What’s On in New York, June 2017

Our monthly events list often leads with the fun happenings from the AWNY committee but June has quite a highlight. One of AWNY’s most popular events is the ‘Working in the USA’ careers advice evening. You’ll learn top tips for job searching, seeking out networking opportunities, optimizing your resume for the US market, and listen to the job search experiences of other New York based Aussies. The event is led by our President Belinda Jackson (Prosell international). The tickets for this event go quickly and space is limited to secure your spot!

We also have our Annual AWNY picnic on this month (June 24th in Central Park) and a great list of fun things to do in New York as we had into the steamy months of summer.


June means Jazz in New York City and it’s definitely the month to get to one of the 100 performances at the Blue Note Jazz Festival (various venues). You’re guaranteed great music and performances run throughout June. Schedule, locations, tix available here.

Free Summer Movies start June 2 at various locations around the 5 boroughs. There’s mix of pics to delight all ages. A schedule of movies, dates and locations is found on the NYC Park website. All the movies are free.

The Human Rights Watch Film Festival simply has to be included on our June What’s On list. The organizers encourage the addressing of Human Rights Issues in the films selected for the festival, and unsurprisingly there is a broad list presented this year. The festival runs from June 9-18 at with showing at either the Lincoln Center or IFC Center. Details and tickets available here.

June also sees the commencement of the SummerStage series, free outdoor concerts at various locations around the city, that run into September. Elvis Costello, The Metropolitan Opera, and Freedom Party are highlights for June.  This link provides a view of everything happening in June. Expand to to see the entire SummerStage series.

Fifth Avenue goes car free (well, for 23 blocks) on June 13 for the Museum Mile Evening, commencing at 6pm. All the museums along the stretch of fifth dubbed ‘Museum Mile’ are free and there will be live music to entertain you as you hop between them. Schedule and details available here.

Working in the USA Event is on June 14th at the Australian Consulate. Polish your resume, learn great networking tips, interview skills and job seeking advice. If you’re currently looking for a new role, or even thinking about starting a job search in New York, then don’t miss this event. It’s one of our most popular events each year, so make sure you secure a spot!  Tickets available through the AWNY Facebook event page.

USA Father’s Day is June 18! If you’re celebrating and need options, there’s this Jazz brunch cruise, the Father’s day scavenger hunt, Smorgasburg, or check out Open Table and book a table somewhere fancy or fun.

This month’s Generation Women event brings together Australian author and AWNY Member Georgia Clark, along with 4 other notable women from different generations to read and share their perspectives on a theme. This month’s theme: my first time saying no. The event is on June 21st and tickets are a very reasonable $25, available through this link.

Take advantage of the totally free Concerts in the Park series and listen to the New York Philharmonic orchestra on one of 5 performances between June 13-18 at various locations around the city. Information and schedules available here.

The Annual AWNY Picnic in the Park is on June 21st. We’ll be there from 2pm – 4pm for bring the whole family, plus any visitors you have in town, and enjoy a great afternoon with your Australian friends. We’ll have games and face painting to entertain the kids, please bring your own picnic lunch. For more info, visit the AWNY Facebook event page.

Photo credit: Joanna Hishon

Faces of AWNY: Georgia Clark

Author Georgia Clark shares gives us a peek into her life and experiences in New York.

Tell us about yourself and why you moved to NYC?

I moved to NYC because I fell in love with the city and felt like I needed a big, exciting, scary change to kick-start my life. I was 29, single, hungry, restless and had lived in Sydney since starting uni. I wanted an adventure: and I got it.

Where are you from? How long have you been here?

I went to school at Gosford High School on the Central Coast, having grown up in Hornsby Heights and then moving to North Sydney when I was in Year 10 (so yes, it was a 2 hour commute to school every day!). I’ve been in NYC for 7.5 years.

Favorite NYC brunch spot

Dead heat between Five Leaves in Greenpoint and Diner in South Williamsburg.

Favorite NYC cocktail spot & cocktail of choice

I love some sort of spicy/sweet jalapeño margarita (like the Firewalker at Nitehawk cinema: amazing!). My girlfriend and I like getting the happy hour wine and a little cheese at Miusa, which is a cute little place close to our home.

How did you get into your job in NYC?

My current job is being an author, and I got that because my agent and I sold my first adult fiction novel, The Regulars, to Simon & Schuster in January 2015. I’m very lucky, but I also worked damn hard, unpaid, for years to get there! [Ed’s note: Georgia spoke about just how hard she worked at our recent event, Australian Writers in New York.]

What do you like about being part of AWNY?

I love being connected to so many smart, hard-working, curious Australian women. When the tide rises, all boats float.

What was your biggest win recently?

The Regulars launched in the UK on August 11, 2016, and we got some wonderful press. We got a great rave in the Sunday Mirror, Grazia published a two-page article, In-Style published a piece I wrote on how to write your first book, and Look called the book “Mean Girls with magic”, which is simply the best.

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

I couldn’t get work for a long time and I was very broke. I foolishly thought that having a good resume and solid experience in Australia would translate well in America: it does not. I could’ve tried to get full-time work but I knew if I did that I’d never have the time to write and that was my priority. I subsisted on piecemeal writing work, like writing daily deal type copy for sites like Living Social and living on vegetable soup (Every. Single. Day) until I finally got a good freelance gig, and was able to get on top of debt and have a decent standard of living. But it was a long, tough road to that.

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

Persistence is key. It is all about who you know. It takes about 5 years to truly settle and put down real roots here, so be patient, if you’re serious about making a life here. Get a proper winter jacket.

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Life Mirrors Art; A Book Appreciation of Only in New York by Caroline Overington




The Book: Only in New York, How I took Manhattan (with the Kids)
The Author: Caroline Overington

Living in New York, we are often surrounded by film crews shooting footage, meeting writers, actors and artists so I’m often curious how life translates to other mediums. When this book popped up on my Facebook feed, I immediately ordered it online. After all, who doesn’t love a good book recommendation, and it felt comforting that someone wrote about an experience that parallels my present life.

“Only in New York” is a warm and very honest view of the expatriate experience – Caroline Overington shows us her personal journey in this city – one that rings true and is similar to many others. I thought I would share a few observations and learnings from this book that may interest some AWNY members – or those considering a move to New York.

My Neighbourhood

When I arrived in New York – I relished my UWS surrounds. I watched all the movies where the UWS streets were the background to classic moments and then went exploring on foot. This book is set in my neighbourhood – so it’s delightful to read about Barnes and Noble on Broadway, Zabars, recognizable landmarks and quirky little stores that are still around.

Living on One Salary

Many expats move to New York for around 2-3 years, transferring with their husband’s jobs. So it’s refreshing to read that Caroline and her family transferred for her job as a foreign correspondent and they lived on her salary. Her husband left his full-time job in Sydney however was neither eligible for a green card or a working visa and became the primary carer for their twins. This proved to be an adjustment that he grew to love in short time and I appreciated reading and understanding more about the male perspective of this experience. Additionally the economics of living on one salary in an expensive city is an important consideration that is soundly acknowledged.
What I learned: The AWNY subgroup Australian Mums and Dads is a terrific resource for expatriate parents.

The Perfect Apartment is like Santa Claus

I loved the chapter on apartment hunting because it was so true and so close to my own experience on the UWS. During 2001, Caroline found a 3Bed/2Bath basement apartment on W83rd/WEA for under $4,500 with a basement room that flooded from damp, was 2 feet away from smelly garbage that attracted a parade of rats and was swathed in perpetual darkness. Needless to say, she loved her apartment!

In a previous life in my Australian bubble, I wanted to believe that in 2013 we wouldn’t have to pay $6,000 per month for a 3Bed/2Bath perfectly ordinary apartment on the UWS. Because that’s just ‘cray’…right?

No, I was wrong. In 2013 I was shocked to pay through the nose for an even smaller apartment where I’m sure there are rats tip-toeing around – but in 2016 that’s life.
What I learned: It’s New York – so what are you going do?

How to Make Friends

The initial idea may seem a little silly…. typically you just go and strike up a conversation with someone. However Caroline discovers that in New York you need to make an effort to make friends, as many women are either working or networking elsewhere. She tried meeting other parents in the playground, which is usually the first port of call. However she advertised for friends (which most of us do).
What I learned: Seeking out expatriates through the AWNY network works a treat

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Bad Beauty: How women write about beauty (in a post Lena Dunham world)

How do we challenge beauty standards while being subject to them?

If you missed the AWNY event, ‘Australian Writers in New York’ last week (or if you did attend and loved it), join Australia’s Georgia Clark for an energizing discussion about women, identity and beauty, and the role these three themes play in their lives and work. Georgia will be joined by three other amazing New York authors, Phoebe Robinson, Emily Schultz, and Autumn Whitefield-Madrano.

$26 gets you admission and a signed copy of Georgia’s book ‘The Regulars’.

The event is on Wednesday August 17th, 7-8PM at Strand bookstore 828 Broadway (rare book room). Tickets can be purchased through this site.

Movie Review: Tracks

By BJ Jackson

Based on the book Tracks by Robyn Davidson, this film follows a young woman who decides to travel from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean overland. She is accompanied by four camels and her trusty black kelpie-cross, Diggity. To fund the trip Robyn (played by Australian Mia Wasikowska) makes a big decision and accepts assistance from National Geographic, this results in her having to tolerate a photographer, (played beautifully by Adam Driver of Girls fame) meeting her throughout her journey to document her travels. She questions this compromise along the route and this relationship creates depth to the storyline.

I was transported back to the red dirt of Australia whilst watching this film. Each step is an effort in searing heat, and the dust, flies and bright sunshine, in a land where the sky seems so high, made me feel the effort of every step. The effort of the camels; the effort of Robyn, traveling on her own through the desert; and the effort of her dog, Diggity providing constant support to her on this long and lonely venture. The film is slow, I suspect a deliberate decision of director John Curran; things don’t happen with haste in the desert. But, it is sublime, the vast brown land of our home is brought to the screen with strength; the music is powerful and by the end of the film I wanted to go to there myself.

BJ’s Rating – 4/5

Have a listen to an interview with Mia Wasikowska here.