Of Black and Grey

This is a city that looks its sexiest in grey.

Across its breadth, wardrobes are at once opened. Heavy jackets of black and grey wake from spells of dusty hibernation. They know that just like the city, their time has come back around again.

The turning point has arrived. Seeking respite from the bitter wind, shoulders are draped in these jackets, the necks they leave exposed shielded by scarves that are neatly tied.

At tram stops and pedestrian crossings, subjects of the city stand impatiently. Hands are buried deep in pockets and ears are plugged by headphones. Nearby strangers stand within inches of one another yet somehow oceans apart. All the while the one thing that connects them, the physical environment they must share for their short journey, mutters quietly to itself.

Jaded and cynical, it goes through the motions. It's simply doing what it knows best: testing those who dare to take to the footpaths in spite of its warnings. Each day people press back against its wishes, seeking solace in weaves of polyester, cotton and wool.

Ominous grey clouds effectively frame a city whose skyline represents a power struggle between the preservation of the majestic old and the drive toward a refined new. Gathered puddles of water sit still only for a moment, reflecting back the beauty of both the city and its inhabitants.

As much as it might appear to being trying to punish its citizens on these mornings, it is not a expression of hostility. In this place, it is merely the way of things. The relationship between the city and its constituents is not accurately described as one of symbiosis. Instead it is like two old friends that sit opposite one another far less often than either would like, but still bicker and joust intently when they do. The people know a lot of their city; the city most definitely knows its people. They share a lot more in common than either care to admit: an adoration of culture, a belief in the richness of tradition and a sense of mystery, neatly expressed in the maze of laneways that conceal hidden gems and promise new adventures on every visit.

At about this time each year, the city and its subjects return to the wardrobe to refocus themselves for the bitter cold of the coming months. It is fortunate then that they both look at their best in heavy jackets of black and grey.