen dead in them. Starbucks has failed in areas where the inner cafe latte set congregate.
But do not be mistaken, do not be misled, Melbourne's laneway culture is a load of shed.
A few people who have graduated on from spraying graffiti on trains to spraying advanced 101 graffiti on laneway walls.
This coolest bar that you have to fight your way through stinking dumpmaster bins to get to will close in two weeks, only to have another owner/sucker come along and spend heaps to renovate and so the cycle goes on.
Am I sounding old and bitter and ranty? I mean to. Melbourne's so called and overpromoted laneway culture has no relevance to me. I have my fave places in the city to eat, drink or whatever outdoors, and none are in laneways.
Don't get me wrong though. I like our laneways and how they have been changed into something beyond just being service lanes, but truly, the laneway culture thing has gone overboard.
Now shop verandah bars where you sit on the awning of shop roofs are another matter. I like them.