“I ❤️ NY Stories”: An AWNY Photo Essay

Looking at the social-media posts of our New York Aussie mates’ “everything must go” furniture sales and their emotional departure pictures as they headed back to Australia, l was left wondering why the rest of us were choosing to stay. 

Our experiences in the past year have been vastly different from those of our family and friends over in Oz. We all know at least a handful of people who have had Covid-19, and we have watched as the U.S. rolled with more punches than we saw coming. Walking the avenues with so many of New York City’s beloved businesses shuttered has been unsettling. At the same time, having the streets dotted only with locals has provided an unexpected sense of calm and given us space to adjust to the now times. Without its madding crowds and cultural offerings, the city that never sleeps has been on pause.

Those of us who have married locally, taken on dual citizenship, or sent down taproots of the sort that can’t easily be removed have interacted with the city in ways we had never experienced before. Courageous entrepreneurs have opened up new businesses; graffiti and murals telling the stories of the year we’ve lived have proliferated; parking spots are no longer filled with cars but with dining huts; pop-up outdoor performances entertain us; bar curfews are again a thing of the past; and our gorgeous parks and gardens are filled with cautiously unmasked people eager to take in fresh air: New York City is gritty and as beautiful as ever.

Until the vaccination roll-out began in earnest, most of our AWNY community had remained physically isolated from one another for over a year. As a leader of AWNY’s Community committee, I took up the challenge of finding fun ways to bring us together while we were apart. Like driving across the Brooklyn Bridge and looking at the Statue of Liberty, sharing why we love this tough and wonderful place never gets old.

Flip through our New York Stories:

This collection is made up of contributions from our awesome community members. Whenever I received a story, I prepped the artwork and posted it across our Facebook pages as if we were each writing a love note to New York. As we enter the next chapter of regeneration, it’s time to pass these stories along and begin writing new ones. 

Be part of the collection 

We hope you enjoy our NY Stories. If you’d like to be part of the collection, share your own photo and story on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and use the hashtag: #IHeartNYStories.

I ❤️ NY Stories e-book was designed and developed by Robyn Sunderland.

Author: Robyn Sunderland

Robyn moved to New York over twenty years ago and has been an AWNY volunteer since 2019. She has worked in politics, diplomacy, strategic marketing and theatrical general management. She is currently a theatrical booking and promotions manager, and hails from Melbourne (by way of rural Victoria). Find her on Instagram: @rjsunders

2 thoughts

  1. What a fantastic collection of words for the Love of New York. Thank you Robyn for being your creative inspirer with pure presence in the AWNY community of NY. I love your story here on this post. Xo


  2. Thank you, Susie. I love everyone’s NY stories, they’re all so special and unique. The AWNY-verse has done so much to help support and keep us connected this past year — what we’ve shared and achieved during the pandemic makes my heart feel full.❤️

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