Hometown Hobart, Tasmania
Current Residence Clinton Hill, Brooklyn
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?
I was born in London and moved to Sydney when I was a wee bairn. Then in a sea-change, we relocated to Hobart, Tasmania, aka heaven on earth, where I stayed until my late teens.
WHERE DO YOU CURRENTLY LIVE IN NYC?
I am a new resident of Clinton Hill—the most beautiful neighborhood I’ve lived in in my nine years in this city.
WHAT WOULD THE TITLE OF YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHY BE?
I Feel So Human: What A Strange Trip It Has Been!
WHAT CAN’T YOU TRAVEL WITHOUT AND WHY?
A sense of humor and open mind! Because we are all strange creatures being shuffled around the world in metal boxes in the sky, way too close to strangers than we usually are and we just have to deal with it. I love people in transit, I love being in transit, in-between places and basically a free agent to speak to people without all the attachment of my everyday life and I feel really open to enjoying the moment. That and a good neck pillow, sleeping pills, books, and very warm socks.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE TRAVEL DESTINATION AND WHY?
Home. Because my soul is happy there. And then after that, I love Italy and Greece. This year I am going to Morocco and I want to finally explore more of America; I want to road trip and see places in a slower way—really feel it, smell, taste, touch!
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON IN NYC?
Dependant on my mood, my Sunday sessions involve:
1/ Either going to a local cafe with a newspaper and/or book and just hanging out and being very chill and people-watching; some drawing; a bath at home, followed by a home-cooked, slow dinner or dinner at a friend’s place, Sunday roast-style.
2/ Taking a walk to a park in the warmer months. Fort Greene Park is great for playing around, having a picnic with friends, bike riding, being outside with humans I love, the NYC buzz.
3/ Recuperation: I will do a Yin Yoga class, head to a steam room or find a sound bath or group meditation. This woman loves some healing energy to balance out city living! I need to be silent and solo much more than I used to be.
IF YOU COULD CHOOSE ONE PERSON TO SHOW YOU “THEIR NEW YORK CITY,” WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
Oh, goodness me! Ummm, Iris Apfel? What a glamorous hoot of a day that would be.
WHAT OR WHO HAS INSPIRED YOU RECENTLY AND WHY?
My inspirations have changed a lot recently. I have been drawn to nature in a very real way, I am inspired specifically by trees, the water… When I flew home to Tasmania over the holidays I spent a lot of solo time exploring and my energy started to rise, I felt light and deeply connected to the wildness of it all. Here in NYC, I am going to parks to spend time with trees to remain grounded. They are strong and beautifully imperfect. Bold colors, very bright colors are drawing me in. HUMOR! I am inspired by those brave enough to be authentic and funny about life. I just saw Jacqueline Novak’s off-broadway show Get On Your Knees and I couldn’t love it more. She just gets it. She says things I only dare to think and hearing it, makes me feel so connected! I found a book by David Hockney last month that inspired me so much: his way of thinking, progressing in his career and life, not following one medium or one direction. I have also been demolishing books on spirituality, books on kindness, being present, and how we affect each other.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE NYC RESTAURANTS? WHAT DO YOU ORDER THERE?
Lucien! I just had my birthday dinner there for the second time. It is so cute, unpretentiously pretentious, loud, full of quirky, good-looking people who may be famous but who cares, really, and it’s always too full and always makes me laugh. I order a Kir Royale cocktail (or four). I am a ’70s woman at heart and if I am with someone who shares my love of sharing all things French, I will get oysters, buttery garlic dreamy escargot, paté and scallops—fries, always. Also, Takahashi Japanese in the East Village is a classic. It has the best simple, fresh Japanese in NYC; miso cod, any spinach dish, the Orange Crunchy Roll, and unfiltered sake in a box.
WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO SPOT IN NYC FOR DRINKS?
Hmmm. Over the years it changes depending on where I live at the time. I’ve been going to Hotel Delmano for drinks for coming on nine years. I have made such good friends there and the drinks are killer. My friends over at The Flower Shop make a killer margarita and I know there will be a family vibe and fun crowd there to hang out with. Also—artist plug—I created their wallpaper mural so it is fun to have that connection.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE NYC BRUNCH SPOTS; WHAT DO YOU ORDER WHEN YOU GO?
Sorry, I don’t like brunch… I know, how can I live in NYC and not? It is true. I remain a breakfast, lunch, dinner girl—with a strong love for happy hour.
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR ART FIX IN NYC? DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE ARTIST?
Art is everywhere. By that I mean it isn’t just galleries anymore, and if it is, there are the original institutions I still love to visit—i.e. I just saw a life-changing sculpture exhibition by Alma Allen at Kasmin Gallery in Chelsea. But there are smaller, younger galleries and pop-ups on the LES that I love. I will always love the Neue Gallery, Noguchi Museum, too, and the new MOMA Permanent Collection blew my mind.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE LATE-NIGHT HANGOUTS IN NYC AND WHY?
Hmmm, I have been curbing my enthusiasm for being out super late—as in, I was out so late for five years, I think I was nocturnal! If I do stay out late, I will hang at places by the bar such as The Flower Shop, Clandestino, Achilles Heel; places where we can hang out, hear good music and that are very easy.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR UNDER-THE-RADAR MUST-DO RECOMMENDATIONS FOR NYC VISITORS?
Get a massage and a steam when you are here to counter your long, fun days and nights. Go to Grand Nature on the LES for a massage, or go to Aire Baths to steam it up. You may end up in a spa with Justin Bieber as I did—but not realizing and laughing to my friend that there was some idiot pretending to be Justin Bieber next to us. True story. Brooklyn isn’t far or scary. Come on, guys! If you like good food and wine and beautiful parks and brownstones, come check out Fort Greene, do the markets on a Saturday, hang in the giant gorgeous park, go get happy hour oysters at Café Paulette, walk down and have a spritz at the bar at Romans on Dekalb, go to BIRD to shop, and the bookshop on Fulton. In Greenpoint, walk down Franklin, eat at Chez Ma Tante or Oxomoco, have a coffee surrounded by big plants, candles and pretty home things at Homecoming, also visit Adaptations. Amazing vintage shops abound in Greenpoint. Bowl at the Gutter Bar in Williamsburg and order pizza and cheap drinks with friends. Have an old fashioned at Achilles Heel at the bar. In summer, wind down and have outdoor drinks and listen to the live radio feed at The Lot Radio. I love my local library in Clinton Hill; I love all libraries—slow, real places where everyone is welcome and nothing loud or audacious is allowed. How rare in NYC! Books on things I never even knew I wanted to look at, and enough with Google serving us all the same stuff. This is an actual adventure.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE NYC STORES AND WHY?
Vintage shopping: Amarcord, The Break, Mirth Greenpoint, Awoke; Homecoming for plants, beautiful incense, books, body oils, and coffee; Maryam Nassir Zadeh for all her garments and objects; furniture at Dobbin St. Co-op; ABC Home for absolutely everything; No. 6 clothing and accessories; Journelle lingerie—I love lace panties, yes I do; BIRD for clothing and accessories; The Strand for books; Coming Soon for absolutely everything design that I love and want in my home—cool and chic and all with a fun sense of humor.
WHAT MUSIC ARE YOU LISTENING TO THESE DAYS? WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE MUSICIANS?
I am all over the shop with my music. I listen to my friend’s playlists a lot. I have only recently discovered the joys of Four Tet. Putting on a song, I get into a blissful almost meditative state, so good to draw to. Otherwise, right now I’m a little in love with Lizzo! What joy! Who can be that cool playing the flute in a bodysuit?
WHAT ALBUM OR SONG WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOUR PERSONAL SOUNDTRACK TO NYC?
Mood dependent! As I change my music to my mood, let me defer to my current Spotify “Your Heavy Rotation” list (no this isn’t sponsored): James Blake (he is so cool; his Quentin Blake collab? Epic); a playlist by my friend Adriana called “Dinner,” which has songs like “Beggin” by Madcon; the soundtrack from the film Layer Cake; Jon Hopkins; and Alton Ellis radio.
WHEN YOU THINK OF NYC, ARE THERE ANY PARTICULAR EMOTIONS OR MEMORIES THAT IMMEDIATELY COME TO MIND?
It is every emotion all at once! That is NYC to me. Polarizing plus connection. I can’t put it into one memory or emotion, that wouldn’t do it justice. It is magical, messed up and mesmerizing. I have begun to find myself here and that is what it’s all about, right?