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 SlowLoveLife.com.
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
Neighborhood: Upper West Side
Occupation: Author; blogger at SlowLoveLife.com; 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.
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.