Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Crossing the river

The Age newspaper had a very interesting feature in its monthly glossy magazine last week. It rated suburbs according to liveability judged by various factors.

I can only make an educated guess about Adelaide, but I think the suburbs west of the city are probably the more desirable areas. Actually Adelaide does not seem to have the extreme suburb divides that Melbourne and Sydney have. I'd suggest the northern suburbs are not so desirable.

Sydney is easy. North shore not too far from the harbour, eastern and south eastern suburbs good. West, bad.

Melbourne is quite simple too. North or west of the River Yarra, bad, south or east of the river good. Well, it really was a bit like that in days past, but the world has changed and so has Melbourne. You are no longer particularly judged by which side of the river you live in our city of four million people. Can't say I like it much. I'd much rather have an easy criteria to judge people by, but it just no longer works.

What I am interested to know from Melbourne readers, or even other cities really, have you made a permanent change from one side of the proverbial railway tracks to another? That is, you were born and bred on one side, but have moved permanently to the other side?

While I like visiting other parts of Melbourne, my comfort zone roughly matches map 58 of our Melways street directory. It is where I work, shop, socialise, like and know like the back of my hand. I am not for crossing the river.


  1. I have lived the vast majority of my life in Sydney in the eastern suburbs.

    I did spend about five years living in the mid western suburbs which seemed very rural by comparison (larger properties, more space, no water glimpses and for the first time I heard dogs barking at night).

    My ten years spent overseas aside I also lived in Canberra for five years which can I put it...very public service.

  2. I've mainly lived in the area covered by Moonee Valley Council with a slight detour of 10 years living in Sumbury. Almost forgot i lived in Racecourse Road Nth Melbourne when i was a young tacker but you already know that from a previous post :-).

  3. Anonymous9:28 am

    Born in bred in Sydney's west (Parramatta) lived there till age 20 then moved to the Cross and eventually eastern suburbs before a stint in inner west suburbs and now finally settling in Surry Hills. Being close to work in city and all Sydney's amenities is more desirable then spending ones time travelling on public transport for hours on end.

  4. Windsmoke, you may well be a neighbour, We're 30 plus year residents of 3041.

  5. I have always lived, studied and worked in the SE of Melbourne, tree lined with big front yards and lots of espresso bars.

    But my husband bought his first specialist medical practice in the western suburbs. The local GPs were utterly delighted because there had never been a radiologist Over There - patients had to be sent to local hospitals or referred to distant radiologists. He quickly hired staff who spoke Maltese, Serbo Croatian, Greek and now Vietnamese. He personally learned to say "what was the first day of your last period" in 5 langauges.

    After 35 years in the West, Joe thinks of it as his home. And he _really_ loves the tv programme called The Slap.

  6. When I last lived in a city, San Francisco, I much preferred the wrong side of the tracks--much more colorful and actually, real. Plus, it was also much cheaper and the crime rate no worse.

  7. Anonymous2:38 pm

    I was born and bred in Richmond/Melbourne/South Yarra, so inner city Melbourne, south of the river. I've never liked the idea of living in the outer Eastern suburbs but I didn't mind my four-year stint in Altona Meadows (west Melbourne). I love Melbourne's north and would probably live there again, if I ever moved back to Melbourne. V.

  8. Born in Oakleigh, lived in *inhale* Attadale (WA), Kwinana (WA, Rockingham (WA), Oakleigh, Mt Waverley, West Heidelberg, Heidelberg Heights, Clayton, Balwyn, Junourton, Harcourt, Mont Albert, Carnegie back to Oakleigh and soon-ish to move to Dunolly.

  9. Seems that there's a substantial level of gypsy in your soul young Jayne.

  10. Blimey, I've been all over. I grew up in the hills, when I moved out I was south east, then QLD, then bayside, then othersideoftheworld, back to north and now back bayside. I am not sure where I'd settle.

  11. Map 58-er here too Andrew.
    Carlton makes me nervy, and I have been lost in North Melbourne more than once and also lost in 3041 several times.

  12. Victor, safe to say, born, bred and stayed.

    Windsmoke is not for changing.

    Anon saw the light, or bright lights!

    LS, the titled in the west?

    No surprise there. Great that Joe became attached to the people and the area. Too much information about what Joe learnt to say in umpteen languages.

    Rubye, in my ignorance, I wouldn't have a clue where is San Fran is the wrong side or the right side. I agree though, the wrong side can be much more interesting. Real is a good word to describe our wrong side of tracks in the inner areas.

    V, was it four years in Altona? Amazing. I can fantasize about living in inner north.

    Jayne, you did always strike me as a settled and stable person.

    LS, just say it, she's been around.

    Fen, you were at the fore of my mind as I wrote this. In spite of your walk on the wild side of Brunny, you are south side.

  13. Em Stacks, rather like me. I like visiting the exotic, but I feel like an alien.

  14. To paraphrase the song "I've lived everywhere, man".
    Sigh, if only Frankston were within walking distance of the Queen Vic Market.

  15. Actually, it's the eastern suburbs in Adelaide that are the 'leafy' and desirable ones. West only if it's directly on the beachfront.

  16. FruitCake, think of all the farmer's markets around you.

    Kath, that would be between the city and the hills? Yes, can imagine.

  17. Yeh my dalliance on the north side was good, but the majority of my family are southerners, and I prefer to be close to them.