What to Do When You Feel Homesick

It’s bound to happen. One minute, you’re loving New York to death and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. The next, a Facebook post of a faraway friend’s birthday dinner or a Crowded House song on a party playlist sends you into a spiral—suddenly all you want is sun, sand and a Bunnings’ sausage sizzle.

As an expat, a bout of homesickness now and then is to be expected. We’re a long way from home, and missing Australian friends, family and culture is totally normal.

Here are some things you can do in New York to get through it:

* Grab a coffee at an Aussie coffee shop. The coffee you get from the bagel shop down the street is just… fine. But it’s worth it to treat yourself to a properly made latte from an Aussie who knows their way around an espresso machine. Some recommendations for a Melbourne-style caffeine hit: Little Collins (Midtown East), Sweatshop (Williamsburg), Two Hands (Little Italy/TriBeCa), and Bluestone Lane cafes (all over the place).

Sunday morning swans 💙☕️✨

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* Listen to an Aussie podcast. Podcast fever has hit Down Under, and there are some stellar offerings that will keep you in the loop on what’s going on back home. Chats 10, Looks 3 from ABC journos Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales is fantastic. And, of course, you can’t go past Hamish & Andy.

* Find a beach. For those who grew up or lived on the coast, there’s something about being near the waves. While American beaches will always fall short of our sparkling white sand and aquamarine vistas, sometimes just a hit of fresh salty air and the sound of the ocean can help a lot.

Some inspo for your weekend adventures 🌊 from @_carlybrownphotography_

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* Have a roast dinner. When was the last time you had a good old Sunday roast? You could make it yourself… or you could gather some friends and go out. There are some great British pubs and restaurants that cater to Commonwealth tastes (and you might just score a Yorkshire pudding). Try The Churchill, Tea & Sympathy, or The Shakespeare in The William Hotel.

* Go to an AWNY or American Australian Association event. Know what’s better than being alone while you miss Australia? Being around other Australians! Having a good community around you goes a long way in helping to make a new city a home. It’s also great to be able to chat to people who understand your accent and your humour (with a u) and won’t snigger when you say the word “thongs”.

And finally – be thankful that we live in the age of FaceTime/Viber/WhatsApp and can call our loved ones back in Australia for free whenever we want!

Faces of AWNY: Sophie Wilkinson

Sophie Wilkinson moved to New York from her home-town of Adelaide with a one-way ticket and plenty of optimism. Without a job in hand, her goal for moving to NYC was to work on complex high-profile design and construction projects. She fell in love with the city immediately and now works for Common, so let’s see how she made her dreams true in a short space of time!

What do you do?
I am the head of design and construction for Common, a coliving startup in the real estate industry. We are a residential brand and we design, build and manage homes specifically for living with roommates. I had just completed work on the Apple flagship store on the Upper East Side when I was introduced to Brad Hargreaves (founder and CEO of Common, and co-founder of General Assembly) by a woman I trust and admire very much. Brad and I hit it off, talking excitedly about what Common could be from our first meeting. I joined Common as their eighth employee. With my background in architecture and construction, I was charged with creating our homes and establishing and growing the Design and Construction team.  Common is now in four U.S. cities and has over 390 members who live in our 14 coliving homes.

What are some differences to working in Australia?
The most obvious difference is the sense of urgency in business. The pace here is exhilarating and we get a lot done. Australians, however, do have it right when it comes to vacation and taking time off. A lot of New York businesses are starting to go that way, but switching off completely is a rare luxury. I have also learned to love the directness in communication, but that took some getting used to. If you can, write it in three lines, never 10.

Any advice for other professionals working in NYC?
Don’t feel guilty if you need to recharge your batteries. A friend once said to me: “You can get anxious thinking if you step off the (New York) train, it will be gone forever, but after you are here for a while you realize that the train is just running on the same loop”. If you need to hop off, do it. It will be there when you are ready to get back on. I really value getting out of town to refresh.

Where do you live? Why did you choose that area?
I live in Williamsburg. I really enjoy the extra sky and sunlight that the shorter buildings let in, and the beautiful views of Manhattan. The neighborhood is friendly and very relaxed with terrific restaurants and bars. It is lovely to catch the M train home over the bridge as the sun is setting. I lived in SoHo for the first three years which was fabulous and it’s great to have experienced both.

What do you like and dislike about living in NYC?
I love the awesome buildings, the opportunities, the skyline, the spontaneity, the pace, the energy, the world class food and entertainment, and the confident, crazy and ambitious people who live here.  There isn’t a day that I don’t think about how much I love this damn town.

I dislike the distance from my friends and family, the expense and effort it takes to go to a “beach house” (if we can call them that here?), and those infuriating people who stop walking right in front of you.

Tell us an ‘only in New York’ moment you’ve had
I left a Halloween party one year around 2am and bumped into Beyonce and Jay Z at the end of my street. They were in full costume. That was awesome.

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Faces of AWNY: Tali Roth

Tali Roth moved to NYC with her husband in October 2013 as newlyweds from Melbourne, Australia. Tali is a freelance interior designer and speaks to us about the difference in design aesthetics between Australia and America, having a baby in New York, and how she started working in interior design.

 

Tell us an ‘only in New York’ moment:

Hmmm…I think it was our second week of living here and we were about to sign the lease for a West Village apartment and this guy in his ground floor apartment saw us sitting on the front stoop through his window. He opened it up and asked us why we were hanging around the building and then invited us in. Together we drank wine and danced to Rhianna. He became a close friend and turns out he was a well known photographer who lived in the factory with Warhol.

Where do you live and why did you choose that area?

We just moved to Chelsea! When we first arrived, we lived in the West Village and loved it. I fell pregnant after a year of living here and towards the end of the pregnancy I wanted to move uptown to be closer to Central Park. Although we loved our time there my husband and I craved downtown a lot and so we eventually settled on Chelsea as its close to my son’s preschool and the space we found was better than the West Village. So far, we are loving it.
What do you like/dislike about living in NY?
I love the people – that everyone is encouraging and that there is so much room for you to be yourself. I hate how focused on careers it is, but I also love how focused on careers it is. I hate the bitter winters. I love, love, love the summers. I also love the energy, accessibility and that nothing is too far away.

 

Any advice for people moving to NY?
Be open, non-judgmental and be active. Nothing will come to you if you aren’t engaging with people. It is very expensive though, so save up!

 

Tell us about your day job: 
I am an interior designer. I am a curator of objects, furniture, lighting, finishes, soft furniture and more. I bring it all together to create a strong mood and atmosphere for your home. I work mainly in the residential realm but do a few commercial projects here and there. I am obsessed with what I do and I love my clients. I didn’t work in interiors in Australia so I can’t really compare the two. I feel like there is many more affordable decorating options here and obviously a larger marketplace which makes it really easy for me to design for very different types of aesthetics and budgets. Also aesthetically speaking Melbourne is SO different to New York. I was completely shocked and confused by the style here when I first arrived. New York is more moody, industrial, luxe and distressed whereas Melbourne interiors focus more on light, minimalism and contemporary design. I try and mesh my Australian roots with my new found appreciation of the New York aesthetic to find a balance.

 

How did you get into your job in NYC?
I am part of an agency called Homepolish. They represent me and I also do some private work. I was following the company in Australia and then when I arrived I emailed them, got myself an interview and was accepted into the agency. I love working with them and feel very proud of what they have achieved over the past few years.

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My Neighborhood – Hoboken, New Jersey

Written by Peta Arthurson

See why moving to Hoboken was a winner with former AWNY Vice President Peta Arthurson.

 

My husband and I stumbled upon the neighborhood of Hoboken and at first we completely freaked out. We had never planned on moving to NEW JERSEY!!! That’s a whole different state, and train system! But, if you read along with me you will see why I think its been our best neighborhood so far!

Upon recently expanding my family to include our new baby girl Matilda, my husband and I knew we wanted a little more space at but with affordable rent, and non- negotiable outdoor space for our dog (there was no way could I walk him at night in the dead of winter with a newborn if my hubby was away for work!) And of course we wanted all of this without moving to Westchester or some other upstate NY or Long Island location. I’m pleased to report we found it in Hoboken, New Jersey, just a short distance from Manhattan.

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Peta, husband Shane and baby Matilda on Matilda’s first Snow Day – Dec 2016

 

Where is Hoboken?

Hoboken, New Jersey is right across the Hudson river and is bordered by Weehawken to the North and Jersey City to the South & West. The streets are on a grid similar to Manhattan with the cross streets being numbered from 1st (downtown) to 14th (uptown) and some president’s names like Washington, Adams, Madison, Monroe.

Transport in Hoboken

Hoboken is essentially in line with Houston and 23rd streets of Manhattan and getting into the city is quick and easy. The PATH train runs regularly from 33rd street to Hoboken and the ferry runs to 42nd and World Trade Center. In fact, if you work downtown, the ferry takes only 5 minutes. There are also buses, with NJ Transit operating between the Hoboken Bus Terminal and Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan. We also have a light rail system connecting Jersey City to Weehawken and beyond.

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ANZAC Day in NYC, 2017

Written by Alex Eggerking

 

We Aussies in New York may find ourselves far from home, but there are many ways to come together here for ANZAC Day. April 25th is a day to reflect on the meaning and impact of war, and to remember those Australians and New Zealanders who have given their lives, and those who have served: some we may know; many we never will.

This ANZAC Day 2017 we continue to commemorate the ANZAC Centenary, a period of time that marks 100 years since our involvement in the First World War. Here are a few of the ANZAC events in and around New York for you to take part in:

Sunday, April 23rd

Sunday Service, hosted by the New Zealand and Australian Consuls General

2017’s Sunday Service is hosted by the New Zealand and Australian Consuls General, Beatrice Faumuina, ONZM and Nick Minchin. It is a limited entry, ballot event, and the ballot has unfortunately closed for this year.

If you were lucky enough to secure tickets to this event, the details are below. For those who missed out but still want to commemorate ANZAC Day in a formal way, we recommend heading to the dawn service on Tuesday, April 25th (see below). 

Date and time: Sunday, April 23rd, from 10:30am to midday
Venue: ANZAC Memorial Garden, Level 7, British Empire Building, Rockefeller Center, 620 Fifth Avenue, New York City (entry on south side of West 50th Street)
Access: Photo ID required as condition of entry, bags may be searched
RSVP: RSVPs have unfortunately closed for this event but you can join the waitlist by email.

Afternoon drinks with the New York Magpies

Join the New York Magpies, NYC’s only Aussie Rules team, to celebrate Anzac Day in a private area at the Boat Basin – the perfect setting to enjoy a springtime afternoon of drinks on the Hudson. Proceeds will go to support the New York Magpies for their 20th season.

Date and time: Sunday, April 23rd, from 2pm
Venue: the Boat Basin (W 79th St, New York)
Cost: $10 entry per person.
RSVP: here

 

Tuesday, April 25th

ANZAC Dawn Service

We highly recommend the beautiful Dawn service at the Vietnam Veterans Plaza (55 Water Street, New York). The service is open to the public, and no RSVP is required. The service begins at 5.45am, and suggested arrival time is 5.30am, as it does get crowded.

Date and time: Tuesday, April 25th, from 5.30am for a 5.45am start
Venue: Vietnam Veterans Plaza (55 Water Street, btwn Broad Street and Old Slip, New York)
RSVP: none required

 

Coffee and ANZAC Biscuits after the Dawn Service

Both of Bluestone Lane’s FiDi locations (30 Broad St and 90 Water St) will be opening earlier than usual, from 6:30am, to cater to those attending the Dawn Service. Perfect for your morning coffee, lamington or ANZAC biscuit, both are located only a few minutes’ walk from Vietnam Veterans Plaza, where the Dawn Service is being held.

 

The Australian

Celebrate ANZAC Day in New York at The Australian. Drop in for breakfast from 8am, stay to play 2-Up at 2pm, live music from 5pm, and all-day AFL and NRL replays.

Date and time: Tuesday, April 25th, from 8am
Venue: The Australian (20 W 38th St, New York)
RSVP: If you want to be sure of a spot to sit, make a table reservation through the website 

 

Drinks with the Aussie Meetup group at Benson’s NYC

Join members of the Aussie Meetup group (for Australians in New York) to commemorate ANZAC Day at Benson’s, with Aussie tunes, Coopers on tap, a sausage sizzle and ANZAC biscuits.

Date and time: Tuesday, April 25th, from 7pm
Venue: Benson’s NYC (181 Essex St (corner of Houston St), New York)
RSVP: by joining the Aussie Meetup group

 

Saturday, April 29

ANZAC Day Commemorative Service, New England

The American Australian Association and Kia Ora New England invite members and friends to attend ANZAC Day 2017. Reception to follow, where guests are invited to bring a plate to share.

Date and time: Saturday, April 29th, 10am
Venue: Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church, 1555 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA
RSVP: Register here to assist with numbers   

 

Have you heard about something we haven’t?

Let us know (via email, or on Facebook) of any other ANZAC Day events happening in and around NY this year, and we’ll help spread the word.