Brisbane. A pleasant town quite close to Caboolture
Brisbane is the capital city of Queensland, Australia. It’s the third largest city in Australia. You don’t need this Wikipedia history lesson to understand, know, appreciate, or in my case, love Brisbane.
Thomas Brisbane was in NSW when he decided to look north for new digs. My life was much the same: my parents moved our family to Brisbane from Sydney in 1988. It was the year of Expo ’88 and the allure of Stefan’s sky needle, which still resides in South Brisbane, was probably too great to ignore.
My arrival in Brisbane marked the first of several terrific early childhood memories: the warmth of a good shower; an unyielding (and as yet unresolved) infatuation with Freddo Frogs and an obsession with the Fat Controller in Thomas the Tank Engine.
And so it is, in the eighth sentence, that I get to the point (Breaking Bad takes at least eight episodes to grow on you, and it’s a fine television program). Brisbane doesn’t require an iconic landmark or self-indulgent advertising (*cough*MELBOURNE*cough) to make a name for itself.
I don’t actually have a cough at the moment but consider this: the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge don’t make Sydney a great city. Sydney makes Sydney a great city. You don’t write home from Melbourne for the Yarra.
Brisbane, to be sure, has some nice landmarks of its own: the Story Bridge (don’t laugh), the Gabba (I said don’t laugh), Southbank (bite your tongue. Bite it) and Suncorp Stadium - the home of world rugby league (and soccer, which I call football, and a few concerts, including one featuring Robbie Williams, which I regrettably did not attend).
Sights don’t define Brisbane, though it’s a beautiful place. It’s not a town, it’s a city. A great city, too.
And it is, despite its outdated reputation, far from culturally inept; one of Brisbane’s many new points of interest is GOMA, a world-class gallery of art (then, if you’re one to whet the old whistle, it’s a short stroll to a lovely craft beer house in West End called Archive Bar, which famously hosted Wolfmother’s Andrew Stockdale on a bit of an off night).
I’ve lost track of the sentence count, but Brisbane’s cache - its edge, its chutzpah - is easily described in some dot points. Here are four I prepared earlier:
1. Steve Renouf scored a length-of-the-field try to help the Brisbane Broncos to their maiden rugby league premiership in 1992, the first of consecutive grand final wins over St George. Renouf’s nickname is The Pearl, which is more than can be said for either Sydney or Melbourne;
2. Two of Brisbane’s great institutions - council ferries and relationships blogger Katherine Feeney - share the name CityKat. One of them is a reliable public transport option that’s fantastic for tourists (STOP. LAUGHING.); the other’s name is Katherine;
3. I knew people who lived on Sydney St, Brisbane and Adelaide St, Brisbane and I went to a pub on Melbourne St, Brisbane a few times, and I read about Hobart in social studies; so, I’ve seen things;
4. Since moving to Sydney (full disclosure and that) I’ve been to six different beaches - that’s if you’re counting Clovelly, which I am - and none of them compare to the beaches on Brisbane’s doorstep. And when I say doorstep, I don’t mean the egregious promise of a beach at Brisbane’s Nudgee Beach.
I mean the Gold Coast, and the Sunshine Coast, and Byron Bay, which, despite being in NSW, is naturally far more Brisbane than it’ll ever be Sydney. And Caboolture - which is so close to Brisbane it is, for all intents and purposes, Brisbane - produced Keith Urban, and more importantly TEAM Keith.
Brisbane doesn’t need a landmark. We’re doing great. Plus we’ve already got that wonderful replica of the London Eye at Southbank.
Please tell @christoforpaine how he’s a great example of what’s wrong with Brisbane.
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