Faces of AWNY: Elise Webb

Elise Webb moved to NYC mid-pandemic to work for Austrade, a Australian Government agency. Formerly from Brisbane, Elise worked in Canada prior to NYC and shares some of her observations on what makes NYC great. We explore Elise’s journey to NYC, including what she found stressful and the most rewarding parts about navigating and settling in to a new city.

AWNY Volunteer Elise Webb. Photo: Supplied.

What neighborhood do you live in and why did you choose that area?

Upper East Side. I wanted more space and greenery without leaving Manhattan.

What do you like and dislike about living in NY?

I like and dislike the same thing—it’s the city that never sleeps! There is always something to do and somewhere to be, which makes it constantly exciting. However, this can also be exhausting and hard to disconnect from. 

Tell us one of your ‘only in New York’ moment/s?

Walking home from work and turning the corner to see the Empire State Building lit up right there—it gets me every time. 

What do you do in your ‘spare time’ in NYC?

Broadway, concerts, markets, events, restaurants, bars, food carts—just exploring all the secrets NYC has to discover. 

What’s your favorite New York brunch spot?

I am a sucker for bagels and my favorite is Zuckers (maybe not brunch but it is always my default). I also love Banter for that taste of home.

What are your top 3 tips for friends visiting NYC?

  1. Walk as much as you can—its such an easy city for exploring on foot 
  2. See New York from above. ie. building observation decks (Summit, Edge, Top of the Rock, and the Empire State Building). Do it at sunset. Watching the New York skyline transform is magical. Also consider doing a doors-off helicopter flight over NYC. I did it with FlyNYON and it was the best tourist experience I’ve done in NYC, possibly anywhere actually. You are clipped in and get to hang out of the chopper to take these incredible shots. At first it’s a little terrifying but then you get used to it and the sheer beauty of the city takes over. My hot tip is to try to get the front seat of the chopper if possible (it takes 5 up at a time), then you get front views as well. 
  3. If you have time, the free (tipping only) walking tours provide so much history and life to the city. Highly recommend, especially in Greenwich Village/West Village and the Lower East Side.

My one last tip is to leave Manhattan. Some of the best of NYC is in the other boroughs.

Elise doing a doors off helicopter flight over NY with FlyNYON. She says it was the best tourist experience she has done in NYC. Photo – Supplied.

Favorite NYC cocktail spot & cocktail of choice

Too many to choose from! But I love anything that is tropical—passionfruit, pineapple, lychee are my jam. 

What’s the biggest challenge or road block you’ve been faced with since being in NYC and how do you overcome it?

Finding a place to rent. Not having a credit history and my visa class created a somewhat challenging situation. That said, I love the apartment I found in the end. Subletting when I first arrived here was a great help.

Have you kept connections with Aussies/NZers in NYC? If so, what does that community of Aussies mean to you (being so far from home)?

Yes—working for the Austrade means my Aussie connections here are quite strong. These connections from home help to make it not feel so far away. Having people who understand how you’re feeling, especially during COVID restrictions the past two years, has been so immensely helpful. 

As a professional working in NYC what are the differences to working in Australia?

I am lucky to get to work across both markets daily, so I still get the taste of Australia. I would say the biggest difference I find is communication. Aussies rely on non-verbal communication far more than our US counterparts, which has resulted in me learning to be far more literal.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given about living/working in NYC?

To make the most of the time—for both living and working. It is easy to become complacent and get caught up in day-to-day life, and before you know it time has passed and you haven’t experienced all of the things NYC has to offer.

What advice do you have for Australians looking to live/work in NYC?

  1. Be patient. Job hunting can take a lot longer here than home. Don’t expect to land and have a job in a matter of weeks—it’s worth the wait though.

2. Your network is so important. Take every opportunity to meet others in your industry and the NYC market. 

What is the biggest difference between home and NYC that comes up in discussion?

The size of everything—whether its buildings, food, drinks, personalities, the market—nothing compares to it. 

What do you miss most about Australia?

I definitely miss Australia’s weather! But there’s no where else I’d rather be. There is no other city in the world like NYC!

Who are some Aussie or Kiwi ladies doing awesome things in NYC who are currently on your radar?

CJ Hendry—I have been obsessed with her art for years, one day I will own a piece! 

What do you like most about being part of AWNY?

The community, finding out about happening events, I love finding out about Aussies doing things in NYC and try to get along to support as much as I can.

Connect with Elise

Email: elise.webb@hotmail.com or Instagram: _elise.webb

Author: Australian Women in New York

Australian Women in New York (AWNY) sources stories and guides that will help make you win the Big Apple. We also love to profile fabulous Aussie and Kiwi women.

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