ask Malcolm about
music venues • cocktail bars • museums • breakfast and brunch • parks • performing arts • viewpoints • bagel shop • dance bars • café • clothing • gift shop • candy store • sculpture garden
What do you do and why do you do it?
I work in the arts/tech nonprofit sector, by day. By night, I'm a screenwriter! I think the arts and technology appear in every facet of our life and every other job you might think of. By taking care of these sectors by day, I'm able to work towards a future where my night shift is sustainable and not just for me, but for all artists.
You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?
This is tough -- there are so many ways to be heartbroken! If I really am just terribly sad, I might listen to instrumental tracks -- perhaps certain sections of Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet ". For angry heartbreak, Beyoncé's "Resentment" is a go to. Nostalgia usually takes me to Adele -- maybe "When We Were Young" to start? Relationship heartbreak has been taking me to HAIM lately, particularly "Right Now" off their new album. And when I'm sad, but want to be my performative self, I usually throw on the title track from "Legally Blonde: The Musical."
What are the best TV shows of all time?
Another tough question -- I'll try to make some categories for this. Drama -- Grey's Anatomy. Yes, I am still watching! Comedy -- Parks and Recreation, specifically Season 4, Episode 4, "Pawnee Rangers." Dramedy -- Master of None. We don't deserve Aziz Ansari. Limited Series -- Big Little Lies. Mostly because I love anything Laura Dern touches. Web-series -- Dorm Life. Prepare to laugh. Hard. Streaming Original -- The Wrong Mans on Hulu. I don't think there is a better written show out there, actually, but I'm also a huge Anglophile. I'm always watching TV and could go on, but I'll leave it at that, for now...
Name some spots in New York that are good for a Tinder date.
A few things that should go over well without fail would be...the original Shake Shack in Madison Square Park, The Whitney, and Brooklyn Bowl.
Who’s your hero and where in New York would you take them out for a serious hang?
Shonda Rhimes -- hands down! I think I would have to take her to Governor's Island, during the summer months. Surprisingly that place is quite relaxed more days than not and there are some great food vendors out there!
Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?
I try to shop at various places -- I'd say I am probably more into style than fashion for that reason. The great bulk of my clothes come from stores like Gap and Zara, but my statement pieces are mostly vintage (either because they actually are or because I bought them 8 years ago and have made them so) or boutique. My favorite sweater is just a giant picture of Bob Saget as Danny Tanner and it is one of few that were made. I got it through a text subscription service!
What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
Probably Staten Island. I'm sure things are fine there, but it just seems terribly far away from me and my life. I've been to every other borough and have lived in each other borough (except for the Bronx).
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?
Exploring neighborhoods! My friends joke that I have a packed calendar, but it is rather true. Very rarely do I get time to just go to a neighborhood, by myself or with a couple friends, and just see what's going on.
What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in New York and where did you get it?
The food in Astoria, Queens is the best. I will never forget brunches at Queen Comfort. That is the spot to be at!
Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in New York that you particularly like?
Not so much hidden as far away, but Porchlight is this bar on 11th Avenue that I had the pleasure to see a colleague of mine open up a while back. It's a beautiful oasis amidst the chaos of the city and there is a certain way of feeling at home that you get when you're there. And the food they serve is top notch!
What’s the most expensive restaurant / spa / hotel you’ve ever been to in New York? How much did it cost and what did you get there?
It's way more likely that I'll have an expensive day or weekend in the city, rather than go to one super expensive place, but the time I spent the most money was when I went on a trip with some friends uptown to La Marina. I probably spent a couple hundred dollars on food and drink that day. Keep in mind this was a full day on a beach and at a restaurant! Probably my biggest spending day of the summer!
Where can you get the best cocktail in New York? Which one do you like?
New York is rife with bartending talent, so it's pretty hard to find a bad cocktail (although doable). I'm a huge fan of going to The Belfry and getting "The Cleanse," in particular!
Where would you take your partner in New York if you wanted to really pamper them?
Green Tea Nail and Spa on 35th! In my years in New York, it is the best place for a mani/pedi and even better for massages.
Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?
It's gotta be Cheez-Its. So good and salty!
What’s the one place you think is overrated in New York?
I think the meatpacking district. There's some good stuff over there, but largely I just think of it as an area that hurts my feet. There is such a thing as too much cobblestone!
What’s the one place you think is underrated in New York?
Battery Park City. I think it's hard to get anyone that does not live down there to go down there, but it's a beautiful place, including in the winter with all the snow!
What are the New York spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
I'm of the mindset of wanting to live like the people of the city I am visiting, particularly on my first visit. To that end, know that most New Yorker's are not trekking down to see the Statue of Liberty every day. Upon first visit, I would suggest walking the High Line to or from the Whitney, hitting up everything on the Museum Mile, walking the Brooklyn Bridge to Dumbo (and Jane's Carousel), and perhaps spending an evening traversing St. Mark's.
Tomorrow’s your last day in New York. How do you spend it?
I'm waking up early for a run by Maria Hernandez Park to see all the beautiful doggos, then I'm heading into the city to grab some doughnuts from as many places I can stomach, particularly Doughnut Plant, Dun-Well Doughnuts, and Dough Doughnuts. Then, I'll head to Astoria Park to chill out, before grabbing lunch at Astoria Bier & Cheese. After that, I'm headed to soak in the view of the Hudson from the Whitney and for dinner I'll grab a slice of Artichoke's pizza to bring with me to the Belfry to grab one last "Cleanse."
What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?
Florence, Italy! It's a city that will definitely let you be on vacation is one of the biggest reasons why I love it. Additionally, you can traverse the city by foot in a day, so you can really dig into it over an entire vacation. The food is impeccable and my favorite artist has his shop there! If you go, look him up -- his name is Clet Abraham!