Owner of Watson Adventures Scavenger Hunts, executive editor of Stuff magazine.
Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
I grew up on Long Island and now live in Greenwich Village.
Which is harder for you, discovering new things about New York for Watson Adventures' scavenger hunts or creating new ways to describe the monthly hottie on the cover of Stuff magazine?
The great thing about New York, which makes the hunts so much fun for me, is its boundless variety. Consider Sheridan Square in Greenwich Village: In one place you can find the scene of the Stonewall riot and the birth of the gay rights movement; a sculpture inspiring tolerance by George Segal; a statue of General Philip Sheridan recalling intolerance who said, "the only good Indians I ever saw were dead”...I could go on. When it comes to cover girls, it depends on how much variety they have themselves. If they are just attractive, there are only so many words you can use on a cover. That's not as fun.
What is the best improvement to New York City in the last year?
The best thing within the last year is the ongoing restoration of Central Park, including the new fence around the reservoir. Plus: the opening, in my neighborhood, of Mary's Dairy (171 West 4th), offering ice cream and smiling service that is far better than the overrated, overpriced Cones on Bleecker. I especially rejoice when any sidewalk scaffolding that has been a blight on my daily route, seemingly for decades, suddenly vanishes, and the sun shines down on the startled pavement.
If you could have a New York City neighborhood renamed after you which one would it be?
I'd settle for one of the small islands in the East River. I'm also thinking of adopting a highway, possibly one in China, but the fact that I'm single works against me.
What outerborough place you always say you would visit but probably never will?
I keep wanting to see the Richmondtown Restoration and Cornelius Vanderbilt's tomb on Staten Island. Poe Cottage in the Bronx, Van Cortlandt Park and any one-room museum that has odd hours or is by appointment only, such as the Micro Museum in Brooklyn. And anything that requires a car to get to, such as the Queens County Farm Museum.
How many takeout menus would you guess that you have in your apartment?
Exactly 86, not counting the two that arrived while I was counting. Yet I order from just one. Makes no sense. That's the thing about living in New York: You yearn for variety, but often fall back on what's familiar and reliable. Which is not necessarily a bad thing at all.
What's the one thing you miss whenever you leave New York?
Restaurants and stores that stay open past 8 p.m. In too many places, if you don't eat by then, you starve. Or you're eating mini bar cashews for $25.
What's the best place in New York for semi-public sex?
Now that it's getting cold, what (or who) do you do to stay warm?
When are you available? I need help answering the previous question.
If you could revoke a famous New Yorker's citizenship, who would it be?
I regret that the lying, scheming and slithery Thomas Jefferson was ever a New York resident (He lived downtown on Maiden Lane). Sounds like he regretted it too, since he compared the city to a sewer.
Watson Adventures is having an East Village hunt this Saturday, November 6.