Those of us from the West often view ourselves and our city as the proverbial little brother to the Eastern metropolises of Sydney and Melbourne.
Sydney we can look past; they like rugby league and Bondi is a rubbish beach anyway, but we’re led to believe by disgruntled hipsters that anything Perth can do, Melbourne can and does do better. The coffee is better, people dress better to go out, there’s always something to do. You know the clichés. But having lived there myself for three years pre-COVID, let me let you in on a little secret: there’s no magic dust that made Melbourne the world’s most liveable city for all those years. There are so many things that Perth does just as well if not better than the Vics, and being proud of it is just fine.
It’s worth mentioning that your bearded, Blundstone-wearing barista isn’t wrong, there is always something to do in Melbourne. But what good is something to do without someone to do it? It’s not for a lack of things to do that Perth’s winters become sleepy. We all know the scene. Walking the streets on an evening in June is the closest I’ll ever come to feeling like Will Smith in ‘I am Legend’. It’s a city which is missing its inhabitants. A few drops of rain send us scurrying from our Sunday sesh’s to the safety of our homes like the ants in “A Bug’s Life’, only to emerge for the occasional trip to the footy, the shops, or when the warm reaches of spring make us feel safe enough to head back to the beach.
Gif source: getyarn.io
A city without people lacks an atmosphere. A city without an atmosphere is dull. People won’t come out to play in a dull city. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy that Oedipus would be jealous of. Especially when an atmosphere is so easy to create. All you have to do is summon the courage to brave the wet and windy winter outside your front door. Next time you’re feeling stir crazy or bored in the winter months, ask yourself this question:
Image source: me.me
Because as any bloke who wears thongs and boardies year-round, or any Aussie who’s worked a season at Whistler will tell you, “Perth doesn’t get cold.” So don’t be put off, there’s a whole city on your doorstep to explore and enjoy. Start saying yes to anything and everything and watch your town come to life. But how? How do we survive the ‘not cold’ of winter?
The answer lies in the one Melbourne trend I wish would make its way to Perth: the black puffer jacket.
The black puffer jacker is warm, rainproof, and ubiquitous. To walk down Bourke street in the winter is to walk among throngs of black-clad Michelin men going about their business with impunity come rain, hail and shine all in the same day. The puffer jacket is their armour and no weather forged against it may prosper. Make no mistake it is people who form the beating heart of a city. As long as there are people who are out and about, the city will have a pulse. So be brave, Perth. Get your coat on, and go do something, anything. The more you do, the more you’ll want to.
Pictured: A local Melbournian prepares for a day of graffitiing laneways and fare evasion on public transport.
Image source: George Pimentel