Meet Rachel. I can tell you right now that she is going to HATE me for using that photo – she is notoriously hard to get photographed, like an illusive unicorn. She is a close friend of mine who has now been living in New York City for about 2.5 years. She is originally a West Coaster (but her heart belongs on the East Coast) from Irvine, California. Rachel studied Film Production at The University of Southern California and is a Production Assistant for several TV shows (including Gossip Girl, The Big C, Mildred Pierce, Pan Am), and a few movies. I actually visited her on the set of a new pilot just last week. She and I both enjoy a clever cocktail. However, we hardly EVER go to the movies together, she is an extremely theoretical and judgmental critic (as she is well versed in cinematography) – she was definitely NOT the friend to ask to see Twilight at midnight. Har har. Rachel has lived in Barcelona, Spain were she gained a working knowledge of Spanish. I can only guess that this is where she had her love affair with Spanish director, screenwriter, and producer, Pedro Almodóvar Caballero. Her favorite quote by him (and in life) is thus, “Una película vista por mil personas se puede convertir en mil películas distintas, y todas son legítimas” – meaning, “A movie seen by a thousand people can be converted into a thousand distinct movies, and all are legitimate”.
Aside from one of the best senses of humor (wry, sarcastic, facetious, realist) among any of my friends, she also has one of the best personal styles. However, I do not think I have ever seen her wear a color (except in jewelry). She is the paragon of minimalistic greys, whites, and blacks.
As part of my ongoing EAT/SEE/SHOP/DO series, I asked her to come up with a short list of her favorites:
EAT: “Favorite place to eat is such a hard question. It depends on what mood you’re in. If you want formal, if you want casual, it all changes. My favorite hang out spot is The Grey Dog at Union Square – I take everyone there . But if we’re talking my favorite culinary delight, I would say Boqueria or I Sodi. A coffee shop is my absolute favorite, if you want to capture my essence…you know how I feel about coffee”
The Spanish tapas and paella joint in NYC has several types of Sangria (including a beer infused version) and amazing small plates. Boqueria, 53 West 19th Street
New York. Image found HERE.
This tiny Italian restaurant on the West Village/Tribeca border is quaint, cozy, and familial. Aside from a perfect after dinner espresso, all the pastas and sorbets are handmade! Now, let us join together for a moment of silence as we thank Rita Sodi for honoring the integrity of fresh (including locally made olive oil) farm food and the authenticity of traditional italian cuisine. Image courtesy of the restaurant, I Sodi, 105 Christopher St., 10014 New York, NY.
The founders of The Grey Dog explain, “In 1996 the Grey Dog coffeehouse was created. She was named after Moose and Goose, our two labrador retrievers, one white the other black. The goal was to build a small coffeehouse in the world’s great city. We wanted to concentrate on little things that often get lost in big city life, like getting to know the names of our patrons and serving wonderful fresh foods at very reasonable prices.” The Grey Dog, 90 University Place New York, NY 10003. Also, Rachel and I always talk about how “laissez-faire-hot” the baristas are. Image found via Elaine is Eating, HERE.
SEE: “My favorite building in NYC is the Empire State Building, I never really go into it but, it’s the key symbol for An Affair To Remember (one of my favorite classic movies).”
SHOP: Of favorite places to shop she explains, “Oh my god, I love shopping up and down the entire Fifth Avenue strip in the Flatiron District. All my shops are there, such as Anthropologie, Free People, Zara.” She pauses, “….I don’t know I’m not very exciting, Keren. I should be saying some weird vintage shop that I love, something funky but, I like Rag & Bone – it brings happiness to my heart.”
Here is Rachel (or as we all call her “Jaros”) looking snazzy in her threads and hailing a cab. She’s the cab hailing expert, we all call her “the team captain”.
DO: “My favorite thing to do on a day off is to get a coffee at 11th Street Cafe and then to go to the Angelika Film Center by myself.”
Image courtesy of Parsons’ Urban Research Tool found HERE.
AND NOW, the grande finale, A TOUR OF HER WEST VILLAGE DIGS:
Do you have any friends whose style is extremely different from yours, and yet you LOVE it?