TCQ&A: Claire Hollander

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 have lived in Tribeca off and on since 1987. I left for graduate school in 1990, then moved back, then lived in Washington Heights for ten years, and moved back again in 2005. I am originally from Hastings-on-the-Hudson in Westchester County. Whenever I came into the city with my parents, even in the much-maligned 1970s, I was dazzled by the expanse of it, by the lights of Manhattan at night, by the glamour of midtown. I knew I’d be a city person from a young age.

2. Married? Partnered? If so, what’s his/her name and occupation? I am married to Daniel Hollander. He is a real estate developer with his own business, DHA Capital.

3. Kids? Pets? We have three daughters, Emily and Jane, who are eleven and are identical twins, and Edith, who will be fifteen in December. We have a Yorkshire Terrier named Jack, who everyone dotes on inordinately.

4. Where do you live? We live in Battery Park City.

5. What do you do for a living? I am a teacher and a writer. I teach at a small public middle school on the Upper West Side. My nonfiction on education has appeared in the New York Times Sunday Review. My young adult novel, Something Right Behind Her, is just out with The novel is for ages fourteen and up, and centers on the grief experience of a teenage girl whose best friend is dying. It’s funny/sad or sad/funny, I think.

6. The best deal around: Takahachi‘s lunch special is a great deal. It isn’t exactly cheap, but it’s always delicious.

7. Most-frequented restaurants: We are devoted to Tamarind, for sophisticated Indian. That’s really our go-to spot in the neighborhood. Also Blaue Gans. We have a thing about their margaritas and the trout!

8. For special occasions, I go to: For special occasions we love Nobu. We are bad planners, though, so sadly we don’t go as often as we otherwise would. We like the omakase with the wine pairing, which is essential.

13. I can’t resist popping into: Cass Lilien’s Window 24 [left]. I own a ton of her jewelry, which has just the right mix of bling and edginess. Anyone can wear her stuff, from my seventy-year-old mother, to my eleven-year-old twins.

14. The last non-essential item I bought: Two pashminas from Otte in the most amazing colors. One is cobalt and the other is goldenrod. They are the kinds of colors that require special names.

17. How I stay fit: I stay fit by going to SoulCycle three times a week and using the gym in my building. I resisted SoulCycle for ages! Then a friend brought me, and after a few classes, that was it. I started bringing friends, and now I am a groupie. My older daughter thinks it is the most embarrassing thing about me.

19. What’s the area’s best-kept secret? The jazz bar Silver Lining on Murray Street [right], of all places. I actually heard about it at the BPC dog run, and went with my husband one night after drinking enough to drown our skepticism. We had a great time, there’s no cover, and its an eclectic crowd. You feel about a hundred miles away from Murray Street.

21. A worthy splurge: The winter coat I just purchased at Nili Lotan. It’s army green, and roomy enough to fit an over-sized sweater underneath, but sharp enough to wear over a dressy-dress.

23. When my kids are older, they’ll always remember… Walking around Tribeca by themselves or with friends, going to the bookstore, Shake Shack, and now, All Good Things. It’s a great neighborhood for kids to be safe, and feel independent. My advice for other parents is train your children how to cross the street, especially West Street, but then let them have their freedom. They can cross west Street on Warren instead of Chambers and it is one hundred percent safer.

32. My very favorite spot: The southern section of Battery Park. The view there has a transformative effect. It’s like being at the beach!

42. My best Tribeca story: Back in 1993 or 94, I used to walk home to Tribeca in all kinds of weather from my office on 37th and Madison. I couldn’t afford a gym membership, and this was my plan for staying fit. It was before the warehouses on N. Moore were converted, and for weeks there was a terrible smell emanating from the warehouses just north of Bubby’s. It was horrible, and even though it was my favorite block to head west to Greenwich on, I had to change my route home from work.  This went on for weeks!  It was shocking that nothing was being done about it. Then one week I was reading the New Yorker and there in the Talk of the Town section was a story about the mysterious foul smell on N. Moore. There had been an issue with the reporting of the bad smell since no agency in the city was in charge of odors. Finally, it was investigated and it turned out a tenant in the warehouse was curing shark fins in the courtyard for sale in Chinatown. They found this out from the homeless guy who used to sit in his wheelchair in front of 25 N. Moore, selling books. It was really gratifying to find out what was going on in my neighborhood in a national magazine!

Recent TCQ&As:
Karen Sachs
Marco Pasanella
Walt Chefitz
Marie-Joelle Parent
Zak Profera

If you want to suggest a TCQ&A subject (it can certainly be yourself), email


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