It’s time to write about my two favorite neighborhood haunts: Joe’s coffee (141 Waverly Place) and Equinox gym on Greenwich Avenue. My morning started with a swim at the Equinox. It is the most amazing all-purpose, super swanky gym ever. Where else can one work out in the weight room, take private Pilates, swim laps in the pool, take Jazz dance classes with someone who still uses “Jazz hands”, buy smoothies from the café and stop in the store to buy a cool pair of Stella McCarthy shorts? Oh and did I mention the Spa? It’s nice too.
Today was just a quick in-and-out, mostly because my goggles broke and then their showers only had cold water. Not the best day to talk about the joie de vivre of Equinox, but I did see something worth mentioning. On my way into the club I saw a lady selling jewelry. Turns out her name is Jennifer and jewelry is by a designer named Elaine Fischer. This was not just any jewelry; it was diva wear, the kind of wild loud necklaces that looks expensive. My grandma wore stuff like this. I loved all of it, but I don’t often buy jewelry for myself. I’m not a diva, much to my own chagrin. Check out the website for these cool necklaces, very hip.
My next stop is Joe’s coffee house at 141 Waverly Place.
It’s official. Joe’s has been named the top coffee shop in NYC and on the Top Ten List the world. I would go on and on about how great Joe’s is, but they’ve been on so many “lists” that they don’t really need praise from me.
I used to write and hang out at Joe’s back in 2003. I fondly remember starring at Phillip Seymour Hoffman when he’d come in for his coffee. But to be honest, it’s not at all a good place to get any writing done because it’s a little bit of a scene. It’s got GREAT coffee – the best I’ve ever had. And it’s a good place to have meetings, but it’s no longer my writer’s café. Sorry Joe’s. But I have a meet-and-greet there anyway.
Who: Carly Hirschberg
Where: Joe’s in the West Village
Why: She is a director from the Looking Glass Theatre who picked my play “Below 14th” to direct for the upcoming Women’s forum in December.
Occupation: Director/Costume Designer
Favorite designer: Oscar de la Renta
The play “Below 14th” has been done before, actually a few times, but each time I chose the director. It’s never been “picked” before. So this is an oddly flattering experience. Why would someone pick my play? The play is a very dark, stylized comedy with hints of Project Runway on the Sci-Fi channel, but in the Forties, I mean in the future. To quote from my website blurb about the play “It’s a love story with the highest stakes.” So I am sure she liked the fashion references, but what else?
“I really liked the fashion elements – that drew me in right away, but it was the story, the seriousness and comedy.”
Carly isn’t a fashion diva I can just tell; she’s just a good gal who likes fashion and knows a thing or two about clothing eras. I bet she’d love to work on Mad Men, but I forgot to ask her that.
“Did you train as a director?” I ask.
“Yes, I studied directing,” she says. “I always worked with non-profit organizations that had a theater aspect to them.”
“Like what?” I say
“When I was in high school and college I worked with an organization that supplied sick kids with the things they needed.”
Now I’m seeing the person who is really in front of me. Carley is civic-minded and fashion-conscious to boot.
“At one point we put on a whole play for the kids that were in the hospital,” she continues. “My best friend started it. He was sick with a brain tumor.
The name of this mom and pop organization that supplies “fun things” for sick kids is Kids Help Kids.
“We did sled hockey.” She said, seeming to remember something. “My friend was a hockey player, and he was in the hospital for six months and couldn’t play. So the kids did sled hockey, and he even did it when he was in college.”
“Oh, so he got better?” I said.
“Oh, he did pass away,” she said. “He loved screenwriting.”
His name was Mischa Zimmerman.
I would say let’s devote the play to Mischa, but instead maybe you could check out the organization and donate something if you feel so inclined.
Love to get to know more about your days especially the cafes. I enjoyed reading about Joe’s and the rest of the day. I don’t know. There’s something about Paris and New York for me. Been to New York, but not Paris. You got me thinking now. Actually dreaming in black and white. Such classic images from the days of the “lost generation.”
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