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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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.

Faces of AWNY: Megan Jones

My husband Rob, daughter Amy, son Joshua and I moved to New York just over two years ago, so this is our third winter here! Amy was 3 and Joshua was 10 months old when we moved here from Bondi. We moved here after I was transferred (very willingly) for a 2 year work assignment, which was recently extended for another 2 years. Rob and I find it funny that both our children have New York accents!

Where do you live in NY?

We live on the Upper West Side, right by Lincoln Center. Moving from a house at the beach to a two bedroom apartment in “the city” we wanted to be close to the park and not too far from midtown where my office is. We love the sense of community we have within a 10 block radius of our apartment, often running into friends on a daily basis. More often than not we run into friends at our closest playground (PS 199) which is great for the kids and the parents. There are so many playgrounds within walking distance so we visit them all in the summer months so the kids can enjoy all the different splash pads and water features. Being close to Central Park is also great in the snow to get your sledding on before everyone else! Secretly, I also love that our apartment is so close Trader Joe’s, Fairway and Century 21. When our kids were younger and we were rocking the pram with skateboard attached as our ride, we really appreciated the elevators to the subway at 66th St, 72nd St and Columbus Circle.

What’s a typical weekend for your family in NY?

We spent much of our first year or so doing all the usual touristy things but now our weekends are spent catching up with friends, going to kids parties or play dates, eating out and my husband Rob, who is a cycling enthusiast, generally spends some time on the weekend riding in the NY/NJ area. While Rob is riding, the kids and I often go to activities/events locally that www.MommyPoppins.com has informed me of such as an Easter Egg hunt or one of the kids events in Union Square.

What do you like most/least about having kids in NY?

There is nothing I don’t like about having kids in NY although babysitting can sometimes be tricky! I really think our kids have thrived here, meeting lots of new friends and being exposed to other cultures and religions and a different way of living. We particularly love not having a car and our kids are now old enough that they can scooter when we are heading somewhere on foot. Because we live so close to many of our friends, opportunities for impromptu play dates are plentiful! I also love that we can get anything we want delivered. There has been no lugging boxes of diapers home in NY! Rob and I also really love Amy’s school, Success Academy (UWS) which is one of the city’s charter schools.

How do you and your partner juggle work and kids?

Our decision to move to New York was based on the idea that Rob would be a stay at home dad. We only had 4 months with 2 children in daycare and us both working full time in Sydney before we moved here and we felt like we were always rushing so didn’t want our time in NY to be the same. We are really fortunate that we have the luxury of Rob looking after the kids while I work full-time. Rob does a sensational job keeping everything running smoothly on the home front, which I know is no easy task, so I am enormously blessed on that front.

Funniest NY moment?

On our first weekend here, we were staying in temporary accommodation in Midtown, it was winter, freezing and miserable out. Amy, who was 3 at the time, and I stepped out to do some grocery shopping literally across the road in the morning. We passed literally hundreds of “Santas” on the short walk across the road. Probably an hour later we headed home with our groceries and there were even more “Santas”. I had never seen anything like it before and Amy, who was 3 at the time, was trying to work out which one was the real Santa and why everyone else was dressed as him. It was hysterical. We now know it was “Santacon”.

Any words of wisdom for people moving to NY with kids?

Travel, travel, travel. There are so many great places a reasonable distance away that are epic to get to from Oz so try and get out of the city and see them when you get a chance. We have been to Mexico, Costa Rica, Canada (twice), New Orleans, London and of course Boston and Washington. One of our more memorable trips was visiting the Ice Hotel in Quebec in minus 24 degrees Celsius! They had to keep the beer in the fridge because it was too cold outside! Coming up we have a long weekend in Philly and a week in Iceland.