(Image: AP/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake)

Poor old Melbourne, Grim City, looking sad and battered, a miserable place. And then COVID hit, and there was a lockdown, and it got even worse. Boom boom. 

No, but seriously, the pandemic has knocked the city backwards by decades. When the full lockdown was on last winter, it was like weekends used to be in the '70s, ghost trams rattling through empty streets of closed shops, as the wind chilled the bones. I loved it, but it wasn't to everyone's taste.

The long lockdown appears to have killed the last vestiges of "Melberlin" of the '90s and '00s, the bizarre moment when our dowdy little burg became some sort of hip destination. But that had already been killed off by the determination of Labor to turn the CBD into a somewhat alienating student village, not particularly connected to the life of the rest of the city.