Tell me about your neighborhood. It's very small in scale. A lot has happened to it since the Meatpacking District has become more popular. There are more restaurants. It's always been a very community-oriented place, a very tolerant place. There are a lot of families here. It's very quiet. Now that the river has been developed, they are doing this whole program with the walkway. It's a beautiful place to walk. There is a children's water park right off of Horatio, if you go all the way west on Horatio. My kids love it, and in the summertime they turn the water on and all the kids run through it.
Okay, what about neighborhood restaurants? We are very conventional. We go to Pastis all the time. The food is consistently good; the atmosphere is nice. They are great with kids. We go a lot for brunch. It's sort of a big place for us to go for brunch. They have this bread basket, and if you feel like throwing caution to the wind, you can order that. Their french fries are always good. It's a nice kind of family place, like I could bring my parents there when they come into town. We also go to a restaurant called Piccolo Angelo, which is a wonderful place on Hudson and Jane. It's family-owned. The man who owns it is named Renato. His wife, Pauline, comes in on Sundays, and his son and daughter, Peter and Maria, are there working all the time. They are such a lovely family. The food is delicious and you never order off the menu. Renato will do this sort of spiel. They also make their own wine.
Where would you go on a typical weekend day? I love to go to Union Square to the Greenmarket. All the produce is great, and it's kind of a fun scene. They have a lot of people and dogs, and there's food. You can buy doughnuts and produce and flowers and wool - there is a person who sells wool. They raise their own sheep, and they dye and spin their own wool. The Coffee Shop is right there, and it has really, really delicious food. It is another place that is great for kids, although there are a lot of young people there and it's kind of a hip spot. The owner is a friend of ours. Actually, our little boys are best friends at school. I always have the coconut shrimp or a tuna salad, which is really good. My husband always has the barbecued-chicken sandwich. The Coffee Shop is right across the street from Union Square Café, which is also delicious, but you shouldn't take the kids there.
What are your kids' favorite places? If we go uptown, there's a slide on the east side of Central Park at East 67th Street, right above the children's zoo, that my kids love. It's sort of crazy and almost bordering on dangerous. I always catch my breath when I go there because it's like polished stone. The bigger kids sit on cardboard and they just go whipping down it. It's the fastest slide I have ever seen. You even see adults going down it sometimes. One day, when the Gates were still up, we walked across the park, and we went to Shun Lee. We always go to the dim sum café there. The restaurant is great, but the dim sum café is a lot of fun because they come around with these carts, the steamed cart and the fried cart.
Sounds like you're a serious Central Park fan. There's Wollman Rink, where you can go ice skating. Also, people don't know this: In the summertime, in the area where Wollman Rink is, there is a little kids' carnival that operates all summer long. My children love this. It's a very big deal. You could have a great children's day in the summertime where you go to the children's carnival, the children's zoo, the slide on 67th Street, and then you can take them to Serendipity, which is a famous restaurant where they have frozen hot chocolate, a slushy, milk-shaky kind of chocolate drink that children love. It's famous for its desserts.