Images of Parisian streets and umbrella-adorned Italian beaches are hard to avoid right now — just open Instagram, and you'll be bombarded with holiday snaps. It's as if every second Sydney-sider has taken a mid-year sojourn. In an attempt not to be bitter about being left behind in this dreary weather, we asked some of our mates abroad to share some snaps and tips, so we can live vicariously through them.
Kicking off with Aussie photographer Henry Lou, who currently calls Clinton Hill in Brooklyn home. His refreshing take on The Big Apple is the perfect amount of charming local recommendations (Kung Fu Tea in Chinatown), with a couple of tourist hot spots (the rooftop bar at The Met).
Whether you have a trip planned or not, here's hoping Henry's beautiful images will provide a brief distraction from this gloomy Antipodean winter — he even threw in these polaroids of sweet pooch Ollie for good measure — thanks, pal!
Can you give us the Henry elevator pitch?
Hi, I’m Henry Lou, and I’m a photographer from Engadine in Sydney, currently living in Clinton Hill in New York since 2016.
Where do you call home?
Home will always be Engadine, at Mum’s house.
How do you think your upbringing helped to shape your worldview?
Some world issues transcend language and culture. I always try to be compassionate; the world is big and bad enough already.
Outside of your work as a Photographer, how do you like to spend your time?
I have a monthly unlimited membership at St Mark’s Yoga; I go for the core workouts and come home cool and calm like nothing can stop me.
What does an ideal day in your suburb look like?
In Clinton Hill, I wake up and put the kettle on to make tea and three spoonfuls of oats. I walk to Guevara’s cafe for Lunch. During summer, I swim at Kosciuszko Pool or go Kayaking in the Rockaways, where I used to live.
What's your advice to anyone moving to New York for the first time?
Find friends of friends in your network and ask for personal advice. The internet only gives information to a point.
Favourite places to shop in New York?
I like to shop locally; big American brands in New York have pieces unavailable anywhere else; I like to buy from Nike, North Face and New Balance and Dave’s for basics in Chelsea. A lot of online shopping has a wider variety than what is in stores.
Best place to unwind?
Greenacre Park in Midtown, a waterfall in the middle of the city.
Best coffee can be found at…
I stopped drinking coffee, but I replaced it with bubble tea; the best is Yakult Orange with aloe vera at Kung Fu Tea in Chinatown.
Best dessert can be found at…
Portuguese egg tarts in Chinatown or cannoli in Little Italy.
Best place to people-watch?
Sitting outside furniture store West Elm in Dumbo.
Best place to read a book/mag…
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library Level 7 rooftop.
Spend an arvo walking in/around…
Williamsburg is the most popular area in Brooklyn, lots to see and do.
Best cheap feed…
Chinatown, ten chicken & mushroom dumplings for $4.50.
And to treat yourself, go to…
Renew Body Wellness West Village for 90-minute back massages.
Have an afternoon drink at… Hotel Delmano in Williamsburg.
Go dancing at…
Friends and Lovers in Clinton Hill.
For brunch the next day, go to…
Choice Market in Clinton Hill.
Cutest date spot…
Wythe Hotel has a great restaurant and rooftop bar.
Best photo opp is at…
The Met rooftop bar, the museum will take many hours, but the rooftop makes you want to stay.
You can’t leave New York without…
Getting a free Hershey’s chocolate kiss at the Hershey’s store and the Guggenheim and Central Park, there's something here for everybody :)