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Nikki Kynard

Occupation DJ

Hometown Toledo, Ohio

Current Residence Bed-Stuy

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When Nikki Kynard isn’t DJing at various venues around New York, you can find her digging for new music to play during her sets, cooking at home in Bed-Stuy, or “throwing back whiskey neats with girlfriends during meaningful conversation.” She also loves to dance (read on for her favorite dancefloor in New York), write and sing. Here, Nikki shares with GrandLife her go-to spots for art, comedy, and food, and names a few of the albums and songs she currently has on high rotation.

WHAT WOULD THE TITLE OF YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHY BE?
There’s More.

WHAT CAN’T YOU TRAVEL WITHOUT AND WHY?
A good book.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE TRAVEL DESTINATION AND WHY?
Home (Toledo, Ohio), because my family is there.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON IN NYC?
Experiment with a new recipe at home and watch movies. 

IF YOU COULD CHOOSE ONE PERSON TO SHOW YOU “THEIR NEW YORK CITY,” WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
Patti Smith because I’m interested to see her favorite restaurants, or David Byrne because then I could see his Broadway show without paying $400.

WHAT OR WHO HAS INSPIRED YOU RECENTLY AND WHY?
Mr. Rogers! I just watched the Tom Hanks movie about Mr. Rogers and I thrive to have that level of awareness, self-assurance, and positivity! 

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE NYC RESTAURANTS? WHAT DO YOU ORDER THERE?
Waverly Inn—truffle mac and cheese; Legacy Records—honey-lacquered duck. 

WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO SPOT IN NYC FOR DRINKS?
Nightmoves in Brooklyn. 

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE NYC BRUNCH SPOTS; WHAT DO YOU ORDER WHEN YOU GO?
Peaches—shrimp and grits or fried chicken; Bunna Café—it’s vegetarian Ethiopian. I go with friends and get the feast.

WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR ART FIX IN NYC? DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE ARTIST?
MoMA and Neuehouse. I have so many artists that I adore right now: Vanessa Beecroft, Chris Ofili, Mickalene Thomas, Serge Clottey, Judy Chicago.  

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE LATE-NIGHT HANGOUTS IN NYC AND WHY?
Nightmoves. The DJ only spins really rare records, you have to know someone to get in, and people actually dance. It’s owned by James Murphy.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR UNDER-THE-RADAR MUST-DO RECOMMENDATIONS FOR NYC VISITORS?
Bembe, Comedy Cellar, City Winery.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE NYC STORES AND WHY?
The RealReal, Dobbin Street Co-op, Freebird Books & Goods, Greenery Unlimited, A1 Records, Academy Records, Sincerely Tommy.

WHAT MUSIC ARE YOU LISTENING TO THESE DAYS? WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE MUSICIANS?
I like way too many to name but here’s some stuff I’ve been listening to lately: Kelsey Lu, Moses Sumney, James Blake, Peggy Gou, Men I Trust, Mannfred Manns Earth Band, Idris Muhammad, Da Baby, Megan the Stallion, Snoh Alegra. And the list goes on….

WHAT ALBUM OR SONG WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOUR PERSONAL SOUNDTRACK TO NYC?
Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants, Stevie Wonder.  

WHEN YOU THINK OF NYC, ARE THERE ANY PARTICULAR EMOTIONS OR MEMORIES THAT IMMEDIATELY COME TO MIND?
Hustle Hustle Hustle… in the best way! I think of being excited about the opportunities there are to do whatever I want to do at any point in my life.

Local Favorites

The Waverly Inn

The Waverly Inn

Favorite Restaurant
16 Bank St, New York

Note "Truffle mac and cheese."

Academy Records

Academy Records

Favorite Store
12 West 18th St, New York, NY 10011
Everything here is a score due to its location in close proximity to the aging art elite.
Legacy Records Hudson Yards New York Restaurant Bar

Legacy Records

Favorite Restaurant
517 W 38th St, New York

Note "Honey-lacquered duck."

Best Rate Promise
Soho Grand Hotel

310 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013

(212) 965-3000
The Roxy Hotel Tribeca

2 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10013

212.519.6600