NYC Movers and Shakers
If you’ve ever wondered where New York City’s “movers and shakers” spend their free time when they’re in town, you might want to consider the personality of the individuals. Some who are singularly focused on their craft and philanthropy are hard to spot. Others enjoy the galas and parties that characterize New York’s social scene or dining at the current bevy of to-be-seen spots.
Let’s take some of New York City’s most powerful women, for example.
Barbara Corcoran, real estate mogul and one of the “sharks” of TV’s enormously popular “Shark Tank,” isn’t one to flaunt it when it comes to her outside persona. You might have a better chance finding her at one of her offices than out shopping at a fancy boutique. Or, if you’re lucky, you might catch her getting her hair styled at the Pierre Michel Salon in Midtown. Preferring to entertain at home than frequent the restaurant scene, Corcoran likes to run to keep in shape after sourcing cooking ideas from places like the Fancy Food Show, held each summer at the Javits Center. She occasionally attends high-profile galas, though. Among her favorites? The ones at The Bronx Museum of the Arts and the New York Botanical Garden.
Arianna Huffington, Greek-American author and media guru, splits her time between Los Angeles and New York when she’s not traveling. Focusing on her new wellness startup, Thrive Global, the former editor of the eponymous Huffington Post considers SoHo, where she lives, to be a village within the city. That’s where you’ll likely find her shopping or browsing, strolling through nearby Washington Square Park or heading to the High Line, another favorite for a stroll. Huffington’s choices for dining with friends or business colleagues tend toward the high profile, to power-lunch venue Michael’s or tony Sant Ambroeus. But most of the time she doesn’t stray far from her nabe, munching at places like Maialino, ABC Kitchen or Café Cluny. Being an editor and journalist, it’s not surprising that she loves attending theater on Broadway.
The biggest name among fashionista goddesses continues to be Anna Wintour (whom Meryl Streep channeled in the film “The Devil Wears Prada”), the high princess of Vogue magazine. Spotted upping the glam quotient of the 2016 Tony Awards at the Beacon Theatre, Anna is no stranger to the social scene in New York City. She routinely graces the Met Gala and the Tribeca Film Festival, and frequents the Costume Institute at the Met now named for her. High-profile dining spots like Michael’s, Chef April Bloomfield’s The Spotted Pig and (most likely) the soon-to-open, relocated Four Seasons count Wintour among their regulars.
If Barbara Walters wasn’t already a fixture around New York City, “Saturday Night Live” certainly contributed to her fame with Gilda Radner’s “Baba Wawa” character back in the 1970s. Walters isn’t shy when it comes to putting herself in the public eye in the Big Apple. Favorite restaurants are heavy hitters The Polo Bar, Michael’s, Caravaggio, The Mark and Red Rooster. We expect her to be one of the first diners at the new Four Seasons as well. Walters has been spotted at the Frieze New York art fair on Randall’s Island, seeing a show on Broadway or at the Carlyle, or perusing the exhibits at the Whitney Museum of American Art in the Meatpacking District.
Everything that fashionable Aerin Lauder does draws attention. You might notice her at her store AERIN in Southampton on a dash between New York City and the East End of Long Island, checking out the latest creations from her lifestyle and beauty brand. But more likely she’s roaming around New York City getting ideas for her business from stores like Bergdorf Goodman, where the beauty section is a key attraction. While she makes it a point to spend time with her family, she also likes to explore the city, enjoying The Cloisters and its gardens to indulge her passion for flowers. Restaurant favorites range from trendy Downtown spots like Carbone, Indochine and ZZ’s Clam Bar to celebrity-studded Uptown locales like The Regency, Café Sabarsky, Daniel and Sant Ambroeus.
Fashion designer and restaurateur Ralph Lauren prefers taking in the scene at his hotter-than-hot The Polo Bar, adjacent to his Midtown flagship store. There you might find him entertaining or even dining alone in his corner booth. He does, however, venture outside of his polo pony design world, dining in Manhattan at power-scene Michael’s and Sette Mezzo, or crossing the bridge to Marlow & Sons in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. You might also spot him wherever rare auto shows and auctions are happening—Lauren is an avid collector. A true philanthropist, the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention and the Pink Pony Fund for the care and prevention of breast cancer occupy a considerable amount of his time.
Another “man about town” is funny man Jerry Seinfeld. Supporting his wife’s GOOD+ Foundation (formerly Baby Buggy), which provides supplies to mothers in need, Seinfeld was the featured comedian at the event’s recent gala at the Beacon Theatre, where he has taken up a residence with a monthly performance. Dining faves include deli fare from Tom’s Restaurant (the meeting place for Jerry, Elaine, Kramer and George in the “Seinfeld” TV series), Babbo, Zabar’s and Barney Greengrass. He’s no stranger, however, to the higher-profile venues of Michael’s and The Polo Bar (where he probably orders Ralph’s famous corned beef sandwich). In addition to loving food, Seinfeld also loves horses, sports and theater. You might find him at the Hampton Classic with his family, watching the horses, cheering at a Nets basketball game or taking in a Broadway show.
Three-term former New York City mayor and founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg philanthropies, Mike Bloomberg is a billionaire without pretense: He is often spotted at the coffee shop, Three Guys, on the Upper East Side. Bloomberg relishes taking in everything that New York offers, attending events like the Tribeca Film Festival and the Winter Antiques Show at the Park Avenue Armory. He is also a huge fan of Broadway and is a proponent of The Actors Fund (which provides support services for actors and employees affiliated with Broadway shows), attending the organization’s annual gala.
One of the city’s top artists, Jeff Koons, mainly keeps to his studio or visits the museums and galleries where his work is shown. Cross paths with him, if you can, at the Whitney Museum of American Art, where many of his pieces can be seen. In off-creative moments, Koons spends time with his family, taking them to a Yankees games or playing baseball with them.
When not traveling to perfect his restaurateur instincts, Danny Meyer frequents many of the restaurants in the Union Square Hospitality group that he runs. If you’ve read his book “Setting the Table,” you’ll understand his modus operandi: Get to know the customer and perfect the concept of hospitality. With the new Union Square Cafe opening imminently, book a table if you’d like to meet Meyer—he will undoubtedly be on hand. He also loves baseball and checks up on his Shake Shack and Blue Smoke restaurants at Citi Field with regularity. As one conscious of the dangers of being around food all the time, Danny makes sure to keep the pounds off by running anywhere there is a park or a waterfront area in the city.