TCQ&A: Kalyn Johnson Chandler

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’ve lived in Tribeca since May 2007 when my then boyfriend, now husband, and I moved in together. I was living in Park Slope at the time, the only other neighborhood I’ve lived in here in New York; so moving to Tribeca was my first time living in the city after having been here almost 10 years. I love it down here, I can’t imagine living anywhere else in the city. I’m originally from the Midwest; Bloomfield Hills, Mich., to be exact.

2. Married? Partnered? If so, what’s his/her name and occupation? Three years ago, my husband Todd, a corporate lawyer, made an honest woman out of me. We got married in the Riviera Maya on Halloween with a bunch of good friends and family in tow. And then, we got married legally a month later at City Hall. All in all, I had four wedding dresses!

3. Kids? Pets? Nope, it’s just the two of us.

4. Where do you live? I live on Leonard between Hudson and W. Broadway.

5. What do you do for a living? I own a stationery company called effie’s paper. I’m a lawyer by training, but I left the practice of law five years ago and now I’m a self-taught graphic designer, photographer, photo stylist, and anything else I must be to insure my business runs smoothly. I’ve always loved pretty paper and I’ve always had a pretty good stash of personalized stationery, but I didn’t have any stationery that made my heart leap. So, I decided to create my own line. I wanted my products to be modern, chic and fun. The company is named after my maternal grandmother, Mrs. Effie Hayes. She’s the person who helped to foster my fascination with stationery. When I had my ah-hah moment, the name effie’s paper just came to me. My grandmother was a very determined and stylish lady; from her I learned tenacity, how to mix high and low style, grace under pressure, and the importance of sending handwritten notes!

7. Most-frequented restaurants: The Harrison, Pepolino, and before it closed, Bouley Upstairs.

9. Best sandwich: The Panino Greco at Grandaisy Bakery. DELISH.

10. Sweet-tooth satisfaction: Billy’s Bakery for a carrot-cake cupcake.

11. Most delicious cocktail: The Kentucky Maid [left] at Weather Up is one of my favorites; the bar has great cocktails and a great vibe. It’s our go-to spot for drinks with friends.

12. I usually order in from Landmarc, and I always order the cheeseburger with fries extra crispy or the Mediterranean salad with a side of chicken.

13. I can’t resist popping into: Calypso on my way home from the gym.

17. How I stay fit: Equinox. I’m a huge fan of on of the fitness instructors there, Marie Jasmin. I go to her classes religiously. She’s awesome. I can’t say enough good things about her, her classes, and her technique. Unless I’m out of town, I’m usually front and center in one of her classes a couple of times a week.

18. Where I get beautiful: TenOverTen.

19. What’s the area’s best-kept secret? The tortilla soup at MaryAnn’s. My husband is a fantastic cook and his tortilla soup is one of my favorites, but MaryAnn’s is a good substitute.

20. A recent enthusiasm: All Good Things on Franklin Street. I kept walking past it when it was under construction, willing it to open. We needed a good food market in this part of Tribeca; the offerings are great, the wine bar is fun, and everyone who works there is really friendly and helpful.

22. A recent case of sticker shock: The prices at Shoofly! I walk past it all the time, they have the most adorable things for kids (especially girls) and great window displays. Recently, our five-year old niece was in town and she needed some patent-leather Mary Janes. Now, I have no idea how much children’s shoes should cost, but that said, I was a little taken aback at how much they did cost. Of course I bought them, they were so cute and once she tried them on she was smitten.

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

28. I’m sorry, Brandy Library, but I won’t be coming back.

29. How does Carini Lang stay in business?

30. I tend to take out-of-towners to: Landmarc for the pain perdu (it’s simply to die for) on the weekends, Weather Up for drinks, and The Harrison for dinner.

31. I wish I lived in…. a duplex in our building. Our building is small, only six units (and I’m not aware of anyone thinking about selling!), but if money were no object, it would be wonderful to have an upstairs or a downstairs.

36. My most memorable celebrity sighting: Jenna Bush Hager at one of my classes at the gym. You know how you see someone out of the corner of your eye and they look familiar, but you can’t figure out why? That’s how it was for me for the duration of the class. And then, in the locker room one of my friends was telling me who she was and Jenna walked in just as my friend was saying her name. I felt awful, she was just trying to work out like the rest of us, I don’t know if she’s been back since.

37. A local celebrity I’d like to run into: Beyoncé and Jay-Z, of course!

39. Tribeca could use more cool food shops and cafés and less construction!

40. If I could change one thing about the neighborhood: The horrible traffic on Hudson on Friday afternoons as people head for the Holland Tunnel. On at least one occasion, it took more than 45 minutes to get from my house to Canal Street.

Donna Ferrato photographed by Bjorn Wad

44. Someone who lives here who I really think you should meet: Donna Ferrato. Donna’s an amazing photographer and domestic violence activist. I was working on a project for an organization I belong to and a mutual friend put me in touch with Donna. Her name was very familiar to me but I had no idea why. It turns Donna lives in the building next door to ours. Then it dawned on me that her name was familiar because her wi-fi network pops up on my computer regularly!

46. If I couldn’t live here, I’d live in…. Honolulu. It’s so beautiful there, the beaches are amazing and the shopping is just as good as it is here.

47. I wish you had asked me about: My favorite coffee shop, which by the way is Pécan. Although Starbucks opened on the corner, I’m still a loyal Pécan devotee.

Recent TCQ&As:
Claire Hollander
Karen Sachs
Marco Pasanella
Walt Chefitz
Marie-Joelle Parent

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


1 Comment

  1. Definitely have to agree about Brandy Library. We have gone there too many times to have a drink, only to be turned away because we didn’t have a reservation just to sit at the bar! Seriously.