AWNY Mums & Dads October update: Trick or Treat NYC style

Written by Anita Davison

Last October I wrote a well received post about ‘Dressing Kids for Winter‘, and although it feels like I wrote the piece just yesterday, it seems we have come around full circle. The funny thing is, I wrote it based on my experience in the winters of 2013/2014 & 2014/2015 which hit New Yorkers hard, fast and quite frankly a little too brutal for my warm climate accustomed derrière. Of course I thought I was being so very clever in giving you that information, preparing you all for the winter of 2015/2016, which was neither hard, fast or brutal compared to its predecessor. Well this year we seem to be back to ‘normal’. I can hear the collective groans amongst you, but alas, you can find yourself well prepared for what’s to come by clicking back into last years piece and giving it another look – all the info is still as relevant as it was then. And for those of you that are here for your first NYC winter; you are welcome! Click here to be enlightened…

October 31 brings us the, oh so American, tradition of All Hallows Eve: better know as Halloween! Trick or treaters can delight with a list of some of the best streets in New York to get your Trick or Treat on, as well as some great places to pick up costumes for the kids, pets and adults too. Just a note though, like every person has their favorite brunch spot/coffee shop/neighborhood, you too may know of other great places to take the kids in your ‘hood. If so, please share your wisdom in the comments section or on our Mums & Dads Facebook page!

Trick or Treat in New York by Neighborhood

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Faces of AWNY: Taryn Silver

Taryn (right) after a performance.

Taryn (right) after a performance.

Taryn Silver has lived in New York twice: first as an exchange student while she studied classical voice as a soprano, and now as a graduate student in communications at Columbia University. Taryn is a member of the AWNY Committee and is spending her summer break as an intern at the
Environmental Defense Fund, doing communications for sustainable agriculture. We spoke to Taryn about being accepted into Columbia, moving to New York and enjoying life as a student in the Big Apple.

What made you decide to move to New York?

I’m from Melbourne, and I moved to New York last August for graduate study in communications at Columbia University. I originally came to New York as an exchange student from the Conservatorium of Music at Melbourne University, where I was studying classical voice (as a soprano). During my exchange I studied at Barnard College and fell in love with the city!

What did the admissions process involve for Columbia?

I got into Columbia after a very long application process, involving two essays, three recommendation letters, the GRE test, having all my academic transcripts from Australia converted to the American grading system and an interview! My advice to other aspiring Columbia students is: if you can show that you’ve worked hard and have interest or experience in the field that’s always a good place to start.

Are you obtaining work experience while you study?

I’m currently interning at the Environmental Defense Fund, doing communications for sustainable agriculture in our ecosystems department! And I love it!

What are some of the differences you have noticed between studying in the USA vs in Australia?

Semesters are longer in the USA – I’m so tired at the moment! And there are more assignments, homework and interaction with your professors. But on the flip side, I feel like American professors mark a lot more easily than in Australia.

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

I live on the Upper West Side, in the 90s, with two roommates. I chose to live close to the University, but I didn’t want to live directly on top of campus. I love the feeling of the Upper West Side, it’s not too busy and not too loud. Plus, I love being so close to Central Park and Riverside Park. The very first time I came to New York I stayed in Midtown and I found it really overwhelming.

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My New York Neighborhood: Upper West Side

By Kim Broughton

Moving from Sydney to Manhattan was exciting and dangerous.

The first challenge was to determine which neighborhood to live but in fact this was a favorite old game between my husband and I:

Are you Upper West Side? Or Upper East Side?

There is no right or wrong; some days I am UWS, some days I feel UES.

So why did I move to the UWS?  Lets be really practical…

We bled money paying for a Real Estate Broker who swore that the UWS was the best place to be with a young family.  There are many family friendly neighbourhoods in Manhattan, however the UWS has some definite benefits; especially if your little one is at home with you, all day without a backyard!

  • Proximity to Central Park and Riverside parks and playgrounds
  • Kid venues: NY kids club, Kidsville, Museum for children, the Natural History Museum, Lincoln Centre
  • Kid friendly restaurants: the diners won’t glare at you when you sit down and whip out the iPads, and the waiters bring crayons to the table. Plus, they offer cocktails too so everybody wins
  • Schools: There are good schools (public and private) located on the UWS. It’s a predominant reason why this neighbourhood is so popular – do note that there is a lot of competition to win a place at these schools.
  • Its stroller-friendly. I mention this because if you have a stroller, wide footpaths with proximity to a subway is so important for your sanity. I plowed the snowy footpaths of Broadway and West End Ave with my trusty Mountain Buggy and lived to tell the tale.
  • Harry’s shoes on Broadway, not quite Manolo but very convenient
  • Barnes and Nobles on Broadway….I know Amazon is taking over the world but I still love a good bookstore

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S is for Shakespeare in the Park

By Belle Gurd

This post was originally published on July 21, 2013


When the sun comes out so does Shakespeare in the Park.

There are two I know about. The first one is in Central Park and is REALLY hard to get tickets too.

It’s complicated so for instructions click here

The next best thing is Shakespeare by the River on the Upper West Side. The Hudson Warehouse theatre group put this show on and it’s fantastic. Get there around 6pm to grab a good seat, take some snacks and enjoy the show.  The group ask for donations at the end – it’s well worth a tenner for sure. They are an amateur group, so don’t expect all the bells and whistles of the one that happens in Central Park – but it’s just as good. Continue reading

Restaurant Review: Burke and Wills

By Sarah Binney

In an article that recently went viral, we learned that Australians are quite literally taking over New York City, with expat numbers estimated to be around 20,000. This sudden influx of Australian visitors isn’t without its benefits to the US population. Besides a much needed education about Vegemite, locations other than Sydney and the fact kangaroos aren’t kept as pets, American citizens are also getting to experience a lot more of our fantastic cuisine with a number of Australian restaurants popping up to pepper the NYC landscape.

Burke & Wills is one such Australian restaurant where homesick Australians can dine on modern Australian cuisine in rustic elegance reminiscent of home. Burke & Wills boasts hand-crafted boutique cocktails and a menu that highlights Australian nuances of flavour, in a setting that encompasses the essence of the outback.

The restaurant is encased in earthy wood and brick and the seated dining area showcases the iconic Down Under through an array of framed photographs. The theme of ‘bush elegance’ is further conjured through unique interior styling and a familiar ochre twang from the well-dressed waiters. Continue reading