My New York: Bekka Palmer

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Ever wanted a New Yorker’s opinion on something? Where to go? How to avoid everyone? Where to find hidden spots? This week in the New York on My Mind interview series, My New York, photographer, designer and maker, Bekka Palmer from Brooklyn, shows us where to find the best pulled pork sandwiches and a curious anomaly in Brooklyn.

Are you a native New Yorker?
Nope, I’m from Denver, then Seattle, then San Diego before I finally reached Brooklyn!

What neighbourhood do you live in and why?
Home is where the coffee is. Which is in Park Slope, Brooklyn. I love it here because it’s still a bit industrial, it has a lot of warehouses and fabricating shops. That gives it a little less polish, and that’s what I like about it. It feels like ‘real’ New York, where people are doing work.

Park Slope

Favourite time of year in the city?
The hottest part of the summer. Am I the only person who’s said that? (ER, yes…)

Best brunch spot?
That would be my apartment. I keep it simple: eggs over easy, toast, avocado, coffee, and mimosas if I’m feeling fancy!

Best meal ever?
It was at the Gramercy Tavern, sitting at the bar when they used to serve pulled pork sandwiches.

Gramercy Tavern Bar Bekka Palmer

Favourite discoveries?
I like stumbling upon weird anomalies in the city. There is an entire block near my neighbourhood where the front doors are about half the size of normal doors (below). No one really knows why. You can read about it, here.

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Favourite shop?
Cat Bird NYC in Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn. I love it because it’s the tiniest store with some great treasures. My most of my favourite jewellery is from there. I do avoid it on weekends though, because it’s so tiny and it gets packed!

Catbird NYC

Building you’d most love to live in?
If I could live on the top floor of a high rise in Tribeca, I would just for the view.

City’s most overlooked site?
Probably Hudson River Park. It spans nearly all of Manhattan on the west side and is a great place for an afternoon picnic or nap.

Best-kept secret?
If I tell you, then it’s not going to be much of a secret anymore…

What would you do as Mayor?
Wow, this is a tough question! I would double the number of F trains that run during rush hour, and I would continue turning the waterfronts into public parks.

Subway York Street Bekka Palmer

How would you spend a spare afternoon?
In the summer, I would ride my bike to Prospect Park and have a picnic there (and sneak in some wine).

People on lawns in Prospect Park.

Best thing a taxi driver has said to you?
“You need a better jacket, it’s too cold for the one you are wearing.”

What inspires you about New York City?
New York City is 100 per cent about the people in it. Here, you can be as crazy as you want and no one will bat an eye. I love the people and the way they pretend not to care about anything, but in reality, New Yorkers are some of the most empathetic people on the planet. They will stop to help a stranger carry a stroller up the stairs, while simultaneously ignoring someone dancing in the middle of the street. It’s a no-nonsense attitude.

Craziest thing about living in the city?
This city feels surprisingly un-crazy to me. Even though, if I go back home, friends will tell me they could never live in a city so crazy. I guess once you get to know it though, it’s not crazy at all.

A word of advice for tourists…
Avoid most things on ‘top 10’ lists, except maybe the top of the Empire State Building on a nice day. That view is totally worth putting up with the crowds. Stay in an apartment in a smaller neighbourhood and visit the local places.

Thanks for talking to us, Bekka.

Find Bekka’s work here, her personal blog here and read her thoughts on modern etiquette here.

(Photos via Julia Robbs and Bekka Palmer)

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