Emma McGregor-Mento is a Massage Therapist living in the East Village with her husband and 3 year old. In this month’s Faces of AWNY, Emma shares her favourite places to destress and decompress in NYC.
Tell us about yourself – why did you move to NYC?
I met my American husband in 1993 at the University of Queensland when he was doing a 6 month study abroad program. I lived with him in the East Village in 1998, returned to Brisbane to work in Town Planning (so pedestrian), then married at 25 and moved back in 2000. We still live in the East Village, now with a 3 year old and three cats.
What do you like/dislike about living in NYC?
I like the convenience of being able to walk everywhere – I haven’t owned a car in 20 years. I rarely need to take the subway or a cab. I like that I changed professions during my time here and my new career launched immediately. I like the diversity, the energy, and creative spirit here. There’s a plethora of workshops to take and ways to grow. Everything you need is right here – except good beaches. There’s Montauk, but beaches here do not compare.
I dislike winter but when spring hits, it’s so, so sweet. I dislike having to queue but I get a little competitive and line up hours in advance.
What do you like most/least about having kids in NYC?
We like that our child is growing up in a racially diverse, culturally rich city. In the East Village there are a lot of playgrounds and community gardens. We survive winter by going to indoor play spaces and libraries. The Children’s Museum of the Arts is wonderful. We go there early before it gets crowded.
Having a child opens up another universe and way to experience the city. We live in a small apartment and it’s a 6 floor walk up with no elevator. I gave birth in our bathtub! There were so many parent-to-be classes. Bowery Babes is a great resource for parents living in The Village with happenings in the area, school information, nanny recommendations, and so forth.
In Australia, I was raised in a house in the suburbs, and I lament that she can’t run around barefoot all the time, surrounded by nature. It takes a minute to recalibrate expectations. The cold and flu season strikes and all the kids and parents get sick. We have a wall of plants and a few air cleaners because air quality is a concern.
How do you and your partner juggle work and kids?
I see clients through the week while my 3 year old attends classes at the Y. I highly recommend the Y as it has a gym, pool and great classes. When I see clients on the weekends, my husband takes her to activities and birthday parties. I’m grateful my hours are flexible.
Hidden Gems of the City?
Taking care of your mental, physical and spiritual state is a must. My health and wellness gems are:
– Cap Beauty: Beauty and health products. Get a facial by Amity. So relaxing.
– Justbe: Facial and Reiki by Negin. She makes her own natural skincare products.
– Urban Wellness Clinic: Dr Kiberd – Chiropractor/PT
– Alchemist Kitchen: For health products, delicious vegan cheese, CBD oil, talks and workshops.
– Woom: Yoga, meditation and the Friday night sound experience.
– Omni Wellness: Acupuncture in Flatiron by Momoko who’s Australian.
– Mama Medicine: Spiritual healing by Deborah.
Advice for people moving to NYC?
Be inspired by others but don’t compare yourself to others. Align yourself with your passions and you will be successful. NYC offers endless opportunities to expand into your greatness.
What’s your ‘only in New York’ moment/s?
I’m a massage therapist. My ‘only in NY moment’ was working and traveling with an A-list celebrity and experiencing penthouse living and flying on private jets for 6 years. I traded in 24/7 hours when I had a child, and now see clients out of my space in the East Village.
Tips to keep homesickness under control?
I go to Saltwater Cafe owned by an Aussie couple on my block. Excellent coffee of course. Wattle Cafe is also great – I love that oat milk and macadamia milk is now offered. Listening to Double J.
What do you like about being part of AWNY?
I look forward to attending events and meeting fellow Aussies.
Connect with Emma:
If you’d like to book a massage with Emma, email her at email@example.com.