Canada failed the coffee test. Although the breakfasts, the bacon and the cowboys did somewhat make up for it. But the need from our commonwealth cousins was high, with craving culminating from a whirlwind 30 day travel fest. First there was the confirmation of Budapest as film base, a flash though New York, and a few precious weeks in Australia. Sean and I had one day together in Sydney, where Coogee sparkled, and the new pavilion eatery turned on whipped ricotta and rhubarb french toast along with some envious puppies, before a tourism-worthy beach walk, this time with kookaburras, breathtaking views, and the company of Bob when the Clovelly Beach pub tapped out an ice cold cider. Then there were lifetime achievement awards for friendship, celebrated in Darwin against a classic Mindle Beach sunset, and in Adelaide with a flat white at Lucia’s. Still the best coffee in the world. Then Port Lincoln and family. Gorgeous family. Tomato relish, jigsaw puzzles, upside down cake made from the CWA cookbook and walks in the scrub amidst blossom and wild peaches. Dad’s birthday. All too soon back on the plane to NYC, with four days to pack up the apartment and store the books and bikes that were too big to take to Budapest. On to Toronto for the International Film Festival. New releases, new opportunities, and sightings of Angelina Jolie. A stunning bed and breakfast in Haight Ashbury, or so it felt in the midst of the Kensington Markets. Characters and a charismatic location. Hmmmm, but the coffee situation would never work.
While the packing is finished, the mail diverted and a couple of rides left on the metro card, New York feels like a dream. This extraordinary place, constantly regenerating, challenging and full of life is about to be the city where we spent 14 years. Work, adventures, people, bakeries, markets, art, exhibitions and exhibitionists. We were at the Rockefeller Center when Obama won in 2008. We went to his inauguration. We’ve ridden our bikes ahead of the Macy’s Parade. We ate cronuts when you had to line up for two hours just to buy one. I chatted with Richard Geer and Princess Mary at Scandinavia House on Park Avenue. We met Wynton Marsalis after a concert at the Lincoln Center and saw him lead a choir of hundreds of Gospel Singers at Harlem’s Abyssinia Church. I’ve been photographed on my bike by Bill Cunningham, raised a toast to Madame Chrysler from our rooftop garden as the steely icon turned pink with the sunset, and I’ve tasted the best doughnuts in the world. So far. It’s been a lifetime, a total adventure, and now Sean and I are off to start another. We will be back, sometime, because apart from friends and the fascination, there is also pizza. And who can say no to a second slice…?!
Thank you for listening, for reading and for sharing my stories. What started as a fun venture to keep my life anecdotally connected to my family has bought me many more friends than I ever would have expected. It’s been fantastic, and it’s not over. I hope you can join me for whatever happens next, as we squeeze every drop out of every opportunity…
Best wishes for your new adventure
I look forward to reading your next chapters. Your NYC epistles have been great.
Struth! You’re off. I have so much enjoyed your posts and your conversation with Rod on Overnights on the Radio. Your adventures in New York give great service to that remarkable and resilient metropolis and a glimpse for us unlikely to ever visit. May I wish you and Sean the very best and I look forward to reading of your new rambles in newer climes soon. Kindest of regards from Kerang in the Mallee country of Victoria.
Thank you so much Terry. I imagine the Mallee is looking glorious at the moment. Maybe even some wild peaches…? I hope you stay with me for tales from Hungary – I would miss hearing back from you…
Dear dear Gabrielle,
Godspeed and full on best wishes to you and Sean as you actually make your movie! It has been a rare pleasure to know you. The FitzyReports are all filed. I look forward to your reports as you two press on. Wow! Who is the leading actor? And when it opens, I want to be there.
Absolutely Lyndl, it wouldn’t be the same without you! And you have been with us from the start, precious. Will let you know how things progress, and yes… the cast… we have baited breath…. XXX
😥 Will miss The Fitzy Report on ABC Radio but have just subscribed to your blog.
Dear Gabrielle, my husband and I have enjoyed your chats with Rod and followed your inspiring reports. We are riding bikes from Quebec to Washington to celebrate our 70th birthdays and our daughter is joining us in New York to walk the lineal railway, something I heard from you. Best wishes to you both on your new adventure
Good for you Maxine and thank you. I remember you have been in training for this merry marathon for awhile. Good luck on the road, watch out for crazy people in Washington and happy birthday!
Gabrielle, may I take this opportunity to thank you for your inspiring blog, and to wish you the greatest success in your new venture.
Good luck with the move and new adventures.
l will be following your enthusiasm with envy
Aussie Sheila x
Thanks for the great adventure in New York. I feel like I know lots anout that city even though I won’t get to visit. Be assured I am delighted to read a nlog and see your photos from where ever you may be. You are a born writer and entertainer both on radio and paper. Thanks so much.
Ah, thank you for your lovely words Wilma. It will be great to have you share the next installment with us….
Thank you very much for your inspiring, informative, and heartfelt observations of New York.
You have made my day and week more enjoyable on many occasions, good luck with your new venture and please don’t stop writing.
I look forward to reading of your next adventure with great anticipation.
I feel the need to say, your friend David Ord
Absolutely David, friendship indeed, thank you.
Thank you Gabrielle.I hope you continue your lovely letters.I have loved your conversations with Rod and the photographs associated with your adventures. I hope you are able to continue your connections with us all.
Thank you Beverley, I certainly hope to…!
You are a treasure and I was so sad this morning when I heard you talking to Rod, I shed a tear. I am so thrilled for you doing a film and envious of you living in Budapest, another magical city.
God speed, enjoy your new adventure and I hope we “meet” again.
We will indeed Marion. It will be strange to not have the regular spot with Rod, but he did assure me we can always schedule a conversation when I have some news. So I guess I better get on with it! In any case the blog will record my stories and I look forward to sharing all the good things…
Thank you Gabrielle, you have shared New York with us all & it’s been wonderful.
All the very best in your next adventure, and I’m looking forward to hearing about your journey in Budapest.
Good luck,have enjoyed all your trips around USA & photos all the best Gabriel
Hope there will be a Budapest version Gabrielle. You write so evocatively. X
Sent from my iPhone
I missed you talking to Rod this morning 😦 😦 Must have been sleeping. Damn!
I would never have found the HIghline or that tiny little licorice shop without you…
Hope you post about Pest so I can visit and find the little hidden gems from your posts.
Thanks Rowan. Good to hear that you got to sleep at that crazy hour! And yes, that fantastic licorice shop. Hmmmmm, I wonder if they have one in Budapest…?!
Wishing you the very best Gabrielle, I will also miss hearing your reports with Rod. Thank you Please keep us posted. Best Regards …….Joy Marshall Perth Western Australia
I have enjoyed reading your adventures and photos!
Good luck to you!
Thank you for sharing the adventure. It has been great to follow you and I hope you continue to live (and share) a full and fun life. Glo
We have enjoyed your NYC experience soooo much! Safe travels.
I have enjoyed all your photos and reports on food icecream central park ,and all the other things you have shared with us . All the best with your new adventure ,I hope you will share some of this with us.
Hope you send posts from Budapest also. I do enjoy your travel log! good luck with movie, stay well. and take care.
Traveler, met you in Crete. Hoped to cross paths again in NYC this October but you will be gone I suspect some day our paths will cross. Have a great adventure, keep blogging. Hank
Sorry to miss you this time around Hank, but yes, who knows when our paths will cross again. Have a great time in NYC.
Just to add to all the comments to say It has been great reading about and hearing you speaking with Rod. All the best and safe journey
All the best and thanks for the stories.
Thanks so much for your wonderful stories and pics from fabulous NYC. I look forward to reading more about your future journey. Best of luck to you and Sean. Wishing you success and lots more fun Bernadette x
Thanks Gabrielle for your wonderful posts. I’ve referred them to several people who are going to NYC and need suggestions for places to eat and things to see. I hope the film venture is a huge success for you and Sean. I’ve enjoyed so much listening to you on Overnights when I am awake at that hour. Good luck.
Your stories were beautifully and very entertaining, good luck to you and Sean on your new adventure .
Cheers from Kinglake Victoria.
Gabrielle, I’ve SO loved all of your posts and enjoyed listening to you the nights I was awake at that awful hour 😉, which thankfully, I WAS last night to hear your final chat (hopefully not forever). I’ve visited New York and loved every minute of the visit. Would return in a heartbeat. I wish you and Sean every good wish for your film, and whatever the future holds. I will continue to read your posts with great interest. All the very best, Mandy from Heathmont x
The very best of wishes for the new adventure and please, please keep sending your wonderful reports. Anna from Woodend, Vic.
Thank you Mandy. It has been a privilege to share the early hours of the morning with you, and to provide a New York alternative to the 3am meetings. How I hate those 3am meetings! So let’s see what we can find to keep the spirits soaring and the stories tiptop. Forever onward!
Best wishes !!
I’ll miss your reports on zany New York with Rod Quinn on the ABC. “One door closes and another opens” and I wish you all the best in your new adventure, Gabrielle, do keep those reports coming, I am sure life will be wonderful for you both!
Patsy Nugent, Tasmania
Thank you Patsy. Just these first few days in Budapest are amazing, peaceful and energising at the same time. I feel I could write a book, but better get the film rolling first… Have a dip in Wine Glass Bay for me please – or raise a glass of same…!
All the best, Gabrielle. I was a late-comer to your blog about New York as I only managed my first visit mid-2016. Thank you for keeping my memories of that great place alive since my return to Australia.
My very best wishes for your blog, which I enjoy from Australia was introduced to you on Rod’s program and enjoy your chats with him, you make it so interesting I can imagine I am there with you. Will miss your conversations but hope when you are settled and organised the blog will continue Budapest style. Travel over the wifi usceasy on the pocket
Absolutely Marilyn and thank you for listening. I am working on my first story from Budapest – where to start?! – perhaps with breakfast this morning when I realised I had bought sour cream instead of yogurt… Even shopping is any adventure!
Thank you, I have enjoyed every post, you gave me so many extra ideas when I have traveled with my groups to New York… loved hearing you on the radio, good luck with your new adventure, please keep us posted. Annette in Warrnambool Victoria.👏👏👏
Here’ to your next adventures!!! Be safe and have a wonderful time. Who knows may get to Budapest yet x
Fascinating reading Gabrielle…..have enjoyed listening to you on Rod’s program but it was my sister Maggie from Mildura who put me onto your blog! She is a big fan of yours ( and of Rod too). Cannot wait to read about your new adventures in Budapest! Love that place!
Best Wishes from Ali from Engadine (Sydney)
Thank you Ali. Yes, isn’t Budapest amazing? We just celebrated Halloween Hungarian style and now we have All Saints and All Souls Day so it is a week of pumpkins and prayers! After 11 years of talking to Rod every 2 weeks it seems strange to not have that connection any more, so I’m glad you found my blog. Thanks Maggie!