Finally understanding what everyone means when they speak of the magic of a New York summer.
The bodega down the street selling unbelievably cheap fresh produce – I still grapple with the economies of scale and seasonality that must be at play in order to afford two pounds of blueberries a $4 price tag.
Church bells chiming on the hour, or, according to my iPhone, one minute past the hour.
A toasted everything bagel with tomato, bacon, and scallion cream cheese.
Strolling around Greenpoint, Brooklyn, feeling unbelievably blessed to be able to say I lived there.
The singular pleasure of the first sip of a frozen pina colada on a sweltering day, enjoyed under the fans of Brokenland’s patio. God only knows how much sugar, pineapple, and coconut milk we consumed.
Getting over the intimidation of lining up and ordering at the Polish meat market, where Polish New Yorkers fling orders across the counter, pickles line the wall and the florescent lighting combined with the pressure of ordering induces an unnaturally sweaty brow in the refrigerated deli.
Hours spent tracking down and emailing contacts about job prospects, only for a meeting to be pushed back hours or days or weeks and my spirit fracturing a little.
Sipping an iced tea while strolling through McCarren Park, enjoying the occasional reprieve from the heat while in the shade of the trees.
Stopping in at Awoke Vintage on Manhattan Avenue to see what treasures have landed overnight, and inevitably walking out with another pair of shoes or earrings.
Sweating, sweating, sweating.
A glass of crisp rose after my twilight book club meeting in Central Park (thanks to Jen for organising).
The lights of Lincoln Centre after dark.
Tuesday afternoons spent watching films at the old school Cobble Hill Theatre.
Learning the hard way that cocktails are much, much stronger in the US.
Sticking my head dangerously far out of our bedroom window to catch a glimpse of the Chrysler building in the distance.
Saturday afternoons in Central Park, Daniel playing softball with the Summertime Blues, dripping sweat and sticky with sunscreen. Me sitting in the bleachers, sipping an iced tea as big as my head and pretending to read a book but really marvelling at the skyline of New York poking above the canopy of Central Park.
Handing over a single dollar bill to pay for an ice-cold can of Coca Cola at whichever bodega we happened to be passing by.
Trekking all over the city for endless job interviews, switching shoes in the marble floored lobbies and praying my palms weren’t too sweaty for a handshake.
Pulling an icy beer out of an esky in Central Park, then putting it inside a brown paper bag to swig from as the afternoon floated by in a cloud of baseball and skyscrapers.
The delight and wonder of entering Economy Candy on the Lower East Side, and seeing all our childhood favourites waiting to be plucked from the shelf.
Avoiding Times Square wherever possible, but whenever life threw us in that direction, rolling with the crowds of tourists looking up.
Never forgetting to look up, even if it makes you look like a tourist.
Small children splashing in the many water features in parks on the hottest of July days.
Devouring extra long hotdogs with ketchup and American mustard at Yankee Stadium. Likewise, chugging on enormous 27 oz cans of IPA that was warm before I reached the end of the can.
The endless search for decent bread.
Ordering french fries with everything.
Suppressing a smile on the subway when another Australian accent rose above the sounds of the train and the barely audible but ever-present hum of dozens of bodies crammed into a single subway car.
The patterned and pastel wonderland of the Rebecca Atwood store on Mott St.
Rising for an Aaron Judge home run at Yankee Stadium.
Wandering the cobblestone streets of Soho, and the narrow alleys of Nolita.
The air in our apartment building becoming hotter and denser with every level ascended.
Becoming misty-eyed while taking in Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ during a visit to MoMA.
Hurrying through Chinatown as quickly as possible to escape the pungent smell of dried fish.
Perusing the excellent selection at McNally Jackson after a job interview, inhaling the smell of coffee and new books.
Deliciously lemony cocktails at Jeffrey’s Grocer.
Tacos and birthday pie with some of the best.
Marvelling at the way that somehow everything in the grocery store looked the same, but different.
Starting to use the word ‘store’ instead of ‘shop’.
Repeating the word ‘water’ over and over again to a harried waitress, only for her to look at me and say ‘ohh.. WAR-terrr’.
The first time I said ‘to-MAY-toe’ instead of ‘to-MAR-toe. It just slipped out, ok?
The slightly American twang Australians sometimes affect in order to be understood.
Taking the Metro North train out of the city for a weekend in New Haven.
The millennial pink queendom that is the Glossier showroom, swatching product after product but walking away empty handed due to #umenploymentlife.
Being awestruck by the breadth of the Heavenly Bodies exhibition at The Met.
Singing ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’ at the top of my lungs sometime in the 7th or 8th innings of a Yankees match.
Running a cold bath at 7.30am in an attempt to cope with the heat and humidity.
Still not understanding how it can be 100% humidity and not raining. Can someone please explain?
The cool blast of air from a subway grate.
Standing in the street to watch the 4th of July fireworks over the East River, thinking that surely the Sydney New Year’s fireworks are the best in the world.
Stepping onto Qantas flight QF12 JFK-SYD after three months away, and feeling immediately on home soil.