AWNY Mums & Dads December update: Farewell NYC

Written by Anita Davison

The Rockefeller Christmas tree is lit, twinkle lights adorn the streets of NYC and songs about snowflakes and Santa Claus are being piped through the speakers of every store you enter; these things, along with cooler temperatures mean Christmas is almost here and 2016 is almost over. It’s been quite a year here in the US. A lot has happened in the media, most notably Donald Trump taking home the blue ribbon for winning the US Presidential Election. Whatever your opinion of the result, or the man himself, 2017 looks to be another interesting year. As none of us possess a crystal ball to see into the future, only time will tell what the future of the world, and this nation we call home, holds.

A little closer to home now, and big changes are ahead for my family. Our time in NYC is quickly coming to an end, and my thoughts are drifting to things like lobster rolls, cream pies, Cheers!, and Ivy league schools; that’s right, we are moving to Boston!

The past 3.5 years in NYC have been great, it’s such an amazing city with so much to experience. We always dreamed of living in NYC, not anywhere else in the USA, just NYC; but our mindset has shifted over the past few months and we are excited to experience a new city and lifestyle. At the end of the month, we will trade in our subway pass for a new car, city living for a house in the ‘burbs and step back into a similar lifestyle we once knew back in Sydney – although instead of spending summer weekends on the Northern Beaches, we will spend them at ‘The Cape’ and our winter weekends will be filled with snowboarding lessons and snowball fights. The hardest part of this transition is saying goodbye to our wonderful friends and the networks we have become apart of or created, but thankfully we will only be 4 hours away instead of the other side of the world!

It’s been an honor to sit on the AWNY committee and lead the Aussie Mums & Dads Group. Since taking the helm almost 2 years ago, we have nearly doubled the number of members on our Facebook page, held our inaugural Spring Picnic, and have been featured in a round up in the best Aussie communities in the USA.

Co-lead Sally Bertouch will step into the lead role of the M&Ds group and continue to attend regular AWNY committee meetings. Some positive changes are coming to the way the group is managed, these will be shared with you after our AWNY committee meeting next week. With these changes I hope to create a more inclusive and open group for our members in all boroughs of NYC to have a say, create events and make the network for Aussie (and Kiwi) Mums and Dads in New York even stronger.

I will be staying on as an administrator of the Facebook group, continuing in a social media capacity only, so this isn’t officially goodbye. You will continue to see my name pop up on the page and perhaps I’ll contribute to an occasional update or attend an event when I’m down for a visit (which will be regularly!)

Our Mums & Dads End of Year Drinks will be held this month on Dec 15, the event details are below, along with a link to AWNY ‘What’s on in December’ update. I hope to see you there!

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and safe and happy New Year. Try not to max out those credit cards!

Until next time, whenever that may be…

Anita xo


Got a craving for meat pies?

Four n Twenty Pies will be delivering in NYC again at the end of December check out their websiteFacebook & Twitter feed for updates and how to order!

Upcoming Event

Aussie Mums & Dads End of Year Drinks

Thursday, December 15 at 7:30pm
Joe’s, 480 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10024

Cost: Drinks & food available for purchase
Not essential, but if you would like to let people know you are going, feel free to RSVP via the Facebook event page.

Fun things to do in New York this December

Lot’s of ideas in this ‘Whats On’ blog post.


What’s On in New York December 2016

2 down, 1 to go…

Holidays I mean, and it’s the big one left. Yes, we’ve done Halloween, struggled through the food and fun mountain that is Thanksgiving, and now we’ve got the 4 week march toward Christmas. Holiday Season is well and truly upon us and if you haven’t yet been out to see the department store lights, the holiday markets, or donned skates in Rockefeller Centre or Bryant Park, then I suggest you hop to it, like yesterday. Because New York will get be mad for all things tinsel and jingly between now and December 25th. To ensure you keep up that great holiday spirit, the AWNY Communications team have put together a list of the best things to do in the city over December. Starting with our Christmas party lunch. Hope to see you there!

AWNY Christmas Lunch is on tomorrow @12.30PM and there are still a few spots left. Don’t delay! Reserve you spot via the event page here.

Get in the Christmas spirit super early by catching a performance of Handel’s Messiah at St Thomas Church Dec 6 and 8. You need to purchase tickets through the church website.  For something a little closer to Christmas, it’s also being performed at Carnegie Hall on December 22nd

The America Australia Association Holiday Reception is on December 13th at The Australian, from 6.30PM-9.30PM. Open wine and beer plus great food from the chefs at The Lucky bee, Babu Ji, The Liberty, and The Australian. Register here.

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is a must see for getting in the Christmas spirit. Some days have up to 4 performances – it really it that popular (we even mentioned the show in November’s What’s On!). Tickets and performance times are available here.

Did you know that you can literally shred away your bad 2016 memories to make way for good ones on Good Riddance Day? Held in Times Square on December 28th, smash ‘em, bash ‘em, and shred em’ to make way for great memories in 2017! For more info and times visit Times Square website.

The 30,000 LED bulbs that light up the Rockefeller Tree are officially on from November 30th and this week is a great time to see it before the Christmas crowds descend.

New Year’s Eve midnight run! Ok you don’t have to go crazy and actually do the run, but it’s likely you’ll be awake anyway so if you’re anywhere near Central Park, hop along to watch 1000’s of New Yorkers, in all kinds of kit-out – run a 4 mile loop of the park to welcome in the New Year. It’s great fun.

Merry Christmas AWNY members! 



Faces of AWNY: Jennifer Nason

jennifer-nasonJennifer Nason moved to New York City 29 years ago with J.P. Morgan. We caught up with her on role as the first female Chairman of the American Australian Association, tips for professionals working in the City and her favorite brunch spot.

What brought you to New York City?
I was born in Adelaide and went to Melbourne University. I came to New York in 1987 with JP Morgan and have basically been here ever since, now working in technology investment banking.

Tell us about your role as Chairman of the American Australian Association and being the first Australian and the first woman as Chairman?
Well it feels very overdue, but I have been in the role for a year now and we are making many exciting changes. John Berry, the former US Ambassador has just joined as President. We are going to expand our mandate – stay tuned!

As a successful woman in the banking and finance industries in NYC, who is also the Chairman of the AAA, what are your top 3 career tips for other AWNY members?

  1. Play the long game and learn how to persevere through the tough times. I enjoy my job more today than at any other point.
  2. Appreciate and enjoy the great things that happen every day. I keep a mental “Top 10 Highlights” of funny, exciting, crazy, unique moments to remind myself of what a great ride I am having.
  3. Don’t be frightened, take chances and push your way into things.

Where do you live?
I live on the Upper East Side today, but have also lived in the West Village and Upper West Side.

What’s your ‘only in New York’ moment/s?
Shopping at a grocery store one evening and another shopper just started giving an impassioned speech in front of the fruit & vegetable about the poor quality of the produce. We all applauded!

What are your top 3 tips for friends visiting NYC?
See Hamilton, eat brunch at Beauty & Essex in the East Village, and see a concert or a game at the Garden.

Favorite NYC cocktail spot & cocktail of choice?
Well, it used to be the Four Seasons Bar at the Four Seasons Restaurant on 52nd Street and Park Avenue, now it is the Baccarat Bar on 53rd Street.

What do you like and dislike about living in NY?
Love the diversity and everything there is to do. I love Central Park, I love working in the city, I love that you can get anything you want delivered at any time. I don’t like the traffic and the fact that it is hard to have a car.

Anything you miss about Australia?
Lots of things – mainly the food and that Aussie sarcasm.

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AWNY’s 2016 guide to Thanksgiving in New York

Written by Alex Eggerking

With 2016 coming to a close, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Thanksgiving is of course a time when so many Americans travel to spend time with family and loved ones, and it can tend to highlight that we Aussies are quite a way from home.

Thankfully, New York offers a myriad of options to the orphans and tourists remaining in the city for the holiday. In case Thanksgiving has crept up on you in 2016 and you are still tossing up how to spend the day, we’ve put together this guide on how to make the most of the holiday.

To start your day in true New York style…

Unleash your inner child as you soak in the pageantry of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in its 90th year. The parade features everything from the iconic giant balloons of America’s favorite characters, to all-American floats, and performers across almost every genre you could imagine: De La Soul, Regina Spektor, and Tony Bennett, just to name a few. Sprinkled in between come marching bands, clowns and dancing groups (we are particularly keen to see the Tap Dancing Christmas Trees from California…).

Where to watch in person: The parade starts at 9am on the Upper West Side at West 77th St, dances its way down Sixth Ave, and finishes outside Macy’s at Herald Square. If you’re prepared to camp out early (as in 6am early), you could head towards the start of the parade at Central Park West around 75th St. If waking up before 6am on a public holiday isn’t your thing, it might be best to find a spot somewhere along Central Park South between Columbus Circle and Sixth Ave, or down Sixth Ave between Central Park and 38th St. Keep in mind that there is limited or no public viewing toward the parade finish. Visit the official parade website for a helpful visual guide on where to watch.

If crowds aren’t your thing: You can also watch the televised broadcast of the parade on NBC.

If you’ve already got plans on Thanksgiving morning but want to take in some of the spectacle: Members of the public can head along to watch the inflation of the parade balloons during the afternoon and evening of Wednesday, November 23. To participate, head to the entrance of the inflation area at West 79th St near at Columbus Ave (by the American Museum of Natural History) between 3pm and 10pm. View a map of the area here.

If you’re hankering for Thanksgiving dinner but have a typical New York kitchen…

Make like a quintessential New Yorker and book yourself a spot in a restaurant. While many people living in New York will be heading home to spend Thanksgiving with family, plenty of New York restaurants remain open to cater to Thanksgiving orphans. Here are a couple of options, which, at the time of writing, still had some availability.

Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria, 53 Great Jones St, New York

Thanksgiving dinner runs from 1pm to 9pm
Menu: 4 courses, prix-fixe
Cost: $85 per person, $45 for children under 12 (beverages, tax and gratuity not included)
Reserve: through their website, or call (212) 837-2622

Rosemary’s, 18 Greenwich Ave, New York

Thanksgiving dinner runs from 12pm to 9pm
Menu: 4 courses, prix-fixe
Cost: $75 per person, $25 for children (beverages, tax and gratuity not included)
Reserve: by emailing, or call (212) 647-1818

Burke & Wills, 226 W 79th St, New York

Thanksgiving dinner runs from 12pm to 9pm
Menu: 3 courses, prix-fixe
Cost: $60 per person, or $90 with paired wines (excluding tax and gratuity)
Reserve: through their website, or call (646) 823-9251

Reynard at the Wythe Hotel, 80 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn

Thanksgiving dinner runs from 12pm to 8pm
Menu: 4 courses, prix-fixe
Cost: 4 courses, $95 per person (including gratuity, excluding beverages and tax)
Reserve: by calling Reynard on (718) 460-8004

Jones Wood Foundry, 401 E 76th St, New York

Thanksgiving dinner runs from 11am to 8pm
Menu, 3 courses, prix-fixe
Cost: $65 per person (excluding tax, gratuity and beverages)
Reserve: through their website, or call (212) 249-2700

The internet boasts many other curated lists of New York restaurants offering Thanksgiving menus, such as this one put together by Eater.

If you’re in the spirit to give back to the community…

Plenty of New Yorkers get into the spirit of Thanksgiving by helping those in the city who are less fortunate. As evidence of New York’s spirit of generosity, many of the major Thanksgiving Day charity volunteering positions have already been filled, but you could enquire with:

Feeding NYC: help prepare, package and deliver holiday dinners to the many families in need in New York. At the time of writing there were limited packaging shifts available, as well as the option to donate.

New York Cares: New York Cares makes available many opportunities on, and in the lead up to, Thanksgiving. Many spots had filled up at the time of writing, but we would recommend checking back in with the website in case other opportunities become available.

If you’re feeling particularly active on Thanksgiving morning…

Give yourself license to eat that extra helping at Thanksgiving dinner by taking part in a New York turkey trot.

If you’ve always wanted to cook a Thanksgiving turkey, or candied yam

Check out this mouth-watering collection of recipes from the New York Times that evokes all of America’s states and territories.

Wondering what is going to be open on Thanksgiving?

Here is a list of liquor stores, pharmacies and grocery stores open on Thanksgiving around the city.

For once the turkey coma sets in and all you want to do is sit on the couch…

TimeOut has put together this guide to essential Thanksgiving movie watching.


How are you spending Thanksgiving?

Let us know in the comments below if you’ve got any other suggestions! We’d love to hear from you.


Faces of AWNY: Georgia Clark

Author Georgia Clark shares gives us a peek into her life and experiences in New York.

Tell us about yourself and why you moved to NYC?

I moved to NYC because I fell in love with the city and felt like I needed a big, exciting, scary change to kick-start my life. I was 29, single, hungry, restless and had lived in Sydney since starting uni. I wanted an adventure: and I got it.

Where are you from? How long have you been here?

I went to school at Gosford High School on the Central Coast, having grown up in Hornsby Heights and then moving to North Sydney when I was in Year 10 (so yes, it was a 2 hour commute to school every day!). I’ve been in NYC for 7.5 years.

Favorite NYC brunch spot

Dead heat between Five Leaves in Greenpoint and Diner in South Williamsburg.

Favorite NYC cocktail spot & cocktail of choice

I love some sort of spicy/sweet jalapeño margarita (like the Firewalker at Nitehawk cinema: amazing!). My girlfriend and I like getting the happy hour wine and a little cheese at Miusa, which is a cute little place close to our home.

How did you get into your job in NYC?

My current job is being an author, and I got that because my agent and I sold my first adult fiction novel, The Regulars, to Simon & Schuster in January 2015. I’m very lucky, but I also worked damn hard, unpaid, for years to get there! [Ed’s note: Georgia spoke about just how hard she worked at our recent event, Australian Writers in New York.]

What do you like about being part of AWNY?

I love being connected to so many smart, hard-working, curious Australian women. When the tide rises, all boats float.

What was your biggest win recently?

The Regulars launched in the UK on August 11, 2016, and we got some wonderful press. We got a great rave in the Sunday Mirror, Grazia published a two-page article, In-Style published a piece I wrote on how to write your first book, and Look called the book “Mean Girls with magic”, which is simply the best.

What’s the biggest challenge or road block you’ve been faced with since being in NYC and how do you overcome it?

I couldn’t get work for a long time and I was very broke. I foolishly thought that having a good resume and solid experience in Australia would translate well in America: it does not. I could’ve tried to get full-time work but I knew if I did that I’d never have the time to write and that was my priority. I subsisted on piecemeal writing work, like writing daily deal type copy for sites like Living Social and living on vegetable soup (Every. Single. Day) until I finally got a good freelance gig, and was able to get on top of debt and have a decent standard of living. But it was a long, tough road to that.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given about living/working in NYC?

Persistence is key. It is all about who you know. It takes about 5 years to truly settle and put down real roots here, so be patient, if you’re serious about making a life here. Get a proper winter jacket.

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