Danielle Pilc has been part of the Events team on the AWNY committee for four years. She shared some of her New York journey with us here.
Let’s start with your background – why did you move to NYC? Where are you from?
I lived in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and have had the travelling bug from a very young age. I travelled back and forth to London and would spend four months at a time, travelling through Europe. However, Australia was always my base and home. Little did I know that at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, my life would be changed forever. I was at the media launch of the Olympics and met my future husband, Bill, who was from New York. We connected as friends and always stayed in touch. Timing wasn’t right in 2000 as we both had partners and lived on the other side of the world from one another. We stayed in touch through emails every now and then, and then we reconnected and saw each other eight years later in Arizona at the Superbowl and the rest is history! We realized that we wanted to be together and we had never forgotten about each other. Bill wanted to come back to Australia to meet my whole family. We married in 2010 and have lived in New York ever since!
Where do you live and why did you choose that area?
Huntington Harbor, New York. We chose that area overlooking the water as it reminds me of Australia. We are also only five minutes away from Huntington Village (the village reminds me of the Hamptons). It has such a great vibe with amazing restaurants, bars and shopping.
What do you like/dislike about living in NY?
I love the energy of New York, the architecture, the shopping, so many things to list! I dislike some of the smells in NYC, and the very long winters!
What’s your ‘only in New York’ moment/s?
Walking down 5th Avenue and seeing a man walk along with two turtles on leashes.
Any advice for people moving to NY?
Try to break up the winter by taking a trip to the Caribbean or back to Australia—wherever there is warmth!
What do you do?
I am an event planner and have my own company called “Aussie Girl Inc”. The majority of my clients are Australian, so I am very fortunate to be able to travel back to Australia a couple of times a year. My business partner and I arrange events to bring awareness to many different charity organizations. For the past six years, I have been lead event manager on NOVA Employment’s Focus on Ability Short Film Festival. This festival allows filmmakers to submit five-minute short films focusing on the ABILITY of someone with a disability. It is one of the most inspiring events I have ever worked on. I have seen this festival grow from Australia to reach hundreds of thousands of people globally. This year, we received entries from 19 countries. For information on the New York screening of this event, see AWNY’s Facebook page.
As a professional working in NYC, what are the differences to working in Australia?
I find Australians much more laid back in the professional world, and I like that! However, in New York City, you have a feeling that anything is possible, there is no limit to what you can achieve.
Any advice for other professionals working in NYC?
The best advice I could give is to join different groups and to network. I have made lifelong friends through joining AWNY, and have also been given so much fabulous professional advice from those that have lived here for a lot longer than me.
What’s your favourite New York spot?
I love the Hamptons in the summer! My favorite NYC spot is Central Park.
Anything you miss about Australia?
I miss my family and friends so much! I also miss the Australian beaches and the laid-back culture.
What are your top tips for friends visiting NYC?
* Make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes. The best way to see as much of the city as you can is by walking.
* There is so much to do, so I always tell my friends to do as much research before arriving so they get time to fit in everything that they want to do.
* The New York Pass is excellent. One pass allows you to see 90+ attractions and is cheaper than booking things individually.
Three words to describe New York.
Energetic, Cultured, Creative.
If you didn’t live in NYC, you would stay the night at…The Plaza Hotel
When you need retail therapy, you run to…Woodbury Common Premium Outlets
Favorite NYC brunch spot: The Boathouse in Central Park
Favorite NYC cocktail spot & cocktail of choice.
I love Beauty & Essex. My favourite cocktail from there is Beauty Elixir (Hendricks gin, cucumber, strawberry, sparkling rosé) The best thing to do when we have family or friends from Australia is to take them on an East Village Bar tour! It’s a great way to experience the East Village, try different cocktails and be taken to bars that you would never know were there! The tour is called – East Village Walking Tour: Craft Cocktails and Speakeasies.
What do you like about being part of AWNY?
I have met so many amazing people through AWNY!
What things do you do to keep home sickness under control?
FaceTiming my family and friends always helps so much!
Danielle and her husband Bill in Times Square.