Are there any bookstores as unique as those clothing shops?
I like a bookstore on Bleecker Street called the Biography
Bookshop. They don't have only biographies, but I think they
probably have a good selection. I read mostly fiction, so I don't
even know how their biography section is. They are so helpful
there. If you look on the shelf for something and you can't find
it, just ask the guy behind the desk, and they will dig it up for
you. I also like Three Lives & Company bookshop. Three Lives is
prettier, while the other is more ramshackle, but they are both
pleasant to be in.
Where do you typically spend your lunch hours?
pizza is Joe's Pizza. It's just great pizza, with a really thin and
crunchy crust. You can get either a regular slice or a slice with
fresh mozzarella, and either is delicious. And also the tomato
sauce is kind of light-colored and not sweet. You know how
sometimes bad tomato sauce is sweet? This is not sweet. It's sort
of salty, light, fresh-tasting tomato sauce with cheese on a thin
crust. It's really what I think pizza is meant to be. It's not
fancy at all, but it's really good. Oh, you know what's a great
place, a good neighborhood place? Bonsignour Café. It's like a
takeout-food neighborhood place. There are only four tables. You
can't sit down and eat. It has really delicious food, really good
coffee, and really great people who work there.
What about dessert? Is there another neighborhood place you want
to take us to?
On Ninth Avenue between 40th and 41st, there's a
place called the Cupcake Café. It's a little hole-in-the-wall place
with incredibly good cupcakes and cakes, and they're beautifully
decorated. They're made with butter-cream icing, so they're not too
sweet. I guess you have to kind of know about it, because it
really is a hole in the wall. There's no air conditioning.
Nothing in there except beautiful cupcakes. Whenever I find myself
in that neighborhood, I always think about going there and getting
one of those cupcakes.
What are your favorite little pocket neighborhoods?
the far West Village, where it's still, at least for the moment,
pretty quiet. When I was in college, I used to spend a lot of time
on the Lower East Side, although I don't anymore. I remember
feeling that was an amazing place at that time. Everyone lived in
such teeny-tiny apartments, so there was one particular coffee shop
called the Pink Pony that everyone used as their living room. Union
Square farmers' market is great. It's best on the weekends. It
depends on the season, but you can get really great local produce.
There's one stand that has delicious grainy bread and granola and
things like that. You can get beautiful cheese and farm-raised
meat. It's a really good market. Really far west in Chelsea is
nice. Central Park really puts all the other parks to shame. I like
Prospect Park in Brooklyn too. It's really beautiful. The same
person, Frederick Law Olmsted, designed both of them.