Unsplash / Tim Gouw

Happy Anniversary New York, by Hannah Collins

This guest post is by Hannah Collins who just celebrated her one-year anniversary in New York. We thought you might relate to and enjoy this letter she writes to the city.

Written by Hannah Collins


Dear New York,

Happy anniversary! We made it a year. I’m sorry I’m not there to celebrate, but I promise to make it up to you when I get back. I’ll take you to Vanessa’s, I know it’s your favorite place (alright, we both know it’s my favorite place, and you humor me by saying it’s yours too. One of my favorite things about you).

One year! Longer than any of my former relationships (and ten times better if I’m honest). I mean it hasn’t always been easy. You have made me broker than I have ever been, including that pretty crummy time you took all my savings when I didn’t have a job. Not to mention what you cost me in rent just to live with you. But I do love our little house, with the light, and the plants, and the old heaters, so it’s worth it.

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What’s on in New York in February

January didn’t bring much winter feel with it but as I type this the mercury is dipping toward zero degrees C and I have it on good authority that February and March could pack a cold punch. So why not grab a cuppa, sit back, and read through AWNY’s picks of the best Feb events to help get you through the chillaroo…

Curated by the AWNY Communications Team

TOP PICK! Make sure you zip on over to our Facebook page and check out the AWNY Art Auction. Two very special artists, Jacinta Stewart and Trish Callaghan have donated an art work each for the online auction, and all funds raised will go towards AWNY’s 2017 charity, The Dwelling Place. Bidding ends Feb 8 at midnight! It’s really easy to place a bid – just add your bid in the comments section under each of the art work pics on the events page. Bid here for Jacinta’s work and here for Trish’s work. Thank you for your support for this great cause!

Aussie Cabaret performer Michael Griffiths performs his ‘In Vogue’ show (Madonna tribute) at 54 Below on February 7.  The cabaret experience of 54 Below is reason enough to go but I have a hunch Michael will make this an unforgettably fun night. Tickets and info available here.

The Gondwana Choir, comprising the most accomplished choral groups in Australia, perform on February 2nd at 1pm at the Trinity Church. Additional info about the event can be found here. Entry is free (can you think of a better way to spend your lunch break tomorrow?).

TOP PICK! Join ANWY’s Love, Sex and Romance panel discussion on February 15 at Impact Hub. New York based Australian authors Rachel Hills and Skye Cleary will lead the discussion that will explore myths, fantasies, and unspoken assumptions about romance and relationships. AWNY member tix are a bargain at $15 and are available here.

Why do us grown-ups get all the fun? Kids night on Broadway, held on Feb 28th, is a great initiative that allows kids the see Broadway shows for zilcho (must be accompanied by a fee paying adult). Search the list of participating shows here (includes the Lion King and Wicked – both excellent) and BOOK NOW. Tix won’t last.

If you’re not a super bowl fan but need to at least know the who and when, then this info is for you: The New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons will battle it out on Feb 5. If you’re more of a die-hard fan, here’s some additional specs: kick off for the main game is at 6.30PM Eastern. It’s being played in Houston, Texas, and Lady Gaga is scheduled to perform the half time show. Seriously, if you’ve never experienced a New York City pub on super bowl night, do it. Get in early though to grab a seat near the telly.

There a many great things about New York in Winter and Fashion Week is definitely one of them (I’m always reminded of one of my favourite Sex and the City scenes when Samantha gets fake blood squirted over her beautiful white mink coat while coming out of Bryant Park. “God I miss love New York!’ was her completely awesome response). It runs from Feb 9-16. This link will tell you who’s show is on and where. Most events are industry-only (but hey, great celeb spotting). This link will give you events open to the public.

Time Out have put together a great list of events around Mardi Gras (Feb 28) this year. In NYC, Mardi Gras is not celebrated in quite the same way it is in Australia. The event is actually a religious celebration (eating richer foods on Shrove Tuesday before the fasting of Lent). But in New York (and New Orleans, if you happen to be down there) it’s celebrated with a lot of Jazz. Check out Time Out’s list of some of the amazing events taking place in the city to celebrate it.

Photo credit: Joanna Hishon

Event: The Emotional Transition of Moving to New York: 2 dates, Oct 14 and 18

Making your move to New York opens up the possibility of many mixed emotions and feeling – some expected, some not!

“Do you feel the struggles and isolation of relocation?”

“Are you feeling homesick, missing all things familiar?”

“Do I actually want to be here, when things feel so challenging?”

Feeling alone in your adjustment is a part of any transition – take this opportunity to explore experiences that are common to all of us, and yet sometimes feel so isolating when going through them.

This small and intimate event is facilitated by Susie Lang, who will offer information about;

  • Emotional and Psychological impact of Relocation
  • Cultural Shock
  • Definitive Loss and Ambiguous Loss

This event is a little different; the focus will be a “hands-on”, interactive experience, where courageous sharing and empathic listening will be the biggest part of the event.

There are 2 events to choose from:

You are welcome to attend either event, please note the morning program is designed to be more available to Mum’s and Dad’s and small children may be in attendance.

AM Session – Mum’s and Dad’s

When: Friday 14th October at 10AM – 12PM
Where: Anita’s Apartment in Harlem, W138th & Frederick Douglas Blvd (8th Ave)
Price: $15/$20 members/non-members
Included: Comfort Foods & Drinks Provided
Subways: B/C train to 135th (front carriage for 137th St exit)
Buses: M10 bus & M2 Buses

Book Now
for the AM session


PM Session

When: Tuesday 18th October 6:30PM for 7PM Start
Where: TBD (Downtown Manhattan or Union Square)
Included: Comfort Foods & Drinks Provided
Price: $20/$25 members/non-members

Book Now
for the PM session

Meet Susie Lang

Susie LSusie Lang (LMHC & NCC) is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a National Certified Counselor. She is in private counseling practice, working with individuals and groups.

Susie is also a professional Photographer and has lived in New York since 2004 with her husband.

With her many life transitions, she realizes the importance of paying attention to (in particular the more challenging parts) the emotional ride that occurs with each transition – making her move to New York has proven to be more challenging at times in ways that she didn’t anticipate! It seemed to open up the possibility of many mixed emotions – some expected, some not.


Faces of AWNY: Lucy Primrose

Lucy_primroseLucy Primrose transferred to New York just over a year ago with well-known international beauty brand, L’OCCITANE. After exploring the city she settled in Greenwich Village, which has quickly become one of her go-to areas to hang out. We spoke to Lucy about the process of transferring with her company to New York, and her favorite places to go to get out of the city when she needs a break.

What brought you to New York?

I moved to New York from Sydney in July 2015. I was fortunate enough to be offered an opportunity to work in the New York office of the company I worked for in Sydney, L’OCCITANE. Before I made the transfer I was working for L’OCCITANE Australia for just over five years as the Learning and Development Director and International Learning and Development Project Leader.

Can you describe the process of transferring to New York with L’OCCITANE?

Once I had signed my contract, it all happened really quickly. Before I knew it, I was packing my bags and moving to New York! L’OCCITANE coordinated and organized the visa for me and, due to the timing, I travelled to New York via Corsica in the south of France for a conference, followed by London where I had my interview with the US Consulate and received my visa.

As a professional working in New York, what differences have you noticed to working in Australia?

How quickly ideas become actions. From conception to execution, there is not a lot of time in the middle!

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

I spent many weekends and evenings exploring Manhattan and Brooklyn by bike with my husband. We brunched, lunched and dined to get a feel of the different areas during different parts of the day. As my office is in Times Square, I wanted to find a pocket of calm that was close to great bars and restaurants and I found exactly what I was looking for in Greenwich Village. It’s the perfect area. I can walk anywhere, including to and from work.

What advice would you give someone going to Greenwich Village for the first time and looking to get a sense of the area?

If you walk and explore the streets in the area you will definitely get a great feel for the village atmosphere. You will pass lots of lovely houses, bars and cafes along the way if you walk down and around Waverly Place, the top end of Bleecker Street and Greenwich Avenue amongst many others. Explore by foot, find a café and watch the world go by!

What are your favorite bars and restaurants in the area?

I feel spoilt for choice! I am always discovering new restaurants and bars to go to in the area. My favorite restaurant at the moment would have to be Barbuto which boasts a great atmosphere. Gottino Enoteca e Salumeria is a pocket sized wine bar on Greenwich Avenue that prides itself on small plates, great wine and a back patio outdoor area. Wilfie and Nell is a West Village bar where you will find a lot of locals.

And of course there is also Smalls and the Village Vanguard, which are famous jazz bars. A short stroll away in the Meatpacking District is Le Bain, a rooftop bar on the top floor of The Standard Hotel. It is a great place to enjoy a cocktail and watch the sunset. And for a really impressive setting, I love The Top Of The Standard, inside The Standard Hotel. I have also enjoyed many balmy summer evenings at Hotel Hugo’s Azul On The Rooftop in nearby SoHo. Summer time and rooftop bars just seem to go hand in hand in New York!

What are some of your likes and dislikes about living in New York?

I love how friendly and open everyone is in New York. I also love that no matter what night it is, there is always something great going on: theater, dance, live music, and fabulous restaurants. And you will never feel underdressed or overdressed wherever you go. It really doesn’t matter. Nobody thinks twice! I also love seeing the trees in autumn – it’s spectacular – and in spring I am in awe of the blossoms on the trees. You just don’t see that in Australia.

There is not much to dislike about New York. I do however need to get off the island every now and then to enjoy some space!

Where do you go when you need to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city?

While I love the buzz of Manhattan, I also I love the outdoors, so the biggest challenge I have faced is living in such a densely populated city. I realized quite quickly that it can wear you down, so I try to get off the island when I have a spare Saturday or Sunday. There are amazing hikes only an hour outside of New York! It’s incredible to be so close to so many State Parks.

Hudson, just 2 hours from New York City, is a great town to visit. There is a wonderful strip of antique furniture shops and fabulous restaurants. Cold Spring, not far from Hudson, has some wonderful hikes with some outstanding views over the Hudson River. I also love the Dia Museum in Beacon. It houses a collection of art from the 1960s to the present and is situated on the banks of the Hudson River. It is a spacious hidden gem and makes for a wonderful day. If you are in Manhattan and need a day to escape the crowds, I would recommend going to the Noguchi Museum, designed and created by the Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi in Long Island City, Queens.  The sculpture garden there is tranquil. It’s a lovely place to go and relax, and the tour of the gallery is superb.

Can you tell us about an ‘only in New York’ moment?

Walking past the huge queue to get into Trader Joe’s on Avenue of the Americas on my way home from work. I’ve never known anyone to queue outside a supermarket before! Every day there is a moment of surprise, which is what makes New York such as special place.

What are your top 3 tips for friends visiting New York?

Walk everywhere! I can walk down the same street 30 times and still see something new. The city constantly unfolds and reveals itself to you.

Don’t plan your agenda too tightly. Let the day take you on an adventure.

You need as much time as possible in New York for the city to unveil itself. With each day I appreciate the city and everyone living in it even more.

What is your favorite New York brunch spot?

Jack’s Wife Freda in Nolita, the Mediterranean breakfast and Orange Blossom Pancakes are unforgettable!

What is your favorite New York cocktail spot & cocktail of choice

Bathtub Gin on 9th Ave between 18th St and 19th St. My favorite cocktail … now that’s a tough choice!  I would have to say Blonde Ambition! It has the freshness of lime and cucumber with a twist of sweetness from the raspberries. Dangerously delicious!

What do you like most about being part of AWNY?

I have met so many fabulous people through AWNY events, some of whom have become very good friends.

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

My aunty told me before leaving Sydney to say yes to everything I was invited to! If ever I don’t feel like going out, it pushes me to say yes. I’ve never regretted it!

What advice do you have for people moving to New York?

Keep an open mind and turn up to everything. It’s all about showing up!

Connect with Lucy

Via email or LinkedIn.

What’s On November

Merry Christmas. That is not a typo. Apparently, November in NYC is all about Christmas. I’m accustomed to things happening fast in this city, but nothing quite as fast as the change-over of holiday merchandise in my local Duane Reade. I was late to get trick or treating lollies last Saturday so I ventured out around 4.00PM, just in time for all the Elsas and Batmans and Darth Vaders to knock on my door. There was not a pumpkin-spiced-milky-way or candy-corn-inspired M&M in sight. Instead, candy canes and marshmallow Santas lined the shelves, and I was forced to hand out peppermint Christmas joy to the confused revelers…

November does bring Thanksgiving, gloriously crisp days, and oodles of excuses to get off the sofa and out the door (before we really need to buckle down the doona). So check out AWNY’s great list of November events and pop a few in your diary (curated by the AWNY Communications Team).

TONIGHT! Frock up and celebrate the Melbourne Cup with AAA at The Liberty NYC on Monday November 2nd, from 8.00PM. An event for the cup is also taking place at The Australian NYC (extended happy hour ‘til 10.00PM).

Join the AWNY Committee for morning tea on Thursday November 5th at 10.30AM. The event will be held at the Australian Consulate (150 East 42nd Street, 34th floor) and will be a great opportunity to meet your AWNY Committee and new Australian friends.

The Bank of America Markets at Bryant Park opened on October 21st, so the month of November is a great time to gather some unique gifts to send home in time for Christmas. The markets are open from 8.00AM-10:00PM Sun-Thurs, and til midnight on Fri and Sat.

Big Apple Film Festival (BAFF) is on from November 4th – 7th. Dedicated to showcasing and promoting the best quality films from NYC’s independent film community, the festival is ‘one of the top 25 film festivals worth the money’ according to Movie Maker mag. Tickets can be found here. Australian producer Virginia Lloyd’s film ‘Invisible Ink’ will be shown on November 6th.

‘The Emotional Transition of Moving to New York’, an experiential AWNY event will be held on Monday November 9th, from 6.30PM, at the Australian Consulate (150 East 42nd Street, 34th Floor). Tickets can be purchased here.

AWNY member Ali Kennedy Scott is performing her solo play ‘The Day the Sky Turned Black’ on Thursday November 12th as part of the United Solo Theater Festival. The production, both written and performed by Ali, tells the story of five characters as they rebuild their lives post the Victorian Black Saturday bushfires.

The Women in Fashion and Film festival is on from November 12th – 14th, bringing together members of the fashion, entertainment and media industries to celebrate the professional and creative development of women and to empower women through the arts. The festival is screening fashion, experimental, and short films. Find tix here.

AWNY Member and GPS Girl Karen Jacobsen is performing a Christmas concert on Tuesday November 17th at 7.00PM at The Triad New York (with an additional performance is being held on Tuesday December 1st).

Also on Tuesday November 17th is the opening of the exhibition ‘Supranational’, from the Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Center, a pristine Aboriginal community in north-eastern Arnhem Land, Australia. The event is free but you must RSVP to public-affairs-nycg@dfat.gov.au. The exhibition runs until January 29th.

The NYC Autumn Wine Festival will be held in the Broad Street Ballroom on Saturday November 21st. Ok the tickets are a little steep at $99 but they are showcasing over 175 wines (including wines from Australia and New Zealand), you get a three hour slot to sample as many as you can, and there’s delicious artisan foods.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade runs from 9.00AM on Thursday November 26th starting at Central Park West and travelling down Sixth Avenue to 34th Street. It’s a great spectacle if you have out of town visitors, and all ages will enjoy it. Free event.

I hope to see many of you at the AWNY Morning Tea on Thursday November 4th.

Joanna, AWNY Communications Lead