Now that I'm a mother, I don't really go to bars. I like the Library, in the Regency Hotel. It's really cozy, with paneling and bookshelves. Feinstein's is the Regency's piano bar. They have a lot of really great people. Keely Smith - she's a jazz singer who was married to Louis Prima - is there quite often. Diahann Carroll, Betty Buckley, even Donny Osmond! And I like hotel bars; I always have. They make you feel like you're on a vacation, even if you're not. There's a mysterious feeling to hotel bars. I don't like a scene; I'm not into it. I just like a regular bar - something to eat. God knows you need something in your stomach.
Where do you go shopping?
You know, I'm fond of the three B's: Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, and Bloomingdale's. But going downtown is a whole other experience. There was a cool shop I happened upon in Nolita called Hable Construction. It's a tiny little shop owned by sisters - one of whom happens to be a fabric designer - and they make tchotchkes and pillows. When I was renovating my house, I used some of their fabrics, and one day, as I was walking down Elizabeth Street, lo and behold, there it was: Hable Construction. [The store in Nolita has since closed, but there's another one open in the West Village.] That's why I love to go into that area: It's so arty and unexpected. You'll find housewares next to clothing stores next to bodegas next to comic-book stores. Also on Elizabeth Street, too, is a place called Me&Ro, where they make great gold and silver jewelry with Sanskrit engravings and with a tiny little stone or a tiny diamond. I practice a lot of yoga, and I used to practice aikido, so I'm into that whole vibe.
There's this leather-goods shop that apparently has been there for 20 years, according to the guy behind the desk. It's called Peter Hermann, on Thompson Street. And it's the kind of place where you see one thing in the window, and then while you're paying for it, you see something else and then something else.
There are great antiques shops downtown. I stopped into one and bought a lamp, which they're shipping to me. The place is called Paterae, and they have great lamps and chandeliers; it's on Broome Street. And I went into a cool little stationery store called Greenwich Letterpress, which is on Christopher Street. I just can't get over how much that street has changed from what it was like in the '80s. Back then, it was basically all shops for gay men; now it's stationery shops and moms pushing their strollers.
Oh, there's one last one I wanted to mention, because the guy who owns the place was really cool. It's called the Lively Set, and it's this fun, funky antiques place on Bedford Street. It reminds me of that scene in Borat where he walks into the antique Civil War shop and starts destroying everything. In fact, the owner told me that last year Ashton Kutcher walked in, and the owner was worried he was going to get punked and that everything in the store was going to get broken. But as it turns out, Ashton was just another shopping tourist.
What's your favorite museum?
I love the MoMA. I went to it about a year ago, after their big renovation. I actually explored some of the floors that I'd never seen before, the more contemporary art, as opposed to the impressionistic, which is kind of eye candy. And I could appreciate it now that I'm older. Francis Bacon really stands out in my mind - so vivid and visceral. I love the Met, too, but I think you have to go with specific goals. Otherwise, it's way too overwhelming.
If friends of yours had only a weekend to spend in New York, what would you tell them they had to do?
If there were a good play or musical going on, that would be on the list. I saw Grey Gardens on Broadway, and Christine Ebersole is brilliant in that. It's one of those legendary Broadway performances. And I saw Spring Awakening, which I loved. Those kids just had this incredible excitement and exuberance. Or to go to some cool dance company would be great, as well, because there are so many great dancers and dance companies in New York. Obviously, a walk through Central Park. I especially love the Central Park Zoo. I think we'd head downtown and just explore, because it's so completely different from Midtown, and it's where I seem to be most of the time. It's so much more intimate and funky and special, and there are so many pockets of ethnicity and artistry and people. People are just cool in New York. They're hip and sophisticated and self-assured. You have to be tough to be in this city. Not in an aggressive way, but you have to be a take-charge person.
Way back when, my mother would visit me in New York, and that's when I'd go and do the touristy things, like visit the Statue of Liberty, which I'd like to do again. The Empire State Building? Eh, I don't know about that. It's just one tall building. But the Statue of Liberty is interesting. You take a boat ride out there. And the UN is a fascinating place to visit. People kind of forget about it, because it's so far east. But it's pretty interesting.
Riverside Park is another place people forget about. I used to go there all the time when I lived on the Upper West Side. I love water and rivers. I grew up in a town that was on a river, so the Hudson is calming to me. And I hear they've cleaned up Riverside Park quite a bit. Oh, and, wow, Union Square Park! I just went there the other day, on Friday; I couldn't believe how lively it was. It was amazing. This city is an amazing turn-on. I just can't seem to get enough of it.