Originally from Ohio, Matt Lundquist moved to New York City nine years ago to attend grad school at Columbia. After a two-year stint as director of a group practice near Union Square, he founded TriBeCa Therapy, a year and a half ago. “It’s a psychotherapy practice specializing in individual and group therapy,” he says. “I work with fine artists, singers, performers, and regular folks, too.” He lives with his fiancée, Caroline, who’s a midwife.
How long have you lived in the area?
I’ve lived in Tribeca a little more than two years. Moving my practice and starting TriBeCa Therapy has worked out even better than I planned. Aside from being able to walk to work, the area’s been a great fit for my flavor of therapy—creative, professional, outside-the-box (or at least outside of the UES/ UWS/ Union Square box where most therapists have their practices).
Which restaurants do you frequent most often?
I’m still working through my grief over the closing of Bouley Market—I was in there almost every day for coffee or lunch. Le Pain Quotidien is nice, but it just isn’t the same. My practice has been pretty busy, so I pack my lunch a lot. If I have more time I’ll treat myself to the veggie sandwich with fries at Petite Abeille. Tokyo Bay is the go-to place for quick sushi. Viet Café or Dean’s is a nice weekday dinner.
Which restaurants do you tend to go to for special occasions?
Blaue Gans. I love sitting at the bar, watching the people and staring at the old posters. My fiancée is on a semi-serious quest to try every piece of grilled salmon in the neighborhood, but we’re saving Bouley proper for later in that quest.
Where do you order in (or get take-out) from? Are there dishes you always order?
I do tend to order the same thing a lot. I like the Multi Colore salad at Dean’s. Peace & Love has a surprisingly great sandwich called the Maldives that I’ve probably had a hundred times. I have simple tastes.
Which shops do you find it hard to resist popping into when you pass by?
Design Within Reach is another one that was tough to lose; I outfitted most of my office with their help and it was always fun to look at the knickknacks. I still enjoy the other furniture shops on Hudson. And I discovered OLighting last weekend, which was a lot of fun.
What was the last non-essential item you bought in Tribeca?
I bought a great Shinn Brut from Frankly Wines a few weeks ago. I guess sparkling wine without something to celebrate feels a bit non-essential.
Are there any services (salon, fitness, etc.) that you’re particularly glad are in the neighborhood?
My hair guy is fantastic in every way—Topher at Arrojo. I half-jokingly say that getting my hair cut with him is my therapy for myself. Equinox has become a big part of my life in the last six months and I’m glad it’s so close. And it’s hard not be happy about Whole Foods being in the neighborhood.
What’s Tribeca’s best-kept secret?
Honestly, most people I talk to who haven’t spent much time here think it’s really inconvenient to the subway, which is nuts. I actually think it’s the most convenient place in the city, with all the express lines and even the PATH. But I love how empty the streets are most of the time. That’s a pretty great mix.
Where do you always take out-of-towners?
Across the Brooklyn Bridge, of course. And the walk along the Hudson through Battery Park City is hard to beat.
Which neighborhood building do you wish you lived in and/or owned?
We’re talking pure fantasy here, right? There are three or four building on the north side of Reade between Hudson and Greenwich all of which have only one buzzer on the door. I always try to imagine what anyone does with that much space, but I secretly wouldn’t mind living there.
What’s your favorite part of the area (street, park, whatever)?
Duane Park is special. I had my photos done for my website in the park, and on Staple Street nearby.
Your most memorable celebrity sighting?
About a year ago I saw Jon Stewart at Peace & Love just hanging out with his daughter, who looked about three years old. They were watching SpongeBob and Stewart was cracking jokes and having a great time. Awhile before that I was in line at the pharmacy behind Edie Falco and the clerk asked her for her name—no idea who she was. I think I’ve seen half the Sopranos cast down here at one point or another.
If you could change one thing about the neighborhood, what would it be?
I’d love to see the World Trade Center further along, especially the memorial. While there isn’t much talk of it anymore, I think this neighborhood still needs that—not to mention the rest of the city. At the same time some drunk tourists asked me where Ground Zero was last week and it really bugged me. I could live without them.
What’s changed around here that you like? That you don’t?
I’m excited about two organizations that just happened to have opened up in my building in the last few months: The Lang School and The Quad Manhattan, both serving gifted kids with learning disabilities. Downtown is sort of a dead zone as far as services for special-needs kids (with these and some other great exceptions), in spite of its booming population of young families.
Tribeca is like a small town in so many ways. People care about the neighborhood, and it doesn’t feel jam-packed in the way that much of the city does.
Any questions you wish you’d been asked?
I always love to talk about my practice, but it’s fun to take a break from that. Thanks!
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