Sadly, Sarah Milligan and her family are leaving New York and returning to Canberra. As one of the most welcoming and friendly Aussie Mums in New York and the former AWNY Mums and Bubs coordinator, a position she worked at tirelessly for 18 months, she will be sorely missed by us all. We caught up with Sarah before she got too busy with packing to seek her best tips for living in NYC.
What is your ‘only in NY’ moment you’ll always remember?
I was fortunate enough to get a Christmas party invitation to the most stunning apartment. They had the biggest Christmas tree, carols and even a Santa Claus and room for the children to run and explore. The whole thing couldn’t of been more magical for Zach and I and then it snowed! Of course that was before we were all completely sick of the snow by the end of last Winter! There is a lot of magic on the streets at Christmas – until the throngs of tourists arrive.
What will you miss about NY?
The Subway! I have a love hate relationship though. I love the freedom it gives me after a night out with friends or Dean. I love the fact that I have almost all the subway lines within a 3 min walk. I love the joy they bring Zach – especially being on the front carriage on a C train. I hate how difficult they are to manage with a toddler when you would love to just have a stroller. As a result I carried Zach in a pouch until he was 2.5 years – I have fabulous calves!
What won’t you miss about NY?
The lack of space in my apartment. This mostly my fault due to my excessive shopping! Although I love Central Park, if I never have to accompany my son to another park again I will die happy – bring on the backyard and mostly unsupervised play!
Also New Yorkers who feel the need to comment about what your child is doing when it doesn’t impact them in the slightest. For example, Zach pushing his new bus on the side of the street – “you know the pavement is dirty” and “It is bright – you might want to put sunglasses on him” or the winter equivalent “It is cold – your son should be wearing gloves.” Argh!
A shared washer/dryer!
Top 3-5 things to do with kids in NY. Best day trip. Best weekend away.
I really enjoyed taking Zach to performances around the city – especially in Winter. Some of these were very low budget in the village but Zach enjoyed them all. I thought the variety of shows that the New Victory Theatre put on was excellent – although sometimes rather quirky!
We had ice skating lessons for Zach at the Wollman Rink – they were great and it meant we had to get out on days when we would have stayed at home. Bryant Park skating was free if you had your own skates and if you chose a good time, not too crowded.
Zach always enjoyed the Central Park Zoo. It was cheap if you joined and gives you access to the aquarium and Bronx Zoo too.
Central Park! Zach loved listening to the musicians and I do love that there are so many playgrounds. It is nice to grab a snow cone and watch some baseball.
Outhouse Orchard – or any of the really for a taste of Americana during pumpkin picking season. http://www.outhouseorchardsny.com
You can’t beat Strasbourg Pennsylvania. Less than 3 hours drive. A very pretty part of the country and heaps to do with kids especially spending a day out with a Thomas the Train. If you can manage a 2.5 star motel stay at The Red Caboose to make your train lovers dream come true! http://www.strasburgrailroad.com
Any sage advice for AWNY Mums?
Go to whatever events that you can. You always come away with some new information about things going on in the city etc. Also I have met some of the kindest, most thoughtful girlfriends anyone could hope to have through Aussie Mums and Bubs.
Shop on 6pm.com. There are so many good deals.
Create an Amazon wishlist. I have saved (ok spent) hundreds by adding a wanted item to a wishlist and watching the price drop. I like hitting the buy button.
Savor every moment. I am sadder than I thought I would be about leaving a city that drives you nuts half the time. We are all so incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to live here.