What’s on in New York, August 2017

We hope you’ve been out enjoying the gorgeous Summer weather, surviving the school holidays and making the most of the (hopefully) quieter time at work to get out of the city. With only 47 days left of Summer its time to take advantage of the outdoors in August with Manhattan’s Summer Streets and The US Open just a few of the great events to check out with our AWNY wrap up below…

Enjoy! – The AWNY Communications Team

Every summer (and winter, for that matter), NYC Restaurant Week returns with dining deals at restaurants all across New York, more than 380 restaurants offer three-course pre-fixe dining deals for both lunch ($29) and dinner ($42). The summer session runs through Friday, August 18, 2017 reservations available here.

Summer Streets is back! On Saturday, August 12 and 19th between the hours of 7 am and 1 pm, nearly seven miles of New York City’s streets are open to the public to play, run, walk and bike. Find out more here.

Don’t miss your chance to see major artists in shows devoted to Bollywood musicals, Eastern European and Central Asian folk music and dance, and West African and West Indian carnival culture at Lincoln Center Out of Doors on up until August 13.

Yet to make it to a Baseball game? The Subway Series is a series of  Major League Basketball games played between the two teams based in New York City, the Yankees and the Mets. Previously, this applied to the Giants and Dodgers as well, before they moved out of New York City. Every historic and current venue for such games has been accessible via the New York City Subway, hence the name of the series. So whether you’ve adopted Yankee blue or Mets orange or you’re just there for the hot dogs and beer, it’s sure to be a good day out at Citi Field between August 14-17.

Iconic Aussie rock bands Midnight Oil & The Living End team up for a show in Hells Kitchen on August 21st tickets available.

The Jazz Age Lawn Party is returning to Governor’s Island on August 26 & 27. Sip on Prohibition-era cocktails during incredible daylong jazz performances from Philadelphia’s prized Drew Nugent and the Midnight Society, as well as singer-songwriter Queen Esther. Get a bunch of friends together and dress up in 1920’s attire for an unforgettable experience.

Tennis fan? Head to flushing and tick the US Open off your NYC bucket list! August 28 to September 10.

On August 28 join the AAA at the Brooklyn Brewery for ‘Science on Tap’ an evening of astronomy with astrophysicist, Nobel Prize laureate and ANU Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Brian Schmidt, Assistant Deputy Associate Administrator and Deputy Program Manager, Space Communications and Navigation NASA HQ Philip Liebrecht and AMNH Associate Research Scientist, Lehman College Professor and Host/Writer of PBS Space Time Professor Matthew O’Dowd. Networking and meat pies by The Australian to follow the panel discussion.

Photo credit of Summer Streets: NYC-Arts.org

 

To Stephen; one of NYC’s many homeless people

to stephen

Written by Helen McWilliam

I didn’t know Stephen’s name until after he had died.  He always sat on the chairs near the Elephant Playground on the UWS of Manhattan.  We walked past him often as it is a favourite playground of my children.  I think I noticed him because he always looked so sad and I was struck by how young he was. I often thought about bringing him food, giving him money but I never made the time to do it.  Next time, I’ll bring him a sandwich.  Next time I’ll bring him a coffee.  I was so shocked when I saw a sign on the seat where he always sat, asking if anyone had any more information about who he was, because he had died.  It seemed many people had noticed the sad, young man on the park bench and didn’t want him to die anonymously.

 

Homeless people are a much rarer sight in Australia than they are in New York City.   I am a social worker so I am aware of the support and services available to homeless people in Australia.  To try and make myself feel better about having done nothing for Stephen, I wanted to see what I could have done for him.  After my internet search and without getting too bogged down in the depressing details, it is a huge issue for the city. Homelessness is at its highest level since the Great Depression. It doesn’t just affect the men and women you regularly see but many families as well.

 

Through my research I was hoping to find out what organisations recommended people do when they see homeless people on the street.  Obviously call 911 if you are seriously worried about a person sleeping rough and you think it’s a medical emergency.  In extreme weather you can call 311 if you’re concerned about someone and the responsible organisation is required to act quickly to check on the welfare of that person.

 

From what I read, organisations don’t actively encourage giving money or food/water to homeless people.  It won’t change their life however it may make their day easier.   I also discovered lots of amazing work being done by organisations in New York to support the city’s homeless population.    There’s outreach programs, food programs, crisis service and advocacy, to name a few.  Coincidently AWNY’s chosen charity this year ‘The Dwelling Place’ is one such organisation.  It is a transitional residence for homeless women, which works hard to maintain the dignity of the women and supports their transition back into the community.  Keep an eye on the AWNY website and AWNY updates as there’ll be volunteering opportunities for this charity later in the year.

 

The homeless situation in NYC will not be solved any time soon but in honour of Stephen, I now make an effort to give food or money to people when I feel I should. I know it won’t change their lives but a little kindness goes a long way. I now also make a regular donation to a charity I believe does worthwhile work which does make a difference in the long term.

 

If you’re interested, here are some links to some of the websites I found useful and interesting:

 

If you don’t want to give money, the Coalition for the Homeless has some really good information on their website, including a help card to print out and give to people begging so they know where to go for help.

 

Event Review: Morning Tea at the Consul-General’s Residence

by Cara Zelas

On a beautiful spring morning, on May 3rd, AWNY’s patron Mrs. Kerry Minchin kindly invited a small group of AWNY members to connect, network and mingle in the outside courtyard of the Australian Consul-General’s residence at Beekman Place. It was a lovely morning tea, filled with Aussie delights surrounded by new spring flowers, sunshine and engaging conversation.

After countless lamingtons, Tim Tams and cups of tea, Mrs. Minchin, wife of the Consul-General, The Hon Nick Minchin, asked the guests to gather around, as she wanted to highlight an important issue that is lacking for the Australian community in New York. She brought attention to the fact that Australia did not have any kind of space or building in New York City that could be used for events, to showcase Australian businesses or to fly the Aussie flag. The Beekman and Sutton Place areas are populated by buildings from countries from all over the world, which expatriates can call a home away from home and where they fly their flags proudly and hold events as appropriate. Mrs Minchin is on a mission to create an Australia House in NYC and asked for AWNY support.

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The main question from attendees was how could we get involved to assist this campaign. Mrs. Minchin asked if AWNY members could advocate their support through different social media platforms. She hopes that Australians in New York can lead the charge once they head back to Australia. We will keep you posted as how you can further support this cause!

Belinda Jackson, AWNY’s President extended a very big thank you to Mrs. Minchin for the Consul-General’s hospitality and for opening their home for many AWNY committee meetings and get-togethers.

From the Australia Women in New York community, we wish all the best to the out-going Consul-General and their family.

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To see more photos from the event, check out this Facebook album.

 

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What’s On in New York, July 2017

We do hope your July 4th weekend is packing a punch so far. With some luck you’ve got today off work to make it an extra long weekend, and you’ve packed up the framily (friends+family=framily) and headed beach-side, lake-side, mountain-side or city-side with a drink in one hand and a sarnie in the other.

There is something unique about long weekends in New York, probably because we get relatively few of them. And when you’ve got a quiet moment, have a squizz at AWNY’s pick of events for July in New York, this weekend and beyond.

Enjoy! – The AWNY Communications Team

Strong stomach? Then Nathan’s 2017 Hotdog Eating Contest is on July 4th at Coney Island (at Nathan’s flagship store). It runs from 10am-2pm. Last year’s winner gulped 70 hotdogs in 10 minutes. Gross, but quite something to see. Plus, one of our own AWNY Committee Members, Tanya McCaw is on the judging panel!

If you’re anywhere near the east river on the night of the 4th, then don’t miss the Macy’s Day fireworks, scheduled to kick off about 9.20PM. They will be set off along the East River, with the best viewing points between Midtown and the South Street Seaport district. As always, get there early to grab a good spot.

The annual AAA Westpac Summer Cruise is on July 20th and tickets are on sale now for this fun event. Cruise the East and Hudson Rivers, sip cocktails, nibble fare from The Australian Hotel. Purchase your tickets and get all event info here.

AWNY’s July event is ‘Greekalicious,’ an intimate book talk with award winning chef and author Maria Bernardis. Ticket price of $35 includes light refreshments and a copy of Maria’s book, ‘My Greek Family Table.’ Visit the event page on the AAA website to secure your ticket.

The New York Musical Festival runs throughout July and there’s an incredible line up of performances to see at various locations around the city. This link has a calendar of all events, dates, and locations – hopefully there’s a show near you!

Get out and see a movie during the Summer Movie Series that runs throughout July on the flight deck at the Intrepid Museum. Tickets are free (first in best dressed set up) and if you’re a member of museum you get priority admission but as you’ll be sitting atop the aircraft-carrier-turned-museum there’s good visibility from all spots.

Governors Island! Get there in July. You can visit on your own schedule for a leisurely picnic and bike ride or for one of the fun events throughout July, including City of Water Day on July 15,  Come Out & Play on July 21 and 22 or the Poetry Festival on July 29 and 30.

Tame Impala, Vance Joy, Solange, and Nine Inch Nails are just some of the highlights at the Panorama Music Festival, Randall’s Island, on July 28-30. See the line up here and view ticket package options here.

Warm Up 2017 is MoMA PS1’s outdoor music festival and runs throughout July and August, and showcases the best in live and electronic music. Melbournians Superconscious Records perform on July 29. Note MoMA PS1 is in Long Island City, directions, info, line up all here.

Pic credit: Joanna Hishon

AWNY Mums and Dads update, June 2017

Written by Helen McWilliam

May was a quieter month for the AWNY Mums and Dads group after a very busy April.  The warmer weather has been very welcome and my children are loving the more regular sight of sprinklers in the playgrounds.

This month, Amanda and I wanted to include a shout out to the Dads of this group.  The events we’ve organised so far have been focused on the Mums.  We’d love some input from the Dads to see if you’d like our help to organize a Dad’s meet-up, arrange a Saturday playgroup or something else entirely.  Please contact us through our Facebook page or email AWNY. We’d love to hear from you.

With the school holidays rapidly approaching, I wanted to share a day trip idea.  As I have recently overcome my fear of travelling on the subway alone with two children, I am finally leaving the Upper West Side.  Well, if I’m honest there’s still fear, I can just do it without hyperventilating and shouting! The New York Hall of Science in Queens is worth the long subway ride.  I have a 4.5 year old and nearly 2 year old and they were both transfixed for hours.  It would also be suitable for much older children as my two missed a lot of the meaning behind many of the exhibits. All the exhibits were engaging and hands on, however the ‘Connected Worlds’ installation was a must see. There’s also plenty of staff on hand to help the children get the most out of the museum. It can get a bit hectic with school groups but there’s a preschool area where groups aren’t allowed and we were advised that the groups tend to leave at 12-1pm. A few helpful pointers:

1. There’s no lift for strollers at 111th street Subway Station in Queens however, however I found I only had to look towards the stairs and people were offering me help.

2. The café was pretty basic so I would advise bringing your own food.

3. In what I would consider a big win, the shop was easily avoided!

Some up coming AWNY events to highlight: the ‘Working In the USA’ information session presented by Belinda Jackson is on the 14th of June.  It provides expert advice for Aussie job seekers.  Plus, the annual AWNY picnic is one for the whole family on the 24th of June in Central Park.

Photo credit: Helen McWilliams

Enjoy your June and the last few precious weeks of school before the endless school holidays!