Melbourne minus gloss

Brochures and ads frequently promote Melbourne as Sydney's quirky European sibling, citing the many laneways, coffee places, and general hipsterhood as the city's winning points.

Less highlighted are the inner suburbs. They may warrant a line or two in tourism copy as proof of Melbourne's multicuturalism, but they are a whole different world from the rest of the city. Dirty and coarse, they are the CBD's grittier reflection, trendy young professionals crossing paths with robed recent migrants before a backdrop of drugs,alcohol, and hope.

Community lives on in these suburbs, and so does charity. Its great that Melbourne's the style capital of Australia, but it's even more comforting to know that it still has a heart.

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