Moving to New York is a pipe dream held by so many Australians.
The “make it there, make it anywhere” promise grabs the imaginations of ambitious young professionals, of course. And there’s the romantic portrait of Manhattan fostered by Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw, who famously spent her weekday evenings trotting from Upper West Side apartment to fancy bar wearing designer shoes (can anyone tell me who paid her that journalist’s salary? I need an introduction, thanks.)
Having made the move a year ago, I’m living the reality of New York life. It’s all the things I expected it to be: Dizzyingly fast-paced. Intoxicatingly full of life. Filled with quirky people harboring big plans. Oh, and packed with celebrities; I’ve seen David Schwimmer so many times now, I’ve stopped pointing him out to my friends.
But I won’t be here forever. Because living here in the most exciting city in the world now makes me appreciate just how lucky we are back in Australia. I’ve started to daydream about the little things that will eventually lure me back home, and they’re not the standard Vegemite-and-snags clichés I expected to miss.
So, rather than clutching at a long-held dream of moving to New York, take note. Here are a few of the things Sydneysiders and Melbournians can be grateful for:
Australia is the land of top-notch brunches and artisanal bread, and it seems New York can’t keep up.
Maddi Crow, originally from Shepparton Victoria, tells me she misses: “Bread that doesn't have sugar in it, baked beans that doesn't have sugar in it, quality produce that doesn't have sugar in it.”
She also notes that many places in the US don’t accommodate vegetarians well.
“All the chemicals and fillers in food here drives me crazy. Can't even get a salad with dressing here because it's usually got chemicals or bad oils like canola on the dressing,” Alyson Clarke, a 43-year-old consultant from Sydney says.
“My friends buy potato bread and sausages from Costco and it lasts for weeks and weeks because it has so much stuff in it,” Nela Abey, a 26-year-old communication professional agrees.
“I have not found a quality sourdough that rivals Melbourne’s yet,” Abey says. “I just feel like quality of produce like vegetables and fresh fruit isn't as good… unless you spend loads at [upscale supermarket chain] Whole Foods.”
American tampons tend to come with a long plastic or cardboard device on the end called an applicator – and it’s pretty hard to find the applicator-less versions we get back in Australia.
Because of said applicator, packs of tampons are pretty enormous; you can’t just discreetly carry them in your evening clutch.
“I stock up on Libra tampons when I go back. I have like a two-year supply now,” Clarke says. I know several Australian women who do the same.
So divisive is the tampon issue, it’s become customary among my Aussie girlfriends in New York to offer to bring back packs of Australian tampons.