Artist Bill Sullivan made Tribecans the focus of his last exhibit, “People I Know” at Sasha Wolf Gallery. “It was fun picking and choosing which people in the neighborhood to turn into characters in my drama,” he says. One of his subjects was his son Oscar—who, in a turning of the tables, shot the portait above. Sullivan is represented by Sasha Wolf, Brancolini Grimaldi in Rome, and Flanders Gallery in Raleigh, N.C.
How long have you lived in the area?
I’ve had my main art studio—painting and photography—in Tribeca since 1995, but I moved my family down here about seven years ago. It was a smart move.
Which restaurants do you frequent most often?
Hmm…. I guess that depends on what you call a restaurant. Probably to Tribeca Pizzeria on Greenwich to get slices for the kids. But for an actual restaurant, Edward’s or Walker’s? The food actually seems to have gotten better at Edward’s in the last couple of years. And it’s a nice room—same with Walker’s. And Landmarc.
Which restaurants do you tend to go to for special occasions?
Corton, Corton, Corton—there’s nothing quite like it, fancy and strange and slick, but tasty and simply great. The Harrison is always good, as is Duane Park which I think for the money is like the best restaurant in the area. The room is OK.
Where do you order in (or get take-out) from? Are there dishes you always order?
Usually it’s Tokyo Bay—the Sashimi Deluxe. Or Gigino‘s take-out pizza, which is different than what you get at the restaurant. It’s great, love the prosciutto and good salads. Mangez Avec Moi is also good if you want the Viet/Thai taste. Great people, and everything with basil eggplant is good. They also opened a really cool Vietnamese sandwich shop next door. Also on the sandwich side: The Cuban (above) at Sophie’s on Chambers is amazing. That has got to be the most crowded restaurant during lunch. People really dig it.
What was the last non-essential item you bought in Tribeca?
Does beer count? Olives? I don’t buy many things. I pretty much stick to the essentials, like Stone IPA, a beer I get from Morgan’s. I just look at the bottle with awe after every sip. And these amazing olives with lemon rinds and garlic from Whole Foods. They’re like summer in a food. For art and photo books I go to Dashwood Books (left) up on Bond Street. Barnes & Noble down here has the more mainstream ones—they’re OK—but not so inspiring. We could use a bookstore like Dashwood down here. Why don’t we have a really good bookstore like that?
Which shops do you find it hard to resist popping into when you pass by?
The new Bouley Studio always seems to beckon…. He’s back, again, with another shop, and it’s always good and always has the best treats (and the best baguettes). And that We Are Nuts About Nuts store (right) on Church near Duane.
Are there any services (salon, fitness, etc.) that you’re particularly glad are in the neighborhood?
I run outside pretty much every day of the year hot or cold, and always along the water, so the park and bike path on the West Side Highway is the best thing for me. You can leave your place and in a minute run along the water along the new stretches of Hudson River Park walkway—they are beautiful, and so well designed. That little roller coaster of a wood walkway winding through all those beach plant things is just transporting.
What’s the area’s best-kept secret?
We are big fans of racquet sports, and the tennis courts along the water near Canal (if you know the right times you can walk right on) and the Ping-Pong and pool along the water at Rockefeller Park—are sweet! Also, I gotta say the new bathrooms at J&R are pretty nice and, man, the new burger at the Bouley Studio—the mini for $5.50—might be the best burger I have ever had. It makes most other burgers seem mediocre. And you can always get a seat at the Regal Battery Park theater, and the crowd is chill. And the new Battery Park City Library around the corner is serene.
Where do you always take out-of-towners?
Usually over to my studio on the corner of West Broadway and Murray, and then to Rockefeller Park to lose the kids and then over to Anotheroom to hopefully sit outside and drink beer on that nice quiet stretch of street at West Broadway between Beach and White.
Which neighborhood building do you wish you lived in and/or owned?
The one I am in. It overlooks Duane Park, and I’m happy there.
Your most memorable celebrity sighting?
Not even close—I see Steve Nash a lot! That guy is amazing and he walks among us! I am such a fan. A bunch of the old Mets, like Franco and Darling, live around here, which is cool. Piazza moved, I guess. And I saw Bon Jovi in front of our place last month, just standing there with his wife. He looked like he was like 25 years old. Strange.
If you could change one thing about the neighborhood, what would it be?
Get some bookstores!
What’s changed around here that you like? That you don’t?
You know the usual: Artists can’t afford to live there. But honestly, I usually hate when people complain about the city changing. Change is the only given about New York City, and it’s why it makes it so interesting. If it didn’t change there would have been no room for me and you. Less artists here is Brooklyn’s gain, I guess. They seem to like it there.
Lucky, I guess. It really is amazing how much it functions like a real neighborhood—my kids can walk to school and I can stumble home from my local bar both five minutes by foot. It has got it all.
Any questions you wish you’d been asked?
How did “People I Know” (left), the show of paintings of large heads at Sasha Wolf‘s old gallery on Leonard Street, go last year? And who were the people in those amazing paintings? They were all mostly people from Tribeca, from parties that we had, friends and parents and kids from P.S. 234, the school my kids go to. I photographed about 20 people, and then painted their heads quite large, but it was all supposed to go together like a drama, from a Bergman movie or something.
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