Age and occupation. How long have you lived here, where did you come from, and where do you live now?
Age 28. Occ: Student, Columbia Business School. Lived in NYC 7 years, came from Dallas by way of Philly. I lived in Manhattan for a few years, I moved to Forest Hills, Queens 3 years ago and I love it. Twice the apartment for 1/2 the price.
Three for You
1. What was it like being a sushi chef at a chic downtown restaurant?
The customers are interesting. The weekdays are more Manhattan, but on the weekends, the B&T comes out in their pre-clubbing attire and are pretty interesting to watch. It's like watching "Discovery Channel" mating habits right in front of you.
2. How (or why) does one make the jump from sushi chef to Columbia Business School?
I was thinking I would want to open my own place and that the "practical" business training would be useful. And, if the whole thing didn't pan out, I could just get a high-paying corporate job. However, I've been disappointed with the preponderance of arrogant investment banking-types.
3. You're a foodie and business student. What's your dream restaurant in New York?
My restaurant experience has taught me that running a restaurant is a royal pain in the ass. Not only do the hours suck, but it completely consumes your life. That being said, many people are in the business because they love it so much. I'm very jealous of Jack and Grace Lamb. They have several beautiful restaurants that are small in size with great attention to detail and food quality, and plus they were just featured in the "Style" section of the Times as the perfect, successful, beautiful couple. So I guess something like they have would be nice.
Please share a personal (and hopefully interesting) NYC taxi story.
One time on the way to LaGuardia, I heard the sounds of pissing...into a plastic bottle. It was horrifying. I was torn between confronting him with it or just "pretending" it wasn't what I thought. In the end, I let it go to save us both embarrassment. On the upside, I guess this solves the question of how cabbies relieve themselves on the job.
Time travel question: What era, day or event in New York's history would you like to re-live?
I'd like to live any day, in an era of NY as an obscenely wealthy person. It would be nice to enjoy NYC to its fullest. I'd start with the posh Central Park apartment, or maybe the Tribeca Loft, and trip around Madison Ave with my driver in tow. I saw a girl doing that in Soho once. I felt pretty pathetic going home with my H&M bag on the subway.
9pm, Wednesday - what are you doing?
Rummaging around the fridge for an excuse to take a break from studying.
What's your New York motto?
You better move with a sense of purpose, or get outta my way. Even if you have a baby stroller.
Describe that low, low moment when you thought you just might have to leave NYC for good.
When I got a ticket on the subway for propping my feet up on the seat next to me. When it's 3 am on the subway, the entire car is empty except for a couple bums sprawled out around you, and you get fined $50 bucks, there's something wrong with this city.
What's the most expensive thing in your wardrobe?
A $600 pair of Gucci shoes I got for $200 at Woodbury Commons.
Where do you summer?
Queens. I've never been to the Hamptons and don't really have a desire.
Who do you consider to be the greatest New Yorker of all-time?
Maybe Sarah Jessica Parker. She really seems to love New York and the show is a great sell for the city. I really like J. Lo. She's from the block.
What was your best dining experience in NYC?
Pre 9/11, Bouley Bakery. We were 45 minutes late for our reservation but they were still so hospitable and the food blew me away. I felt like royalty. I won't try the new Bouley for fear that it would blemish the memory. And Riki. A little Japanese beer bar in Midtown that has the most amazing potato salad.
Medication: What and how much do you take?
Right now, tons and tons of allergy medication. My allergies leave me pretty much incapacitated during this season. I'm trying some herbal stuff called "stinging nettles" my roommate recommended to me. It requires me to take 6 of these horsepill-sized capsules a day but hey I'm desperate for anything. Very open to suggestions.
Of all the movies made about (or highly associated with) New York, what role would you have liked to be cast in?
I like any move that shows Queens (my home). There's one segment of Spiderman that shows Tobey Maguire running past my grocery store. Maybe I would have like to play an extra in that segment. Coming to America (Eddie Murphy) also comes to mind, but I'm not sure what role I could have played (as a Korean) in that movie outside of a liquor store owner.
If you could change one thing about New York, what would it be?
Some of the smells:
a) garbage in the street on a hot summer day
b) sweaty people in the subway
c) piss (anywhere)
d) bums (again, in the subway)
e) any scaffolded area (perhaps a combination of piss and bums)