Do you have a favorite museum?
I have never liked going to museums. I have always felt like they overwhelmed me. I like smaller museums where you don't feel like, Oh, there are three more floors, and if I don't see them, maybe I've missed everything. Actually, I really like the Guggenheim because you start at the top and walk down, and by the time you've gotten down, you've looked at everything. So it's manageable. I actually really liked the temporary Museum of Modern Art. When the new MoMA was being built, they had a temporary one in Queens, and it was very small. Well, it was a big warehouse, but you could walk through it in an hour. I think that's why I like the Neue Galerie too.
Besides walking, how else can one get some exercise in New York?
I do yoga mostly. I go to a place called the Shala, and I go to Om. Basically, when you go to yoga in New York, it's like, we're up, we're down, we have an hour and a half. Let's just start and do some yoga and not talk too much. Let's do what we're here to do and give ourselves the space to calm down a little bit.
Where would you send us for dinner?
I really like Il Buco, which is always beautifully lit. I think it's on Bond Street, between Bowery and Lafayette. Bowery and Lafayette are huge, big streets. There are trucks going down them all the time; it's noisy. You turn down Bond Street, and then you turn into this restaurant, and you could be in some other place. They have 20 different kinds of olive oil and really interesting, delicious, fresh, and beautiful food. I love that place. I just love the food at Babbo. It's small, with a cozy atmosphere. My brother's best friend used to be a chef there, so I got to know a lot of the people who work there. I love David Lynch, who is now the general manager; I learned a lot about wine from him. I've gone in the summer, and it's beautiful, too, but somehow it really fits well in the winter. There isn't a fireplace in there, but it feels like you could be right next to the fire in some place you'd found in Italy. In fact, I remember we went to Babbo in a blizzard - my father, brother, a friend of ours, and I - and we ordered pasta with butter and truffles. It was incredibly delicious. The next day, there was still a blizzard, and my dad and my brother were trying to figure out if there were some way they could get truffles so they could make it. Gramercy Tavern is bigger, but it's got delicious food. I took my great aunt there when she turned 90, and we sat in the corner, and we had this really great meal. What I remember most is this incredible cheese plate we had that came on this huge wooden board, and this really charming waiter who went through 30 cheeses with us while we picked which cheeses we wanted. I always think of that place as kind of a fall place, an autumn place.
Where should we go for theater?
New York Theatre Workshop is very small, so it doesn't have to appeal to as many people as Broadway does. I've seen some really fantastic things there. I saw some great Caryl Churchill plays there. The Public Theater on Lafayette is bigger. It's where Shakespeare in the Park comes from. I've seen great things there too. I've done a lot of readings but never a play there. The Brooklyn Academy of Music is great. I did a play there with Cate Blanchett, and I've seen a bunch of stuff there. They've got a great movie theater, too, and there is always interesting stuff happening - short runs and a lot of international stuff. I also love Film Forum. It will be playing a couple of interesting movies every time you go. They have really good popcorn. They don't put salt on it, so you have to put it on yourself. It's so different to see a movie there than it is to go and see it at a big multiplex. It's not quite a revival house because they also play contemporary things, but they play very obscure contemporary things. It always feels pleasant, even if the movie isn't good. I saw La Dolce Vita there recently.
Tell me about your most memorable day in the city.
Getting arrested at Saint John the Divine! It's across the street from the Hungarian Pastry Shop, and it's sort of known for its peacocks. You can see these beautiful peacocks walking around. I believe it's one of the biggest Gothic Revival cathedrals in North America. I once went in with a boyfriend and listened to people singing at mass. I'm half Jewish and grew up as a Jew, so I'm not used to being in churches. We listened to the choir, and we kind of hid in this corner. We were hiding in a dark nook. I think we might have climbed up some stairs. We went up there to listen to the music, and then we heard that they were closing and locking up the church. I was probably 19. We looked at each other and thought, Let's just stay. We didn't even know each other that well. We got a little braver as the hours went by and started to explore a little bit and accidentally set off an alarm or something. It was about 10 at night, and then two cops showed up and hassled us for a little while. They finally said, "All right, get out of here." They scared us appropriately - enough that I probably wouldn't wander in there at night by myself again.