The chances of running into the likes of New York City resident Hugh Jackman or Sarah Jessica Parker in one’s lifetime are—let’s face it—slim to Fat Chance. Getting to strike up an illuminating conversation with them about Gotham's charms over a cappuccino? Fuggeddaboutit.
Oh, the dreams of knowing our stars’ favorite city haunts. If not just to up the odds on a little celeb sighting, at least so we, the humble many, can discover the side of New York loved by the famous few.
Luckily, Jeryl Brunner has done the work for us. The author had the pleasure of discussing with some of New York's most beloved residents exactly what it is they adore about their home city—all their wonderful secrets are amassed in the recently launched book My City, My New York.
From dishing on the best new restaurants to reminiscing about Manhattan’s most moving churches and sceneiest-of-sceney street corners, stars of film (Woody Allen, Matthew Broderick), food (Mario Batali, Anthony Bourdain), sport (Maria Sharapova, Henrik Lundqvist), theater, politics, and even T+L’s own editor-in-chief Nancy Novogrod let readers in on favorite city spots. Hers? Monumental art institutions like the Met, MoMA, and under-the-radar favorite Neue Galerie (for lunch, Novogrod suggests the onsite restaurant, Café Sabarsky: “It’s like one of the great Viennese cafés”). Anecdotal and honest, it's gossip and insider info at its most cultured.
T+L talked with Brunner in a video Q+A to discuss the inspiration behind her book, as well as the trends, surprises, and revelations that came from chatting with New York’s best:
Q: What was your inspiration for My City, My New York?
Q: How did you conduct the interviews—in person, by phone, by email?
Q: What was the most surprising response/place given by a famous New Yorker?
Q: Besides being famous and New Yorkers, is there anything else you found that your subjects have in common?
Q: Where is/are your fave spots in NYC?
Lindsey Olander is an editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.