By Lachlan Wills

A week ago I boarded a flight in my hometown of Melbourne, Australia. 30 hours later, I arrived in New York City. 

The last time I had been in New York was March, 2020. Staying in midtown, I witnessed the most extraordinary thing: The City That Never Sleeps was put to bed. 

The past two years have been a time of such anguish and uncertainty for all of us across the globe. Normality disappeared, and key tenets of our humanity paused: connection, interaction, and a sense of belonging. 

Touching down at JFK last week and catching a cab to where I am on West 12th Street, I felt an instant sense that life was back. 

New York City—that perpetual generator of energy—was roaring once more. 

This city is the crucible of hope and optimism, of dreams and imagination, and those qualities power the world. 2000 years ago, Rome was the City. For more than a century, it has been New York. And may it be forever more. 

The West Village is one of the most globally iconic parts of Manhattan. This is my first time residing here, having previously lived in midtown; I am struck by the sense of peace and calm that exists here. It’s a beautiful hidden-away retreat. 

In a city so frenetic, here you can hear yourself think. I wake up every morning and hear the birds outside my window. I walk out on the street and, at times, I can even hear a whisper of silence—such a rare, beautiful, and spiritually nourishing commodity. Walking down West 4th Street in the late afternoon, as the sun begins to set, is pure magic. I gaze down Perry and Charles Streets and see that golden light dancing down the road. 

But the West Village still has electricity, that underlying air of expansiveness that captivates the senses. Restaurants and cafes are thriving with indoor and outdoor dining, a cacophony of noise and laughter emanates from bars and random apartments as you stroll down the street. 

As a kid growing up in the ‘90s in Australia, Friends was the TV show I would never miss. Incredibly, now I’m only a couple blocks away from Joey and Chandler’s apartment. And even closer to Carrie Bradshaw’s. And even the real Carrie Bradshaw.

But my favourite West Village moment was meeting the legendary newspaperman George Capsis, and then attending the WestView News contributors’ meeting.

George, Dusty, Karilyn, Robert, and John all made me feel so welcome at 69 Charles. Street. And seeing the other team-members on the Zoom call was brilliant—they have so much passion for their home, the West Village. 

To George and co.—thank you! Despite being on the other side of the world from my home, you’ve all made me feel like I belong.

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