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Like every city, Melbourne has its own unique character and rhythm and it’s the lifestyle habits, customs and interests we have in common that make us Melbournians. We dress for changing weather patterns — and usually these fashion choices are black. We all drink several cups of coffee a day and take the tram wherever we go, and, whether you’re a fan or not, AFL is a part of every Melbournians life. So here’s how to act like one.
Whatever the season, no Melbournian leaves the house without a jacket, rain coat or cardigan as they basically come in handy all year long. In the boot of every car and at the bottom of every tote bag lies a broken umbrella, but cardigans last for life. Tie them around your waist or hang them off your bag but be sure to carry one with you as you never know when the weather will change. Our temperamental weather has even been immortalised in songs from Crowded House and The Beatles. When the clouds do roll over Melbourne’s skyline, don’t fret as there’s much to do. The National Gallery of Victoria, ACMI and the Melbourne Museum are our top picks for dreary days.
If Melbourne had an official drink it would be coffee and as a Melbournian you should be drinking as much coffee as a Gilmore Girl. Enjoy a cup in the morning as you rub the sleep from your eyes, or on the run as you try to catch that tram. Forget over-indulgent American orders with names such as Triple, Venti, Soy Latte with Extra Whip and Caramel Drizzle – down under we appreciate the art of coffee making and prefer distinctive flavours to shine through in the most simplistic way. Some of the best coffee shops include Industry Beans in Fitzroy, Axil in Hawthorne, South Yarra’s Market Lane and Carlton’s Seven Seeds.
If you’re from Melbourne you’ve got a football team, and although clubs are named after different suburbs it’s not necessary to follow the suburb you live in. In fact some Melbournians follow teams based in other states, although no state has more teams than Victoria. There are currently 18 AFL teams and ten of those are Victorian, and that’s because the sport originated there in 1896 with six VFL teams. Every year the MCG hosts the Grand Final on the last Saturday in September and as of 2015 the Friday parade has been declared a public holiday. Even Melbournians who aren’t fans own at least one scarf or footy jumper. Tickets for this season can be purchased online.
Melbourne is a city of fashionistas and the city even hosts its own fashion festival, but despite the range of styles and trends available most people wear black on black on black. The colour is a prerequisite in any Melbourne wardrobe and may have something to do with the ever-changing weather, but buying black is also a good investment as the shade works well when mixing and matching with other colors, and can be easily transitioned from day to night. Hit up Bourke Street Mall and the Emporium to buy the latest black fashions.
Melbourne’s trams are historical, cramped, and used by locals and tourists alike. You haven’t been initiated into our culture unless you’ve fallen forward on a tram when the driver hits the breaks. Since 1884 Melbournians have been using trams and they often feature on postcards and tourism campaigns. The Melbourne tram network is the longest urban tramway in the world with 250 kilometres of track and 25 routes. Sure, you’ll be confused by Myki and hate how long it takes you to get anywhere, but we all put up with it because trams are convenient. We advise taking the free, burgundy City Circle Tram which travels through Melbourne’s central business district.