Occupation Actress, Director
Hometown Darien, Connecticut
Current Residence SoHo, New York
WHAT WOULD THE TITLE OF YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHY BE?
I don’t know, but my favorite title of an actress’s autobiography is The Lonely Life by Bette Davis.
WHAT CAN’T YOU TRAVEL WITHOUT AND WHY?
My noise-canceling headphones because the noise in airports and on the airplane makes me extremely irritable.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE TRAVEL DESTINATION AND WHY?
Other than coming home, my favorite destinations are beach vacations because they’re vacations and because they’re at the beach. I usually travel for work, so I guess it’s one of the only places where I can just shut everything down and turn off; anywhere in the Caribbean, anywhere in Mexico, anywhere it’s warm-slash-hot.
IF YOU COULD CHOOSE ONE PERSON TO SHOW YOU “THEIR NEW YORK CITY,” WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
Spike Lee because he’s so rooted in the things that he loves and supports that I’m sure he’d have a list of places that would be spots he’s been going to forever.
WHO OR WHAT HAS INSPIRED YOU RECENTLY?
My friend Kim Gordon always stays with me when she comes to New York. She’s a constant inspiration in my life, just around her output and how prolific she is and has consistently been in her life. She’s still pushing the envelope—I mean, she’s punk as fuck and is doing things her way and not compromising. I really respect that. I love to be around her and hear about all the things that she’s doing. It’s kind of a mold that I aspire to.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE NYC RESTAURANTS? WHAT DO YOU ORDER THERE?
I have a lot! I like all the institutions: Omen—I like the pickles; I like Raoul’s—martini and oysters; Odeon—they have a really great green salad, also a martini; Bacaro—they have a really great spicy meatball thing; Souen—they do a broiled salmon with lemon; Veselka—I get the blue plate special: half tuna sandwich and a cup of split pea—unfortunately they no longer make the lentil; Mogador—the Middle Eastern breakfast; I like the Oyster Bar in Grand Central for chowder; En Japanese Brasserie—they make this amazing stone grilled chicken thing, slammin’! They also do a salmon rice pot.
WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO SPOT IN NYC FOR DRINKS?
Big Bar on Seventh Street—I like the music, I like the bartenders. They have a red-pink light that is flattering to everybody, so that’s always fun when you’re drinking to be bathed in the beautiful light. It’s kind of divey. I like to go to my brother’s [bar], Paul’s Baby Grand. I like that you can go out with your cocktail and smoke in that little area because it’s so rare to be able to smoke and drink at the same time—the only time that I smoke is when I have a cocktail, so I feel like that’s a real luxury that’s been kind of yanked away from everywhere else in New York City.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE BRUNCH SPOTS?
I’m not really a big weekend brunch person. I like Olive’s, they have amazing sandwiches; I like the breakfast sandwich or the mozzarella tomato, which hasn’t changed one iota in 25 years. I like to get a sandwich and sit in the park on Sixth Avenue or walk up to Washington Square and eat in the park if it’s nice out. If not, they have a little counter in there. Brunch is one of the only foods that I can cook well, so I eat out for dinner.
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR ART FIX IN NYC? DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE ARTIST?
I like Tramps Gallery; I like the New Museum I think they have really great shows, great curators. I try to go up to Chelsea every so often. I really like White Columns. I have a lot of friends in the art world so I follow their Instagrams and will see things and be inspired to go and see shows. Leo Fitzpatrick who was in Kids is always posting about shows, so it’s good for something, that Instagram…
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR UNDER-THE-RADAR MUST-DO RECOMMENDATIONS FOR NYC VISITORS?
I like the idea of going to a different park every day. I think that’s such a nice way to explore the city: having a destination and then walking around from there—from the Cloisters to Central Park to Washington Square to any of the real dinky ones. I also think it’s really important to get in the water, take a water taxi. Also to go up high and see some of the more major things like the Empire State Building, I still think that’s really charming.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE NYC STORES AND WHY?
I like all the independently owned vintage stores and consignment stores: Rituals Vintage on Broome Street; Tokio 7; I like walking along Ninth Street in the East Village, there’s a bunch of different vintage stores there; I like all the Beacon’s Closets. I’m more for recycled fashion.
WHAT MUSIC ARE YOU LISTENING TO THESE DAYS?
I just had a housewarming party where I asked my friends to bring vinyl, so I’ve been going through records that friends have given, and also going through records that were in storage for a while and rediscovering old things. There’s this one Philip Glass record that has been on repeat.
WHAT ALBUM OR SONG WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOUR PERSONAL SOUNDTRACK TO NYC?
“Puttin’ on the Ritz.”
WHEN YOU THINK OF NYC, ARE THERE ANY PARTICULAR EMOTIONS OR MEMORIES THAT IMMEDIATELY COME TO MIND?
My brother [Paul Sevigny] always explains coming back to Manhattan as like getting a big hug, and that’s how I feel whenever I’m away and I come back; it’s like being embraced by my town, my streets. I’ve lived here for so long now….I always feel the most comfortable in my skin here, even if I’m in an area of town that I don’t know my way around, I can just own myself here and feel myself here. Even on the coldest day or the hottest day, I wouldn’t be anywhere else.
PHOTOGRAPHY Alex Phillipe Cohen