By Gabrielle Pedriani | September 29, 2016 | People
From a vodka martini in the East Village to a bout of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, we checked in with some of NYC's most successful men to learn more about how they unwind when they're not upending their respective industries in the nation's most cutthroat city.
"Mostly what I do when I'm not working is sleep. I know that's not very glamorous. Actually, what I do is chill out with my friends. I do find that, being Scottish, a necessary part of my day is having a drink and unwinding and checking in with people, because so much of my day is going around and being "on" on television and it's nice to just, kind of, not do that and just see how people are—see how I am. A couple of drinks, a little chat, having fun. I'm an East Village man. Everyone says, ‘Oh it's changed,’ and I think, ‘Well, if this is gentrification, I'll take it!’ I really enjoy a vodka martini—that's my kind of, kicking-off-the-evening drink of choice, but then I'll probably move over to a vodka soda. And I always have a water that I drink as well as an alcoholic drink—that's the secret to my success as a bon vivant, constantly hydrating."
"A relaxation exercise I've been doing lately is not running to make a light at a crosswalk. Instead, I calmly walk to the curb and take deep breaths while I wait for the light to change back for me."
"Three things I do to relax and enjoy myself in the city—Rangers, Knicks, and Yankee games. Tense and frustrating at times, but there's nothing more satisfying and fun than a hometown win."
"When I’m looking to relax I love a good mediation session, followed by a steam. I find tuning the world out for 10-15 minutes and then sweating out some toxins really helps me get my body and mind back to a stable level."
"I am so busy working in fashion, we are spinning at warp speed every day! But, as a couch potato at heart, I love to hop on the sofa and mine eBay for all sorts of treasures. I think it’s one of my true passions, and it always relaxes me!"
"For me, relaxing is clearing my mind. So I do one of three things: run 7 miles while listening to new music on HypeMachine, do an hour of yoga in my apartment, or play the piano for 30 minutes."
"After a long day of meetings, I love to go for a nice workout. Circuit training or anything related to using my body weight really helps me re-energize. I'm able to let go of any type of stress from the day before I go home to hang with my wife and son."
"I turn on. I create. I connect with people I love."
"[My wife] Emilia and I like to cuddle and watch a random TV show that we know nothing about. We put our phones away and just zone out."
"I spend all day in the office, and when the clock hits 7 p.m. I head to my Dojo, Budokan, to get a few hours of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training in. Brazilian Jiu Jistu looks very aggressive from the outside looking in (and it can be), but the technique and flow are something that many practitioners know to be like a form of meditation. To my fellow martial artists… Osu."
"I generally work behind the scenes during the day, and then I jump right into the middle of the monster almost every night—the busier the better (for revenue) but more money = more fires to put out and less sleep. I almost always take off on Sundays. The last place you'll find me at is a bar or club on my day off. I do that every night for a living! During the summer, I'll be at a pool or a beach. I'm actually taking off on Sunday, October 2 for a few days for my b-day in LA. It's my day—like Cartman said best, ‘I do what I want.’”
"I just bought a new bicycle to ride in Central Park. I like listening to music while riding. The wind, the trees, and the skyline are exhilarating. Sometimes when I finish, I sit on a park bench and reflect. That's my relaxation."
"There’s nothing I look forward to more at the end of a day than cracking open a cold beer and zoning out at my PS4 to play Doom, Metal Gear, or MLB: The Show. ...Oh, and I guess hanging with my wife. (Is she gonna read this? She's probably gonna read this.) Yeah. Hanging with my wife."
"I leave my phone at home and take a bike ride with my kids to explore the great city we live in and too often take for granted. Another favorite way to unwind is to take a drive with my beautiful fiancée outside of the city to either the Hamptons, Long Island or if we have time, Watch Hill, Rhode Island."
"I don't have much time to truly unwind during the week, save for a nice bourbon and a Netflix documentary (maybe a few nice bourbons), so I shamelessly consolidate my relaxation into the weekend. On Saturday, I like to sleep in with my German Shepherd Oskar (he's a late riser), go for a long walk to find coffee and read the paper, then flee to something brain-stimulating like the Museum of Natural History or brain shutting-down-ing like a massage, sauna, and cold plunge at Great Jones Spa. Sundays are for reminding myself that life isn't that serious. Ideally, that means boozy brunch, laser tag in Long Island City (I'm not embarrassed), and a scary movie to cleanse the palate and prepare for Monday. Which will be scarier."
"With 30 years in the hospitality business, there are lots of pros. I get to try tons of great food and drinks that we serve to our guests. Some of the cons are you are always standing and it's easy to gain a pound or two. I had been a longtime amateur hockey player to relax and stay in shape. But one day, my girlfriend, Kylee, introduced me to pole workouts and aerial silks. I was a bit hesitant at first, but got hooked. It's great for building your core, burning calories and there's a meditative aspect that gets me out of my head. The workout I get is as intense as playing hockey and it's much more relaxing. I try to do it every day."
"I am not great at relaxing, but when I do, I notice that I tend to try to revert back to a less stressful time in my life. So I find myself hanging out in New Jersey, where I grew up, a lot. On my most stressful days, my guiltiest pleasure involves watching the WWE network, because wrestling makes me feel like a dumb 13-year-old kid with no problems."
"When looking to relax, a couple of things I enjoy most are spray painting in my studio and taking a nice drive with the top down to somewhere where there's water."
"Beefeater Martini, dry, up, with a twist."
"Being born and raised in NYC has given me an appreciation for the one thing that is hard to find in this town—quiet. So when I am home in Brooklyn, I am almost exclusively on my roof gardening or eating the herbs, lettuces, ground cherries, peppers, or tomatoes that I am proud to say are growing like wildfire!"
"Many things bring me peace and serenity, but to truly relax I lay flat, mute my phone, turn lights off and watch TV."
"I relax with hot tea. I love the Celestial Seasonings caffeine-free Zinger varieties: Raspberry Zinger, Wild Berry Zinger, and Tangerine Orange Zinger, plus the True Blueberry and Bengal Spice. I travel a lot and always bring tea bags with me. When at home in New York or in my office, I add some Blueberry honey from our local Hudson Valley beekeeper. If that doesn't do the trick, I lie down with a hot face towel over my eyes for ten minutes, (and one of my Teddies next to me)—that solves everything!"
PHOTOGRAPHY © Francis Hills (CUMMING); FULLERS (FIXELL) ; by Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post via Getty Images (Shure); Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Barneys New York (Sinnot)