Saturday, May 22, 2010

from the NY Times

Recently I discovered an author, Dominique Browning, whose nonfiction writing I find fascinating.  She used to work for Condé Nast but ended up unemployed after the magazine she edited, Home and Garden, suddenly ceased to exist.  I remember perusing that classy magazine (not to be confused with the more mainstream Better Homes and Gardens) a few years ago.  Browning is also a blogger at  

Below I have pasted a fun 20 questions type interview of Browning which just appeared in The New York Times.   It discloses a lot about Browning as well as the uber cool NY lifestyle (although I never thought about the fact that NY lacks hummingbirds):


Dominique Browning Is Worried She’ll See Something But Be Too Mortified to Say Something

Dominique Browning Is Worried She’ll See Something But Be Too 
Mortified to Say Something
Photo: Cloe Poisson, The Hartford Courant
Name: Dominique Browning
Age: 54
Neighborhood: Upper West Side
Occupation: Author; blogger at; columnist at the Environmental Defense Fund website, former House & Garden editor. She’ll be reading from and signing her book Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas, & Found Happiness at Borders in Scarsdale at 7 p.m. this evening and and at Barnes & Noble Upper East Side tomorrow.
Who's your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
Mrs. Manson Mingott in Edith Wharton’s Age of Innocence. She never left her bedroom, but she ruled New York.
What's the best meal you've eaten in New York?
PB&J white-bread sandwiches for breakfast at a Columbus Avenue diner tarted up with shiny metal walls, after 5 a.m. spins through Central Park — this was in the late seventies, before I hung up my roller skates.
In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
I type, fast.
Would you live here on a $35,000 salary?
Done it before and can do it again. I’m taking down my roller skates. But this time around I have to subsidize myself. Or find a husband.
What's the last thing you saw on Broadway?
Sherri Rene Scott in Everyday Rapture — she is brilliantly, endearingly witty and wise.
Do you give money to panhandlers?
Women and children first.
What's your drink?
I’ve simplified: Jack Daniel's, ice.
How often do you prepare your own meals?
Too often, but I usually eat the ingredients before I get around to the actual recipe.
What's your favorite medication?
I’m reverse-wired; Ambien keeps me up all night and then some. I yearn for general anesthesia.
What's hanging above your sofa?
The music of J.S. Bach. Memories. And empty thought bubbles, like in cartoon strips.
How much is too much to spend on a haircut?
I’m trying to grow my hair long enough to braid, so I can avoid the whole issue.
When's bedtime?
Not soon enough.
Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square?
You mean, before Condé Nast or after Condé Nast? Uh, let me think …
What do you think of Donald Trump?
He should consider spending less money on the haircut …
What do you hate most about living in New York?
No hummingbirds; friends who drop you when you no longer have an editorial budget; the constant anxiety that I will see something about which I will be too mortified to say something.
Who is your mortal enemy?
Please: enemies! They don’t make ’em like they used to. Now they all have the same name: ANONYMOUS.
When's the last time you drove a car?
How has the Wall Street crash affected you?
I have joined the barter economy.
Times, Post, or Daily News?
First, Joe Romm’s Climate Progress blog. Then the Times.
Where do you go to be alone?
I seem to have developed a knack for finding solitude anywhere.
What makes someone a New Yorker?
Mastering the Art of Ambivalence: endless whining and complaining, but never quite calling it quits.


Mary Ann said...

Great interview. I'll have to check out her blog and the other one she mentioned.

Thanks for stopping by mine. And I remember about your Victorian dream...I used to have the same dream until I decided it would be too costly to heat/cool. Well, the dream lingers but I no longer think I'll fulfill it.

B.S. said...

Dear Mary Ann,

That issue of heating/cooling a Victorian daunts me too. But I'm still aiming to fulfill that dream, regardless.


Aurora said...

Betty: I can't relate to her.

Oh well, I'm going farther and farther into woo-woo land with seeing the whole of someone's life even through the minutia - enough to immediately see someone a bit too fond of Jack Daniels and Ambien for my taste. I heard a lot of pain in her post.

I did like the sarcasm about the donald trump haircut though:)

Haven't read 'The Age of Innocence'. Now curious about it.

B.S. said...

Dear Aurora,

Same here about "The Age of Innocence." And yeah, I didn't relate to the Jack Daniels/Ambien parts either. I do like her writing though, and definitely her city!


Monogram Queen said...

When I was young I wanted to be a cool urban NYC girl!

B.S. said...

Dear Patti,

I still kinda want to be that!!!!