Nutrition entrepreneur Kara Landau had just moved back to Sydney after four years living in New York, when she met the love of her life in a New York bar while on a quick holiday here. Kara tells AWNY how that night changed her life, and shares her tips for surviving the Big Apple.
What brought you to New York?
I’m a Melbourne born, 30 year old world travelling nutrition entrepreneur. I have a personal brand “Travelling Dietitian” that I launched back in 2012 when I moved to New York for the first time. After living in New York for four years, I decided I actually wanted to move to Sydney and soak up the healthy, lifestyle focused beach loving culture there.
After a year living in Sydney I popped back to New York for a two week holiday; it was on this trip nine months ago that I met James, the man who has since become my fiancé. After an extended stay in New York and a visa appointment back in Australia, I packed my Sydney life into a few boxes, and just like that moved back to New York. I’m getting married in less than two weeks time! What whirlwind and adventure this city can bring you if you let it!
Where do you live? Why did you choose that area?
I am based in the Upper East Side. I was missing the beaches and nature from beautiful Sydney, and decided that unlike my previous years based downtown in the heart of Greenwich Village and the East Village, that I would move Uptown and be closer to Central Park. It has proven a perfect decision, with my weekends in the park definitely being the highlight of my week.
What do you do (for work)?
I am a media dietitian and gut health expert – also referred to as the “Travelling Dietitian”. I work with health food and lifestyle brands on digital video and recipe content development, and as a brand nutrition spokesperson for mainstream media initiatives. I am about to launch an amazing new gut health and mood food focused website and food product here in the USA, and in Australia. More details to come very soon!
What was your biggest win this week?
When piecing together a new business of your own, each mini step forward feels fantastic. So this week, finalizing my logo, food product formulation, and food manufacturer have been pretty positive steps in the right direction!
What do you like/dislike about living in NY?
I absolutely love the people! Being able to have friendship circles made up of people with such diverse backgrounds who are intelligent, open minded, and way too much fun for anyone’s good has definitely been one of the biggest draw cards to life here! Having colleagues who have welcomed me into the industry with open arms has also made a serious difference in my life here, and been a huge positive to life in New York. I love all the different cuisines that we have at our fingertips, outdoor food events, and of course, I love the rooftop cocktail bars in summer! As with many Aussies, I am definitely not a fan of the winters here. I tend to escape for as long as possible each winter!
What’s your ‘only in New York’ moment?
Oh there are definitely way too many to recall, but I guess the fact that I somehow managed to meet my gorgeous Irish fiancé on a random night out in the Meat Packing District while on a two week holiday probably could count as my most memorable and life changing “New York” moment! I mean how often do you find the love of your life from the country furthest from your hometown, on a night out on a holiday, close down multiple nightclubs throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, and end up watching the sunrise over the NYC city skyline?
What’s your favorite New York spot?
For a quiet get-away I like setting up a picnic rug on Cherry Hill in Central Park. There is just something about being surrounded by the green, seeing the lake and the Upper West Side high-rises in the background that is quite special. Otherwise I am a huge fan of Hudson River Park on a sunny evening and feeling the sunshine on my face! Clearly I like being near green and water!
Favorite NYC brunch spot?
They are not necessarily brunch spots, but a couple of my absolutely favorite New York dining spots are ABC Kitchen, Seamores, plus all of the awesome Aussie cafes (we really do know brunch!).
What is your favorite NYC cocktail spot & cocktail of choice?
I have definitely become a Margarita lover since moving to New York. I think it could have something to do with how well they go with all the Mexican food on offer!
Anything you miss about Australia?
There are so many things I miss, but the few that stay with me on a daily basis are the beautiful beaches that are a 10 minute drive from home, the great weather all year round, and my family and gorgeous puppy.
What are your top three tips for friends visiting NYC?
Stay downtown in the heart of the East or West Village and enjoy the atmosphere that comes from waking up in the heart of all the action. Avoid Times Square (am I allowed to say that?!). Say ‘yes’ to that adventurous night out that leads you to all sorts of amazing new places, meeting interesting new people, and leaving you with memories that will last a lifetime!
Have you had any hard times in New York and how did you get through them without your usual support network at home?
I have definitely had some horrible times in New York. The main one that comes to mind was a hard break up I had years ago. I have to say though, I actually have the most incredible family and support network that I couldn’t imagine my life without them – my mother booked herself a plane ticket and came to be by my side for three weeks without me even asking. In between my friends here and those scattered throughout the globe, I don’t remember going an hour without a message or call to check in on me. I took myself to yoga and exercise classes daily (and this from someone who isn’t usually into yoga). This + friends + my mood boosting foods = a recipe for success!
Any advice for people moving to NY?
It’s important to constantly connect with people, you just don’t know who you are going to meet at any time in this City. Be confident and positive, and always keep hustling!
What do you like about being part of AWNY?
I think it is fantastic to connect with other amazing women from the same part of the globe! I have found that there is often an instant connection and mutual understanding between us, which sets us off to a great start for building meaningful relationships and sharing positive experiences with one another.
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