Sara Gore's New York Love Story
by allison polster
Like many other new parents in Manhattan, WNBC anchor Sara Gore and director/screenwriter Matthew Miele are carefully balancing two active careers with family time. During the day, Gore is busy hosting Open House and New York Live while Miele works from home, finishing his latest documentary, Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s which will be screened at Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week and will be released in theaters this April.
However, on the occasional evening, the couple likes to preserve the traditional date night, often with a trip to the movies or dinner at a new restaurant. Always on the menu? “I think that any romantic date should include chocolate in some form or another,” Gore says.
Here, the duo sits down at the romantic uptown restaurant Sant Ambroeus for a date night with cocktails—a Bellini made with Prosecco and peach purée for her, and a Negroni comprised of gin and Campari for him—and a shared slice of chocolate mousse cake. “As a couple it works because she is in television and I am in film,” says Miele. “We understand each other’s language.”
GOTHAM: What projects are you each currently working on?
MATTHEW MIELE: Scatter My Ashes is screening during Fashion Week in February, then being released in April to upwards of 10 cities. We interviewed around 175 people for the film—Karl Lagerfeld, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Oscar de la Renta, Tory Burch, Rachel Zoe, Joan Rivers; it really ran the gamut.
SARA GORE: I’ve been doing Open House for six years; the national version has been syndicated for sometime, but now New York City, the original show, just got picked up on the network overnight, so a lot more people are watching. Tina Fey actually called us and said she wanted to do Open House, which she watches every Sunday morning. We did the 30 Rock set tour because she called us and asked us to.
As far as New York Live, we are on at 12:30 now, and it is the perfect time for us; [cohost] Jacque Reid and I are having a great time. In January and February we have a whole new look launching. We were number one in our time slot twice this week, and we are up 106 percent from last year.
G: Matthew, how did the Scatter My Ashes project begin?
MM: I’m a director, but my screenwriting had received more notice in Hollywood. I actually had a fight with my agent about working on big projects and not getting paid a ton of money, and it wasn’t my passion. What I really wanted to do was write about a window dresser from Bergdorf Goodman. I found the holiday windows captivating, so I went to Bergdorf’s for permission to shoot in the store, and lo and behold they had no archive of their century old business. [The project] totally shifted right at that moment. I’m really proud of it. I thought that it was going to be something that could be too reverential toward the store, so I was always balancing against that and something with integrity that actually plumbed the depth of the store. We found a couple of great characters, one specifically was this woman, Betty Halbreich, who is a personal shopper. She has a very unique way of dealing with people in that she is honest to a fault. You do not get coddled by her whatsoever. She won’t even allow you to buy things if you want to buy them and they aren’t right.
G: And Sara, fashion plays heavily into your career as well?
SG: I love Fashion Week, and I love watching what is coming out for the season. I have such good intentions with every Fashion Week to go to all of these shows and then life gets in the way. I was pregnant last year and then this year I had just had our son, Griffin.
G: How did you two meet?
SG: The makeup artist at WNBC, Lisette [Bugeja], set us up. She was the makeup artist on his first film 12 years ago, and in 2000 she was my makeup artist.
MM: But the truth is I saw Sara on Open House. It took me six months to get her on a date. It was the first time I started texting, and I [kept asking people], “How long does it take for a text to go through?” because she would text me back two days later. They said it’s instant, and it broke my heart. My brother-in- law said, “This girl is testing your mettle, which is good; stop texting and allow her to come to you a little bit.” We went on our second date a month later, and we were together ever since.
SG: My family kept saying, “You never give anyone a chance; why don’t you just give somebody more of a chance?” So it all worked out.
G: How are things now with the new baby?
SG: It has been the most amazing thing I have ever done. People always say it’s love at first sight, and it’s so true. I love him more every day.
MM: In our business we are constantly focusing on how we are perceived and the projects we work on, and now everything has shifted. I’m working on things because I want him to be proud of what I’m doing.
G: How do you balance two very busy careers and an infant?
MM: We don’t have professional help. At the moment I am able to stay home with him because I’m working on my next project, but it’s in the scripting phase. Everything now is a little more scheduled, which is great for me because usually things are a little more, “I’ll get to that.” Now when he is napping, that is the time. If I don’t do it then, it’s not done.
G: With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, how do you still make time for romance?
SG: We have had a few date nights here and there. Now when we go someplace we pick and choose where we really want to go, somewhere we haven’t been.
MM: We go to the movies. That is the one thing you can’t do with him; he is too young, but we are guilty of running home and making sure he’s alright. I would also say when you go on a date, you shouldn’t defer to the cocktail you are used to having; it is a lot more fun to try new things. I’m not a Campari drinker, so I felt like that was fun to try. I heard it’s an acquired taste, so maybe I want to acquire it.
photography by evan sung; yoo jean han (bar)
Cover shoot: May/June 2014 issue of Gotham magazine.