Faces of AWNY: Peta Arthurson

photo: Peta and Shane Arthurson and their dog Franklin at the Staten Island Yankees Baseball Dog Night

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m from Sydney, I grew up in the Inner West, but most recently lived on the Northern Beaches. I was fortunate enough to win the Green Card Lottery so I packed up our life, our house, my hubby and my dog! We travelled around the US on an extended honeymoon for 2 months before landing in New York 18 months ago.

Where do you live? Why did you choose that area?

Because we don’t think we are New York Lifer’s, we are going to try living in a number of neighborhoods while we are here.

After a 1 month stay in Midtown East, we moved to the Financial District. It’s close to just about every single subway and by the water which, as a Sydney girl you need. It’s also a little bit quieter but with pockets of awesomeness like Stone Street and the South Street Seaport. Three months ago, we moved to Long Island City which is really more of a suburban area, very dog friendly! In fact, it’s known as Dog Island City! The views on Manhattan are an incredible New York secret!

What do you like/dislike about living in NY?

I love how this city always has something interesting and new happening. I like to say that if you are bored in this city, you aren’t trying.

I dislike the weather! Back home, I live in a singlet, shorts and thongs! I will never get used to the number of layers you have to wear here.

What’s your ‘only in New York’ moment/s?

Meeting Adam Sandler! The movie signs were posted on the street poles, so I looked up what movie it was going to be (The Cobbler) and I went out to walk the dog, told my husband I was going to meet Adam Sandler (who rolled over and went back to sleep). I walked across the road and ended up walking my dog right behind him. He looked at me and I took the opportunity to tell him I was a huge fan. He was so sweet, he shook my hand and told me it was great to meet me – Swoon!!!

I’ve also met Hugh Jackman (who is and smells just lovely!) and had dinner at a table next to Anne Hathaway.

Any advice for people moving to NY?

It’s a fun city, but it is a tough city. Remember to get out and explore other nearby places like Newport, Rhode Island, The Carolinas, Boston, Florida etc.

What do you do?

That’s a complex question! In Australia, I was in corporate Learning & Development for a long time before I opened a doggy day care center in St Leonards! I took an EA job here for 9 months before coming to the realization, I’m just not a corporate person anymore. I am an entrepreneur at heart and passionate about small business, so I am currently working on an idea to help small businesses market themselves in the city. Stay tuned!

As a Professional working in NYC what are the differences to working in Australia?

There are 3 main differences that I can see:

  1. Aussies have a much more laid back attitude. The “she’ll be right” attitude doesn’t quite cut it in the corporate world here.
  2. There is a lot more drinking involved in NYC, there is always a networking event or a meeting in a bar.
  3. Aussies are much more self-deprecating, love an underdog and dislike someone with tall poppy syndrome. American’s are the total opposite. One has to learn to be ok with talking themselves up at any given opportunity. Get some tickets on yourself!

What’s your favorite New York spot?

I love the charm of the South Street Seaport in summer. Very cute shops and buildings, outdoor music, movies, food and drinks.

Anything you miss about Australia?

Yes! The food, in particular fresh bread! My family, my friends, the sunshine and the beach. I’m going back for Christmas and am going to eat myself silly with everyone!

Tell us about being on the AWNY Committee?

I signed up to attend AWNY events as soon as we arrived! The women at AWNY are so kind and generous with their time in helping me find my way in this city.

I joined the committee in May as an event coordinator and in July took over the Charity role. I’ve made some great friends and would highly recommend joining the committee to anyone who wants to stay involved in the Aussie life here in NYC.