Where in Manhattan do you celebrate when you finish a project?
I curl up with a People magazine at Hudson Diner, on Hudson and Barrow, and eat comfort food. That's my idea of a celebration.
If you could display your best project anywhere in Manhattan, where would you choose to and why?
I've had posters displayed in NYC subway stations, and I've got to say, it doesn't get better than that. I'm not above getting off the train and taking a picture; it feels pretty great to be part of the backdrop of the city.
What do you consider the most beautiful building in Manhattan? Why?
I'm a total sucker for Radio City, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and other obvious choices. I was in the Empire State Building for the first time about six years ago (really), and thought, okay, NOW I get it...
What is your favorite work of art in a Manhattan museum or gallery?
Paula Scher had a exhibit of her maps about a year ago at the Maya Stendahl Gallery in Chelsea. Any of those maps would count as my favorite work of art.
Favorite example of interesting outdoor typography in Manhattan?
The signage (and store exterior) of Justo Botanica on East 104th Street is just so cool. The same can be said for the store's interior. It's like walking into a movie set.it...
Visiting which three places makes a perfect day in Manhattan? Why?
A perfect day in Manhattan is spent downtown, with a stop for an afternoon movie. That feels completely decadent, and thus, ideal.
Where in Manhattan do you go for creative inspiration?
I find myself drawn to Spanish Harlem, and sometimes ride my bike even farther uptown before getting lazy and heading back to the West Village on the 1 train. There's great signage to be photographed, as well as particular botanica on 104th Street with amazing homemade packaging...
Which Manhattan subway station is your favorite and why?
Can I just say all of Grand Central Terminal? I'm still blown away by the main terminal, even after a lifetime of passing through it. I've never NOT admired the ceiling while darting from one end to the other.
Where in Manhattan do you go when you want to escape the city hustle and enjoy a more natural setting?
I ride down the bike path along the river to Hudson River Park, and just stare at the water. It's a safe, quiet, reliable spot.
Where in Manhattan would you spend your last 10 dollars?
I'd go to Papaya King and get as many hot dogs as I could eat, and a grape drink with ice. No straw.
Which park in Manhattan is your favorite?
Hudson River Park is a great place to sit and think as you stare out at the water.
If you could live in any building in Manhattan, which one would it be? Why?
I can see a small house across from my bedroom window on Commerce Street. It's supposed to be about 1200 square feet in total, which is just enough space to spread my stuff out in comfortably (as opposed to half that, which is what I actually have). I'd move into that house in a heartbeat if someone willed it to me.
Where in Manhattan have you had a great 'Eureka' moment? Can you explain?
I've lived in the same place for over twenty years; the same small apartment in the West Village. It has an equally small garage and I have a car (like a Seinfeld character), so I will die there. I'm never moving. And even though I've been there for a huge chunk of my life, I still feel so grateful to be in such a special and historic part of the city. It's my constant "Eureka" moment.
What is your favorite place for design drooling? Why?
I am going to sound like such a geek when I say this, but I still get all hot and bothered when I go into an Apple Store, even if I'm just buying a cable. They had me at hello.
What is your favorite public art piece in Manhattan?
I'd like to redesign the MTA Poetry in Motion campaign, but always smile when I see one of the posters. I love the idea of the city carving out this small space for you to take a breath as you commute to work.
Your favorite Manhattan location featured in a film or TV show?
The corner of Commerce and Barrow is often used for shoots, and is the sweetest spot in the city. You can't believe you're in a huge borough when you walk along the curved block by the Cherry Lane Theatre.
What is your favorite gallery or museum?
I have fond childhood memories of the Museum of Natural History, and would happily spend all day tomorrow there if I didn't have to teach.
What are your favorite free places to visit in Manhattan?
I still haven't been to the Highline, but I'mt going to live on the edge and say that's one of my favorite places. And I still can't believe you can just walk in and out of galleries without paying a penny.
Favorite interior design of specific shop / building / house, etc.?
There's a little shop on Christopher Street called Greenwich Letterpress that has the sweetest, friendliest interior space. It's the kind of store that you just can't leave without making at least a small purchase.
Where was your first job in Manhattan located?
My first job was at Vintage Books (Random House), working for Judy Loeser. I was living with my parents in the Bronx, since I was making $14,000 a year (not a lot, even in 1984!). I used to pretend I was a commuter getting off at 86th Street in the evenings, instead of the person who was riding the 5 train all the way to the end of the line in the Bronx.
Where is your office located now?
My little corner of the world is on West Broadway and Canal. I work with a friend, Joe Newton, and while our windows face brick walls, we appreciate every sliver of daylight there is.
If you were to design a postcard with a specific Manhattan location, where would that be? Why?
I've never spent much time in Central Park, but remember looking out at it from the 23rd floor of 745 Fifth Avenue early in my tenure at Rolling Stone. I'd see ice skaters in the winter, and luscious foliage in the fall, and would think, wow, this is like a freakin' postcard.
Where do you find the most iconic graphic design in Manhattan?
The Lower East Side is just fascinating, and so rich with "old New York" history. I've taken pictures of deli signs, type on churches and temples, hand-painted shop signs, and all kinds of other good stuff.
Share an obscure architectural treasure in Manhattan.
There's a chair store on the Bowery called Chair Up that has the best name and typography ever.
I am pretty enamored of McNally Jackson in SoHo—even the food is tasty—but probably spend more time at the big Barnes and Noble in Union Square.