TCQ&A: Marie-Joelle Parent

The rules: Answer as many of the 47 questions as you like (but a minimum of 15, and you must answer #1–4). Please limit most answers to the general geographic area.

1. How long have you lived in the area? Where did you move from? Where are you originally from? I moved to Tribeca in July 2011 and I don’t know what took me so long. I moved from Midtown (Theater District, a.k.a. Tourist Central) where I lived for two years and a half. I loved it at first because I was in the middle of it all, but I had no neighborhood life and I had to fight my way through hordes of tourists every day. I’m from Montreal originally so my first language is French. Work brought me to New York, it was my dream to live here and I plan to stay for a very long time.

2. Married? Partnered? If so, what’s his/her name and occupation? No, single.

3. Kids? Pets? No kids, no pets, one plant.

4. Where do you live? I’m on Greenwich Street South.

5. What do you do for a living? I’m a multimedia news correspondent for a Canadian conglomerate called Quebecor. I write articles in French and English, I blog, I do live TV, I take pictures, shoot and edit short videos for the web. I’m also pretty active on social media. I report on any big story happening here that might interest Canada. Let’s just say work keeps me busy but I don’t count the hours. I just love my job and I get to do it in the best city in the world. Being a reporter here is the ultimate passport. It opens every door, you get to meet amazing people and every day is different.

7. Most-frequented restaurants: Takahachi, Bar Pitti on Sixth Avenue, and Souen on Sixth Avenue.

8. For special occasions, I go to: Locanda Verde, Sushi Azabu in the basement of Greenwich Grill, or Nobu.

9. Best sandwich: The triple-decker peanut butter and jelly sandwich at Wichcraft. They already know what I want the minute I step in.

10. Sweet-tooth satisfaction: Frozen yogurt from Yorganic.

11. Most delicious cocktail: I don’t like cocktails, I prefer wine or bubbles. I love going for a glass at Tiny’s or El Jockey, the new lounge in the basement of Super Linda. Very cool decor and atmosphere. If it’s hockey night (hey, I’m Canadian), I go to Warren 77.

12. I usually order in from Takahachi, and I always order the soba salad.

13. I can’t resist popping into: Balloon Saloon for no reason. This store is the happiest place around. The owner puts a different balloon arch above the sidewalk every other day. It makes me smile every time and I can’t resist to Instagram-it.

15. When I walk into my apartment, the first thing I see that I bought around here is: Bodega flowers from Morgans Market on Hudson Street.

17. How I stay fit: Running by the Hudson River and yoga classes.

18. Where I get beautiful: SoHo Nails on West Broadway for mani/pedi and Kevin my hair guy on Canal Street (Mian Tian Sing Salon) who does the best blow-dries for less than $15. When I’m Uptown: Spa Clarins on Madison (for facial and body treatment).

19. What’s the area’s best-kept secret? The Cosmopolitan Café‘s secret room. Craig Bero, the owner, knows everything about the history of Tribeca. I could listen to him all day. He built a secret room at the back of his restaurant filled with artifacts from the neighborhood. You feel like time has stopped when you step in. A must-see. [Below: A video tour by Marie-Joelle.] [Update: Craig emailed to say that “The backroom is now open for service for brunch and lunch with our selection of crepes.”]

20. A recent enthusiasm: The cherry-tree blossom season.

21. A worthy splurge: A vintage bike from Adeline Adeline on Reade Street.

22. A recent case of sticker shock: The price of a latte at Kaffe 1668 and fruits at Whole Foods.

24. Rainy-day activity: Movies at the Regal Battery Park and a spa.

27. I’ve never been to Bubby’s, and I don’t know why.

29. How does A Uno clothing store on West Broadway stay in business?

30. I tend to take out-of-towners to: the Greenwich Hotel. This place is a gem. It’s the equivalent to L.A.’s Château Marmont. The interior garden, the spa [right], and the pool in the basement are the best-kept secrets in town.

31. I wish I lived at One Hudson Street.

32. My very favorite spot: The little park at Staple Street and Duane Street. I grab a coffee at the Laughing Man (hoping to one day bump into Hugh Jackman) and I walk around the area.

33. Pet peeve: The neverending construction on Chambers Street. The rat-party at the corner of Beach and W. Broadway, and the piles of garbage bags as tall as me. I also hate noisy motorcycles, people who throw stuff on the ground (I always run after them saying: “Hey you just dropped something”) and soft hand-shakers.

34. If money were no object, I’d buy a loft with a rooftop in the neighborhood, hire a private trainer, have healthy meals delivered, and fly my Montreal friends down to New York every weekend.

36. My most memorable celebrity sighting: David Bowie and Iman sitting next to me at Indochine. Jay-Z at some nightclub lip-syncing to “Empire State of Mind” when the song just came out. I have so many sightings that they all melt together. Ryan Gosling saying to a Barista at Everyman about his latte: “It’s like watching a unicorn being born” is also memorable.

37: A local celebrity I’d like to run into: Robert DeNiro.

38. The most romantic spot around: A stroll in Battery Park beneath the weeping willows with the view on the Statue of Liberty.

39. Tribeca could use more free-wi-fi-laptop-friendly cafés and cabs and fewer water bugs.

40. If I could change one thing about the neighborhood: Cleaner streets and more cabs please.

41. A business I’d like to have here: Trader Joe’s!

42. My best Tribeca story: I was exchanging tweets with a guy for months when I saw his name on one of the New York Times in the lobby. We lived in the same building without knowing. Small world.

44. Someone who lives here who I really think you should meet: Eddie, my jewelry guy is straight out of a Seinfeld episode. (S H Palace Jewelry on Chambers).

46. If I couldn’t live here, I’d live near Horatio Street in the West Village.

Recent TCQ&As:
Zak Profera
Joya Dass
George Carroll
Dana Mass
Stephen Dimmick

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1 Comment

  1. I am amazed to hear of the “secret room” at the Cosmopolitan–and just across from Smyth’s!