What Do You Love About New York?
I’m originally from Rockford Illinois, but I moved to New York in 1982. It’s the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere. So I consider myself a New Yorker. When I first moved to the city, I lived on 47th Street between 8th and 9th. And in 1982, it wasn’t the greatest neighborhood. Times Square was seedy and I loved it for that. I was so ready to come and start my life as an actor. Everything was just exciting and new. Living here now over 30 years, there are certainly times that the city drives you nuts because it never stops, but I still love it. It’s just hard to pick three favorite things!
1. My husband (actor Jason Danieley) and I have lived on the Upper West Side since 1999, and one of our favorite places is Riverside Park. We’re in the park every day with Oscar, our dog. The park was always beautiful, but the Riverside Park Conservancy has done such a wonderful job. Every year more things are happening as far as plantings, events and the playgrounds. And they have great restaurants like the Boat Basin. There are great tennis courts and dog runs. With urban living, we crave trees. And I’m so looking forward to spring because the cherry blossoms in Riverside Park are so gorgeous. Oscar loves to go to the river. It’s fun to stroll down by the river, sit on a bench and look at the water.
2. In the last few years, my husband and I joined the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s such a huge museum with a wealth of things. But if I have an hour, I’ll go and just look at a painting and walk around a gallery. There are always new exhibits and they’ve just redone the American Wing. I like seeing the Rembrandts, Renoir and the Impressionists. And I love the Americans like Cassatt, Sargent, Homer and the Remington sculptures. I also love the huge open plaza with all the Tiffany windows. In addition to the paintings, it’s also an amazing building to walk into. And the rooftop garden in spring, summer and fall is really beautiful with gorgeous views of the park. It’s also nice when it stays open a little later on the weekends.
3. I don’t know if this is going to sound weird or not, but I love and am grateful for the subway system. People complain about the subway, but it’s amazing that we have it. It is the easiest and fastest way to get around the city. And for the most part it’s very reliable. Because of what I do, I’m not a nine to five-er so I’m not traveling during rush hour, although I have certainly been on the trains during rush hour. And yes, it’s not the most fun. But what I love about New York City is the diversity of all the cultures that we have in this city. And that’s what the subway signifies for me. You’re siting on the subway and seeing all the people.
As an actor, you think about other people’s lives. You’re always looking for things to pull from for a character you’re doing. So I almost use it as a tool to study. You’re looking around at all the different people and thinking of everybody’s life and what might be going on. Some people are very happy. You see people weeping, some are singing. There are babies, families and tourists. In a short ride, you get a snapshot of what our great city is and the diversity of the people here. And that’s what makes it so great.
See what other New Yorkers love about this city. To join the conversation and share your favorite things about New York, post to Facebook and Twitter using #WeLoveThisCity