The TCQ&A: “I’m Intrigued by 135 Hudson”

Annika K. Martin is a recruiting captain for the first-ever NY Locavore Challenge, which urges folks to spend the month of September (or just a week, or even a day) eating food that is local, organic, and in season. “I got involved to push myself to be even more local and sustainable with my food choices than I already was,” she says. “And I also wanted to involve others, to give them an opportunity to challenge themselves to change their choices for as little as one day, so they hopefully can see that local options don’t require as enormous a sacrifice of convenience or cost as they might think.” When not recruiting, Martin—who was born in Manhattan but grew up in Connecticut—is a lawyer working on environmental, intellectual property, and antitrust class actions at a firm of 60-plus lawyers.

How long have you lived in the area?
I’ve lived in the area for five years. Two years ago my office moved from Midtown East to Soho, so now I can walk to work, which is a lovely way to see the neighborhood every day.

Which restaurants do you frequent most often?
When the choice is mine, I only eat at restaurants that make it a priority to source their ingredients from local, organic, and sustainable sources. Luckily there are plenty to choose from in New York if you know where to look! I frequent a few near my office for lunch—Hundred Acres, Mae Mae Cafe, and Dom Hudson Square. In Tribeca, both the Harrison and Marc Forgione have Greenmarket ingredients on their menus. I also love the coffee shop Kaffe 1668 on Greenwich Street. Not only do they have delicious coffee served with local, hormone-free milk, but they have my favorite Swedish pastries! Farther afield, I find myself drawn back to ABC Kitchen again and again, as well as Five Points, Back Forty, and Northern Spy, and in Brooklyn, Vinegar Hill, Rose Water, and Flatbush Farm. All are true locavore restaurants with impeccable ingredient sourcing, which definitely comes through in the bright, fresh flavors on the plate. I am looking forward to the new Birdbath Bakery opening soon in Tribeca, though!

Which restaurants do you tend to go to for special occasions?
My last few special occasions I actually cooked at home, but I am looking forward to trying Wall & Water at the Andaz Wall Street hotel. Supposedly it is a beautiful space with excellent food made from local ingredients. I have high hopes!

Where do you order in (or get take-out) from? Are there dishes you always order?
I very rarely order take-out because I cook so much at home. I am a member of the Downtown CSA so I always have fresh, local vegetables waiting for me in my refrigerator! In a pinch I will get something from the prepared food section at Whole Foods, though.

Which shops do you find it hard to resist popping into when you pass by?
I do not do a lot of shopping, so I don’t have trouble resisting, but I do like to peek in the windows of Issey Miyake and Just Scandinavian on my walks to and from work.

What was the last non-essential item you bought in Tribeca or BPC?
I suppose books could be considered “non-essential” by some, in which case my answer would be a copy of The Conscious Kitchen by Alexandra Zissu. I want to read it to help me prepare for the Locavore Challenge.

Are there any services (salon, fitness, etc.) that you’re particularly glad are in the neighborhood?
I do love SoulCycle!

What’s the area’s best-kept secret?
I’d say the waterfront from World Financial Center up through Battery Park City. It is not a secret to anyone who works or lives along it, but most people from other parts of the city don’t realize what a nice set of parks, playgrounds, sports facilities, and lawns it has.

Where do you always take out-of-towners?
I usually walk them down to Battery Park to give them a view over Liberty, Ellis, and Governors Islands. A walk along the High Line followed by a meal at Cookshop is also a great way to show off the city.

What’s your favorite part of the area (street, park, whatever)?
Probably Greenwich Street on a summer evening, when all types are outside enjoying the weather and the neighborhood in various ways.

Which neighborhood building do you wish you lived in and/or owned?
Every day on my way to work I am intrigued by 135 Hudson (left). I am curious about what it used to be—I’m betting a stable—and would love to see it renovated in a manner that takes its history into account.

Your most memorable celebrity sighting?
I have seen Jon Stewart a few times on my walk to work, which is nice. I’m a fan.

Photo by Asha Agnish

If you could change one thing about the neighborhood, what would it be?
Bring the Frites ‘N’ Meats Truck back to Greenwich Street in the evenings!

What’s changed around here that you like? That you don’t?
I do like the new cobblestone streets that have been installed in various places around the neighborhood. I appreciate that they are replacing the cobblestones to retain the historic feel, rather than just paving it all over.

Why Tribeca or Battery Park City?
Tribeca really feels like a neighborhood, and it is close to its historic roots. There are many fascinating buildings and the street plan is very close to what was laid down by the British when they first developed this area in the late 1700s. I like being able to see and feel the different eras when walking around the neighborhood.

Recent TCQ&As:
Glenn Plaskin: “It’s Like Living on a Houseboat”
Shelly Mossey: “Adeline Adeline Is Like a Candy Store for Me”
Ariel Porath: “Who’s Behind ‘Rod Stuart Loves the Hamptons’?”
Matt Lundquist: “I Love How Empty the Streets Are”
Meredith Gonzalez: “We Had Our First Date at Mr. Chow”


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