The Sunny Side of NYC Life with Selene Ng

Meet Selene, an Australian living in New York who keeps on the sunny side of NYC life by gathering a group of friends at her ‘local’. AWNY spoke with Selene about starting her ever expanding group of Aussie friends and the things she misses most from home.

Hello Selene, what do you miss about Australia and New Zealand?

My family, the fresh air, abundance of fresh, natural produce, every single Aussie snack/lolly/national dish (e.g. meat pies, sausage rolls, pavlovas), the laid-back honesty, the accent, beaches, park, BBQs.

What bits and pieces, curiosities and comforts do you bring back with you from home that you are running scarily low on?

Deodorant (any women’s from Nivea or Norsca), Sirena Tuna, Tim Tams, anything from Natural Confectionery Company, Haigh’s chocolate, Cadbury chocolate, Armaforce, Milo, Arnotts anything, Lucas’ Pawpaw Ointment.

What are some ways you stay connected to Aussie and Kiwi life here in New York?

I’m lucky to have a great circle of Aussie friends of all ages and from across all walks of life, and the circle keeps expanding which is great!  I don’t necessarily seek out Aussie-run establishments to hang out at as I didn’t move to NY to replicate what I would do back home. The main things are my friends, frequent video calls to family and friends back home, and a taste of home through snacks, good coffee and making my own signature Aussie dishes.

Selene out and about in the New York area. Photo credit: Supplied

What are your go-to Aussie and Kiwi spots in NYC that you visit when you’re in need of a taste of home?

Bluestone Lane, Dinkum, and Citizens of Chelsea

Has your day-to-day life changed much since the pandemic, and how do you stay “on the sunny side of life”? 

A lot more contact with family and friends back home to check in on each other, as well as truly immersing myself in as many New York experiences as possible–both virtual and in person as things start opening up, so that I feel like I belong and am grateful for the incredible opportunity to be here. When you’re feeling lonely or questioning [during the pandemic and even outside of the pandemic when things get hard] whether you made the right move to NY, these experiences and also meet-ups with my American friends and others that have moved here help me to appreciate and value my decision to leave home.

What advice can you give to fellow Aussies and Kiwi’s who are desperately missing home right now?   

Do everything I mentioned above! Home is going through its own challenges also, so don’t always think the grass is greener there. You’ve committed to the decision to move to NY, so be proud of it, consider yourself lucky to have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and embrace everything this amazing city has to offer from people you meet, to experiences you cannot find anywhere else in the world.

Selene (right) with a friend and Australian politician Joe Hockey. Photo credit: Supplied

What does it mean to you, to be an Aussie or Kiwi woman in NYC? 

Once others get past our unique accent, we are genuinely recognized for our unwavering passion for life and openness to try new things. In the workplace and in social situations we are valued for bringing a new dimension to thinking, for our transparency and candour, our directness and ability to view things from so many varied perspectives. I feel this is due to our education in Australia as well as exposure to more than just what is American. Australians have a reputation for being well-traveled and loving adventure so we tend to incorporate this into how we behave and express ourselves.

How do you like to celebrate Australian and New Zealander public holidays in New York?  

Usually one of our friends in the Aussie community will host a get-together or there will be a gathering at our ‘local’.

Connect with Selene

Instagram: @SeleneNg 
Twitter: @SeleneNg
Clubhouse: @SeleneNg
LinkedIn: @SeleneNg

Thank you Dinkum

This sunny interview series was made possible thanks to Dinkum. And to spread more cheer, Dinkum is serving up a 10% discount code for the AWNY community to help you access your favourite Aussie products! Use DINKUMAWNYNOV10 for 10% your next order*. If you’re looking for a taste of Australia, Dinkum is the perfect antidote to homesickness for anyone yearning for a sunny slice of Aussie life with over 1,000 favourites including Tim Tams, Vegemite, and Milo featured on its online store.

*10% discount is valid for use at until November 30 2021.


Author: Tarley Jordan

Tarley has been an AWNY volunteer since 2012. She is award-winning marketer from Sydney (with stops in Brisbane and Rockhampton), who moved to New York for love. Find her on Instagram: @tarleyj

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