Dear Auckland,

I think you're pretty hot, and I was wondering if you wanted to hang out with me and maybe, depending on how things go, see what happens later on?

I hope you don't think I'm being rude, but I got your details off a friend of yours called Sydney. She's also a bit flashy and has a similar bridge and harbour, although her traffic is way more full-on (not that you'd know that from how you bang on about yours). It's fine, believe me.

Did Sydney say anything about me? Mention me in passing?


Okay, let's just assume Sydney forgot to mention me, so I'll start from the beginning.

I had a pretty long and intense relationship with Dunedin when I was growing up, like from birth until I was 21.

Do you remember Dunedin? She gave birth to heaps of great bands in the 1980s like The Clean and The Verlaines and The Puddle. She also raised quite a few rugby and cricket players, like Richie and Baz, who went on to captain their countries and redefine their sports.

In Dunedin, I actually lived down the road from Hone Tuwhare, round the corner from Ralph Hotere and Janet Frame, and just along from Lovelock Avenue where Jack used to run when training for the Olympic gold medal he won in 1936.

You probably don't know that, because Dunedin isn't really that good at blowing her own trumpet - she prefers the bagpipes and, let's be honest, they're a hard listen.

I kind of outgrew Dunedin in 1995. After some really solid years drinking beer in the three pubs they have down there, I left her for Melbourne.

Melbourne isn't really like you. She's sort of European, for a start, plays a type of football you (nor anyone else) will ever understand and her traffic is way worse than yours will ever be.

Melbourne and I were a bit up and down, to be honest. I was in my 20s and was a bit too experimental for my own good and she was about 180, so the age difference was never going to work.


About that time I also had a fling with London (but she was too dirty - in a bad way - and it didn't last).

So after some thought, I decided to move back and initially thought I'd be a pretty good match with Wellington - after all, we both right-swiped each other on Tinder. But after a few dates drinking single origin coffee in converted lighthouses and watching rubbish bins and the elderly fly past in the wind, she withdrew and seemed to get upset with me.

She never said why, only hinting at things that were too subtle and complex for me to understand.

She also had this really unstable sense about her, something very fragile at her core that could break at any moment.

So I came to you, Auckland, to your rapidly diversifying food culture, your sweet beaches, your supportive and vibrant arts scene, your leafy streets (I'm a ginger, so I appreciate any shade I can get) and your playing-hard-to-get tidal harbours. Are you in or out? Make a decision!

I'd like to take you out on a date, if it's okay with you?

I initially thought about a coffee and a brioche in Ponsonby but that'll cost me between $1.2 million and $1.6 million, so I was thinking maybe fish 'n' chips in Ranui? That'll still set me back about 700k for three fish and some chips, but I reckon you're worth it.

Six things I particularly like about you:

1: Your eyes

. And when I say that, I mean your vibrant and ever expanding food culture. There are dozens of winning restaurants and cafes, food halls and bars dotted all over the place. New Lynn has got at least six top-notch restaurants. New Lynn!

2: Your history. You clearly had a pretty long relationship with a guy called Glen, in that you decided to name lots of things after him (Glen Eden, Glen Innes, Glen Dowie) but it shows you've lived and that's cool.

3: Your bush. The Waitakere Ranges are absolutely stunning: the beaches, the trees, the waterfalls, the cliffs and gullies. They really need to be called a national park.

4: Your sub-tropical weather. Always changing, but always interesting. I take a raincoat and sunscreen whenever I go out.

5: Your rugby team. I'm still a Southerner at heart. May the institutions that make up Auckland rugby continue to fail to find any kind of structure that can manage the riches you have at your disposal.

6: Prince came to visit you. Yes you! No one else - not Wellington, not Hamilton, not Christchurch. You! And for that I am forever grateful.

Stay sexy, Auckland.

Jesse Griffin performs at the 2016 NZ International Comedy Festival.