I arrived in New York City in 1989 and fell in love with it on the first night. It was one of those moments where I was like, “Oh my god. I’m home.” It just hit me: I had been missing out by not being here. I was at a nightclub, of all places, in the East Village. I had never heard that type of music, or seen people dance like that. I was so green. It was sweaty, it was hot and it was liberating. The energy was just… electric. From then on, I knew I had to find a way to be part of this energy and all these wonderfully crazy people.
Nobody here really asks too much about your history – they just want to know if you’re interesting or passionate, or if you’ve got something to say. Everyone’s so open and ready for new ideas. In my experience, and especially in my industry, I’ve felt that there’s an immediate embrace of anybody with a voice – anybody who’s good.
People sometimes ask me why I love New York so much, and I always answer, “I met me in New York.” This is where I learned what I was good at, how far I could push myself, who my friends were and what I could become.
I wake up at the same time every day – I’m a bit of an eager beaver. On Saturdays, I stop just short of greeting The New York Times delivery guy in the lobby for my weekly fix, and when it arrives, my partner and I make a beeline for the Sullivan St Bakery (236 9th Ave) for a cappuccino and a buttery croissant. I down these while tearing out pages from the Travel section. I guess you could say my weekend begins with an escape!
From there, we stroll over to the bustling Chelsea Market (75 9th Ave) to gather provisions for brunch at our place. Amy’s Bread has this bread with sultanas – aka golden raisins – which I love. We also swing by the Lobster Place to pick up some kipper.
Our walk back is via The High Line (Runs from Gansevoort to West 34th St, btw 10th and 12th Ave). When it first opened, I thought: This is such a genius idea. It was derelict, and looked like it would collapse at any moment. Now it’s a spectacular park that’s completely changed the neighborhood – there’s construction every two blocks. Late architect Zaha Hadid’s last building is on 10th and 28th. I used to think that I was on the edge, living near 10th Avenue, and now it feels like I’m in the center. You have tour buses here now. You never used to see tour buses in Chelsea! The High Line is largely responsible for that, so I show my respect with a morning stroll and take my leave right when the crowds start to arrive. Once back home, I roll up my sleeves and get down to brunch business.
I’m really fortunate that my partner loves going to art galleries, so we might head over to see what’s new at the Gagosian Gallery (555 W 24th St) – I happened to be there recently when they were installing the massive Richard Serra sculpture that’s there now, which was amazing to watch – before leaving Chelsea for The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1000 5th Ave). I love going there for The Costume Institute. They always put on a good show. It’s not just, like, pretty dresses. The new director, Andrew Bolton, is doing a fantastic job.
I can only do one exhibit at a time at The Met, because it’s so overwhelming, but when I’m there I always make sure to visit the Temple of Dendur. When I was in the fourth grade, I was obsessed with Egyptian mythology, so when my sister took me there that first time, I almost lost it. It’s a magnificent room; everything comes to life.
There’s just enough time to catch an early-evening show at The Paris Theater (4 W 58th St), which has great indie selections. The Ziegfeld closed this year, making this Manhattan’s only single-screen movie theater. It’s a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. From there, I like walking down 5th Avenue when all the stores are closed. It’s like the opposite of Breakfast at Tiffany’s: she does it first thing in the morning, I do it at night. The Bergdorf Goodman windows are just incredible. I’ll head toward Saks, and after that I cab it back to my neighborhood.