by danine alati | October 1, 2012 | People
New York neighborhood: The West
Why I started acting: Girls. A lot of the girls in high school were in the spring musical, so I signed up, and the creators of That ’70s Show were in the audience. The good news is I got my first job; the bad news is I never hooked up with any of the girls.
Proudest career moment: Paul Weitz (who directed me in In Good Company) pushed me to do his new play Lonely, I’m Not. I was nervous because I’d never done professional theater. Even though That ’70s Show used to beam out to millions of people, it was more nerve-racking to perform live for 400.
Preference of stage, TV, or movies: On my first day of my first film, Traffic, I asked Michael Douglas about the difference [among acting genres]. He said, “It’s all really the same thing.” That made everything easier.
Cause closest to my heart: The Art of Elysium, which facilitates artists visiting hospitals with critically ill children.
Favorite New York memory: I was honored to host Saturday Night Live. Walking home after the afterparty, I was literally whistling.
My New York neighborhood: Lower
Why I love New York: It’s always two steps ahead of me.
Greatest musical influence: The Beatles. They were like a religion in my house growing up. My dad quoted them like scripture. My mom quizzed me on which Beatle was singing each song.
Words of wisdom for someone starting out in the music business: Play an instrument. Write your own songs. Don’t give up.
This decade: I want to headline Radio City Music Hall.
Cause closest to my heart: City Harvest. I love food, and I want to help people [in need] to be able to eat.
People would never guess: I’m obsessed with fantasy sports.
Rules to live by: Eat everything. Don’t finish books you’re not enjoying. Never count other people’s money.
New york neighborhood: Soho.
Why I love New York: It’s where I’ve built my life, my family, and my business. There is no more exciting place in the world.
Best career advice ever received: You have to be smart and build loyalty by treating people the way you want to be treated.
Words of wisdom for young entrepreneurs: Go for it. Solicit advice and help from all channels, but trust your gut. And don’t be discouraged by mistakes— they are the best learning experiences.
Favorite New York memory: The first time I walked out of the train tunnel into Grand Central Station at age 9, I was mesmerized and connected. And my 2002 wedding at the Rainbow Room—such a classic New York City venue.
Cause closest to my heart: I’m passionate about Children’s Rights, an amazing team of advocates that fight for the rights of children in state welfare/foster systems.
People would never guess: I’ve officiated three weddings.
Living the good life is… Being able to surround yourself with people you love and respect; and setting your own schedule.
New York neighborhood: Hudson Square.
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Why i love New York: There’s an energy that’s indescribable. Here I feel constantly motivated every day, something I’ve yet to experience elsewhere.
Words of wisdom for young entrepreneurs: If you have an idea, don’t wait; start building.
Cause closest to my heart: DJ AM Memorial Fund.
Three words that best describe me: Food. Tech. Food.
New York neighborhood: Soho.
Words of wisdom for young entrepreneurs: Don’t hope…. Nothing is going to get handed to you. If you want it, go get it.
This decade: I’d like to see Thrillist Media Group be recognized as a paradigm for what a modern media company looks like.
Cause closest to my heart: The East River Development Alliance, a nonprofit that offers opportunities in public housing developments.
Three words that best describe me: Enthusiastic, fun, pizza.
New York neighborhood: Chelsea.
Why I love New York: You can find anything here.
Best career advice ever received: Success is 10 percent your idea, and the other 90 percent is execution.
Secret of success: Treating every day as your chance to do something great, and seeing that through.
Favorite night hot spot: Cliché maybe, but still Le Bain rooftop.
People would never guess: The first CD I ever bought was by PM Dawn, and I still listen to it.
Rule to live by: Do it now.
New York neighborhood:
Why I love New York: I love the sheer vibrancy of the city. It has such an amazing energy. It really inspires me, and crucially it’s an international hub, making it ideal for business.
On the family business: My father has a passion for design, and I bring the entrepreneurial flair—we’re a great team!
Words of wisdom for young entrepreneurs: Our time here is short; you really just have to follow your dreams. If you believe in what you’re doing, then you’ll find a way to make things work. That doesn’t mean you won’t fail from time to time, but as long as you keep learning, you can evolve.
People would never guess: I travel all over the world, but I have a real fear of flying.
Three words that best describe me: Passionate about life!
Living the good life is... Being able to get a step closer to fulfilling your dreams, no matter how big or small, on a daily basis.
New York neighborhood: Fort Greene,
Why I love New York: It’s the cultural epicenter of the world and home to the most thriving food and wine scene in existence.
Words of wisdom for young professionals: Pursue what you feel most passionate about—not what you’re prescribed to do.
Proudest moment: Opening day of NoMad. As a wine team, we built our wine cellar and stocked it with 10,000 bottles—within two days. I had never before felt such a tremendous sense of accomplishment.
People would never guess: I’m not above drinking wine from a box.
This decade: I want to redefine the role of the sommelier. I hope to etch out a niche in the food and wine culture where the sommelier is a host, a hospitalitarian, and more.
New York neighborhood: Carnegie Hill.
Why cosmetic dermatology: It’s the perfect combination of art, technology, and medicine.
Why I love New York: It is the ultimate melting pot of style, culture, and people.
Best career advice ever received: Guide your patients’ care as if they were family.
Secret to success: I keep all aspects of my life in perpetual motion. Standing still is moving backward to me.
My fashion style: Classic with an edge.
Cause closest to my heart: The Andrew Golkin Memorial Scholarship Fund for underprivileged high school students, named after one of my closest childhood friends who passed away on 9/11.
People would never guess: I am an excellent roller disco skater.
Rule to live by: Appreciate everything you have, while maintaining the drive to always achieve more.
New York home
base: Gansevoort Park Avenue or the Crosby Street Hotel.
New York allure: New York has always been a part of the larger plan for SBE, but we needed time to mature our brands and let their relevance grow nationwide. Now, we’re delivering a proven lifestyle experience across hotels, restaurants, and nightlife.
Why I love New York: The energy, the pace, the attitude.
The secret of my success: Persistence.
Words of wisdom for young hospitality professionals: You must truly love the art of hospitality and have that innate passion for serving and entertaining people—and be humble while you do it.
Most proud of… Being a part of a company that’s innovating the culture and DNA of hospitality.
People would never guess: I have an immense passion for global politics.
Rule to live by: Always be courageous.
New York neighborhood: Hell’s Kitchen.
On his concept: In Pittsburgh we put French fries and coleslaw on sandwiches, or we mix ham with barbecue sauce and put it on a hamburger bun, so I grew up with a less conventional idea of sandwiches.
Menu inspirations: Any and everything: a seasonal fruit or vegetable (pickled ramps in the lobster rolls); a twist on a classic (kimchi on a cheesesteak); traveling to different cities, countries, people’s homes.
Why I love New York: The energy, the cultures, the food.
Words of wisdom for young culinary professionals: Spend time learning in as many kitchens as you can. Execution and implementation are as important as your idea. Perfect your craft so you can execute your idea successfully.
This decade: I hope to incorporate a local farm into my list of vendors.
Cause closest to my heart: Toys for Tots. My best friend from growing up supported it. He passed away in a tragic accident, and I like to keep his memory alive by keeping up his generous tradition of giving.
New York neighborhood: West Village.
On my career choice: After living across the street from the World Trade Center during 9/11 and losing my best friend to cancer in the same month, I realized that life is too short, and you should do what you love.
Why I love New York: It’s got the best of everything—opportunity, excitement, entertainment, food, and culture.
Words of wisdom for young hospitality professionals: Make yourself known and irreplaceable, hustle, and never be afraid to go for it—whatever “it” is.
Causes closest to my heart: The Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces, and Happy Hearts Fund.
Best new discovery: Jerusalem. I just went for the first time this summer—amazing.
Rules to live by: Live life every day to its full potential, and never compromise your morals for anything.
New York neighborhood: West Village.
Why I love New York: People can come here with nothing, and through hard work and dedication, they can succeed.
Best career advice ever received: “Stay humble, work hard, and always keep the pedal down and push forward.”—Stephen Hanson, founder of BR Guest Hospitality.
Words of wisdom for young hospitality professionals: Check your ego at the door. Realize that this is a business, and don’t treat it as something you do just for fun.
Favorite New York memory: The Giants beating the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
Cause closest to my heart: Sports is Life, a basketball charity I started this year in Brooklyn for at-risk teens.
People would never guess: I didn’t eat out at my first proper restaurant in New York City until my mid-20s.
Rules to live by: Be proactive, and always raise your consciousness in every aspect of life.
photography by gregg delman
styling by sarah liebowitz
GRACE: Shot on location at spice market new york; Grooming by Joanna Pensinger for Exclusive Artists Management/Malin & Goetz. HUTCHINSON: Shot on location at Manhattan House, 200 E. 66th St.; Grooming by Gregg Hubbard for Dior Beauté at BA-REPS. BIRNBAUM AND REEM: shot on location at catch. opposite page: photography by brad swonetz; shot on location at SLS hotel at Beverly Hills; Styling by Sasa Jalali for Aim Artists Agency (Nazarian). Shot on location at Manhattan House, 200 E. 66th St.; Grooming by Gregg Hubbard for Dior Beauté at BA -REPS (Reilly).