Who are you?
Conrad Williams. Originally from London, England.
How long have you lived in Melbourne?
Two years, nine months.
Firstly, Melbourne is very different depending on where in Melbourne you live. I have only ever lived in the inner suburbs so I can only speak from that experience…
Melbourne has all the plus sides of city life that I enjoy without a lot of the downsides that often come as a city grows. It has a diverse range of nationalities represented in the population with all their varied cultures shining through in day-to-day life, as well as numerous festivals. It has a vibrant arts scene with many art venues and educational arts institutions. I am a musician so this is important to me.
If you live in the inner suburbs as I do then it’s easy to meet people to socialise and collaborate on projects and hobbies because if you meet someone within the area, chances are they don’t live too far away. The crime rate is lower than most cities of a similar size. There are numerous, wide cycle paths. Reasonably reliable, easily understood and fairly priced public transport system. Trams reduce exhaust fume emissions. Cleaner than most cities of a similar size. Good weather with the variety provided by the four seasons. Beautiful and varied nature nearby: beaches, vinyards, forests, and mountains. Outdoor activities such as surfing, rock climbing and snowbaording are all found within a few hours drive of Melbourne.
The economic climate is excellent compared to most other cities in the world. The cost-of-living to wages ratio is very good. The national health service is at least partially paid for by taxes. Tax rates are reasonably low for low-income earners. The roads are broad and not too built up so you still see the skyline on most streets. The mix of old and new architecture gives an organic and unregimented feel to the city.
Green Refectory in Brunswick.
Mamasita in Collins Street.
Bar Open in Fitzroy.
Any hot tips for music spots or Melbourne musicians to keep an eye on?
Richard Jeffreys — acoustic singer-songwriter and front man for soulful alternative rock band Flying Saucer Terror. Open Studio and Bar 303 in Northcote are vibrant small venues.
Where do you take visitors when you’re showing them around the city?
Lentil as Anything for food in Abbotsford Convent.