I can hear those living in the Eastern States scoffing right now – yeah right Adelaide is not rad. It is quaint and quiet and narrow minded and lacking in diversity. It is small and too many conversations start with: “What school did you go to?”.
I have been a big dismisser of Adelaide for years, I still am at times. It is a tad homogenous, particularly when you’re looking for a great dress or pair of shoes. Sometimes it’s a struggle to find enough quirky pockets to hang out in which provide a buzz. And there are whole suburbs where the only racial difference would be if you put salt on your fried dim sims or not.
I’ve since worked out any feelings of claustrophobia can be easily combated by a trip away. When I am craving something different I just fly to Sydney or Melbourne. When I am craving being surrounded by throngs of people and being stuck in traffic I go there. It gives me the thrill I need to snap me out my blissful domesticity.
We even moved to Melbourne for a few years to escape the safe, smothering nature of this town. We loved it and would move back in a flash, but we would both have to work full time jobs to pay the mortgage. Life would be one big rush. One big tag team. Fine we’d live in a fabulous city, but we would never have the time or the money to enjoy it.
Since having kids I’ve definitely become more an Adelaide supporter – and I was born here. I’ve worked out that it’s more important to reside in a small, liveable city and party in a big city. Same goes for the country, the cold and fog is much more romantic on a weekend away, rather then years of being subjected to long, drawn out, dark winters. Been there, done that.
In Adelaide, we can afford to live in an inner city suburb. It takes us 10 minutes to walk the kids to school, 15 minutes to ride our bike to the Adelaide Central Markets, 40 minutes to walk into Rundle St and have a pint of Pale Ale at the Exeter. I am within spitting distance of a fabulous independent bottle shop, clothes shops, supermarket, coffee shops, bakeries, restaurants and a weekly farmer’s market. I can take a few steps out my front door and jump on a tram to either the beach or the city or the Entertainment Centre. Our suburb is vibrant, culturally and ethnically diverse, it’s filled with families, university students, older people who sit on their front pooch and watch the world go by. It is not only a bit hip, but pockets are a bit posh and large slabs have the necessary grunge element to keep it fun. A little bit like Adelaide itself.
Adelaide is home to the Fringe, the Festival, the Cabaret Festival, WOMAD, Tour Down Under, Clipsal and a whole host of other events. We have some some of the best wineries in the world and some of the best beaches. We are spoilt for weekends away. And seeing that so many of our friends live elsewhere we always have somewhere to bunk for the night.
Adelaide does have a disproportionate amount of bogans, there is also generations of poverty, murders are many and the suburban sprawl is leading to a higher then normal number of Commodore purchases. There is much small-mindedness and bigotry. There are parts I fear to walk in the day and wouldn’t drive through in the night. But these social disparities are in every city. These are problems facing every community. They are not unique to Adelaide.
What is unique to Adelaide is the ease in which we live. Adelaide is small, it is quaint, it is quiet, but man, it’s a damn fine place to live. It’s little wonder it was named the fifth best city in the world to live.
What do you love about where you live?