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Life as an Australian Living in Manhattan


The biggest change of my life took place recently. I’m an Australian, or ‘Aussie’ if you prefer, relocated from Sydney, and I took a huge leap of faith and moved to New York City… specifically Manhattan. Huge, huge change, and a lot of little changes have happened in my life since I made this decision. For one thing, I had to rent out my nice house back in Australia and now I live in an apartment. In case anyone back home is wondering, living in Manhattan is not cheap – my rent alone is US$3,817.00 per month.

Manhattan is busy all the time. They weren’t kidding when they said that New York is the city that never sleeps. The streets are always full of cars, buses, taxis, pedestrians and me. I’m neither a vehicle, nor a pedestrian. I’m not a driver either as I am not willing to take my life into my own hands and no longer own a car anyway. I always take public transportation. Let the other guy do the driving is my new motto, especially in this traffic. As far as I’m concerned, rush hour is a condition incompatible with life.

Manhattan has made a remarkable comeback since hurricane Sandy hit and I really think they are striving to make it a safer city all the way around, but it really is a lot different than what I was used to in Sydney. I don’t think it’s quite as friendly here. I’ve been told by my friends that New Yorkers pretty much ignore other New Yorkers, and I guess that’s somewhat true. On any given day in certain parts of the city, you hear screaming, shooting, alarms going off, sirens, and who knows what else. The natives don’t even get restless with all of that going on.

Manhattan is nice though, and upscale. The neighborhoods are decent and there is always Central Park to enjoy, though I’ve been told that the best way to enjoy it is from your apartment window, unless you like getting mugged while out on your Sunday stroll. I think it’s pretty unreasonable that the only bit of nature in all that great city is plagued by crime but that’s just the way it is. Central park zoo is pretty cool, though for some reason whenever I go there I always picture scenes from a certain cartoon.

I like my new job, and I guess I like my new home as well. I feel like I’m moving in the world… if not up, at least sideways a bit. It’s taking some getting used to but I’m getting there. My accent always inspires the natives to question where I’m from, although I always mention that to me, they are the ones with the accents…and boy, do I hear a lot of them, for it seems like each section of the city has its own dialect. I think I’m beginning to like it here though. Manhattan is growing on me.