Local Go-Tos with New York Doll David Johansen, Michele Varian & Others

Grandlife guide

Local Go-Tos with New York Doll David Johansen, Michele Varian & Others

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Our Locals segment is a treasure trove of insider tips, offering insights into New Yorker’s preferred haunts—the places they frequent for a meal, happy hour drink, vintage find, a new record, or whatever it is that keeps them going back time and time again. Here, we revisit interviews with New York Doll David Johansen, designer Michele Varian, actor Natasha Lyonne, musician Matthew Avedon, nightlife curator Linux, and others, and share their responses to the question, “What are some of your under-the-radar must-do recommendations in New York?” Here’s what they told us…

David Johansen, Entertainer, New York Doll 

“If you don’t go to Jacques Marchais Museum on Lighthouse Hill in Staten Island, you’re nuts. La Monte Young and Mariane Zazeela’s Dream House on Church Street.”

Miss Guy, DJ, Musician, Photographer

“I like to just walk around different neighborhoods. Sutton Place is great to see where Marilyn Monroe lived. And if you love Marilyn as much as I do, you absolutely must go to Caffe Reggio. You can sit at her favorite table.”

Michele Varian, Designer, Store-owner, Start-up Co-founder

“When I first moved to NYC, I took the subway every day over the Manhattan Bridge to get to work from Brooklyn. I remember being delighted when an art installation by Bill Brand appeared on the walls of the tunnel just before reaching the bridge on the Brooklyn side. It was like a flipbook of animated images as we passed by on the train. Now that I’ve moved my shop to Brooklyn, I am reverse commuting to Brooklyn from Manhattan and the art installation is still there! It tickles me every time I pass it and think of all of the life I have lived and have now come full circle to the same subway stop I started at! The Big City is really just a Small World.” 

Matthew Avedon, Musician, Model, Dog Walker/Admirer

“What people don’t think to do enough when visiting is just to wander the streets. That’s the best part of NYC, just being able to walk anywhere. You can’t beat it for finding the real personalities of neighborhoods. Wear comfortable shoes, get lost, double back, leave the guide book at home and give yourself an entire day to get nowhere in particular.”

Natasha Lyonne, Actor, Writer, Director

“I always take everyone to the Film Forum because it’s my favorite place. I don’t think it’s particularly under the radar. Film Forum is one of the most important places in New York City. Go there, see a feature and stay and see a quadruple feature. Live your life.”

Sophie Auster, Singer-Songwriter

“​​I recently celebrated my birthday at Dreamland Roller Disco in Brooklyn. The theme of the evening was Justin vs. Britney, so I dressed up à la the “Baby One More Time” video and roller skated around with a bunch of my friends. There’s also a bar, so you can drink and fall down once you get back in the rink.” 

Illyse Singer, Cinema Curator 

The Frick and Morgan Library and Museum. Juvenex for a full-body Korean scrub (they’re also open 24 hours).”

Johan Kugelberg, Archivist

“Go to the Cloisters, go to Arthur Avenue, go to Zum Stammtisch in Glendale Queens. Set aside more time than you think for the Metropolitan Museum, buy a last-minute cheapie ticket for the Metropolitan Opera, take the subway to Jackson Heights in a state of faint-like hunger. Eat anything that seems appealing.”

Linux, Nightlife Curator

“Everyone needs a night out at The Box. Come with me and you’ll be well taken care of!”

Bailey Leiter, DJ and Vintage Shop Owner

“Ride the ferry, go to the roof of the Met Museum (best view in NYC), and go to the opera. I know the opera isn’t exactly “under the radar” but most people don’t consider it when they come here. It’s the epitome of New York style and decadence and if you arrive early, you can sip champagne and do some premium people-watching. The Met Opera House is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Even if you don’t care for opera, the whole experience is really something. Also, you get to dress up!”

PHOTOGRAPHY Caffe Reggio by Eric Parker

 

 

 

 

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