TCQ&A: Sanjay Lamba

Sanjay and Alexandra LambaThe 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? We have lived in Tribeca for two years. Previously we were on the Upper East Side (my old apartment) but since most of my wife’s New York life had been in the West Village, she couldn’t wait to get us back downtown! I am of Indian origin but born and raised in London. My wife was born in Peru but raised in Michigan. We’ve both been in New York for 10-plus years….

2. Married? Partnered? If so, what’s his/her name and occupation? I am married to Alexandra and we operate an online gallery called element 6 arts (she is also a child psychologist whose prior career was basically advising companies as to how people think). It’s one of the reasons our marriage works…. I think!

3. Kids? Pets? Baby Sophia is the latest arrival in our household—two months old and almost ready to start cruising the hood. Anyone know of any cool spots to go to when the baby has a total and utter meltdown (as happened to me yesterday on Reade Street?).

4. Where do you live? We live on Murray between Church and W. Broadway.

5. What do you do for a living? We founded element 6 arts as a reaction to life moving too quickly. Our gallery is a gentle space in which to pause and reflect featuring a select group of artists whose work is uniquely emotional. We are neighborhood-oriented and so occasionally display some of the work locally. Presently we have a selection of sculptures and photographs on display at the newly opened DeRose Method Tribeca, a wonderful holistic center from Brazil (all visitors welcome). [Right: “Enigma” by Juginder Lamba, on display at DeRose Method Tribeca, which is having an open house this Friday.]

6. The best deal around: Taking the yellow Water Taxi from Battery Park to Jersey Landing. It costs like $7 for adults and is free for kids. It’s a fun ride with a marina and restaurant with Manhattan views on the other side (runs every 20 minutes).

7. Most-frequented restaurants: Viet Café and Greenwich Grill.

8. For special occasions, I go to: Frankly Wines. They are just wonderful at trying to figure out what you like and then trying to match something with that or helping you take baby steps towards something even better.

9. Best sandwich: Spicy chicken with lemongrass on a toasted baguette at Mangez Avec Moi Express.

10. Sweet-tooth satisfaction: Häagen-Dazs white chocolate raspberry truffle ice cream available at Amish Market. (I know that might sound lame but it’s a truly sublime flavor and this seems to be the only place sells it).

silver lining table11. Most delicious cocktail: Pisco sour at Silver Lining [left] or tamarind cosmopolitan at Tamarind.

12. I usually order in from Viet Café, and I always order the spring rolls.

13. I can’t resist popping into: Korin (probably one of the best knife shops in the world) and the Mysterious Bookshop (probably one of the best mysterious bookshops in the world, too).

14. The last non-essential item I bought: A decorative magnifying glass from Stella.

15. When I walk into my apartment, the first thing I see that I bought around here is: A wooden sculpture of a man’s head with hundreds of nails protruding out of it (from Urban Zen). Perhaps a reminder that some people have it worse….

16. I’m so glad the river is in the neighborhood, because without it I’d get clinically depressed.

17. How I stay fit: Personal trainer. Whilst I might not look like I’ve reaped all the benefits yet, Kevin Griffith at Equinox is excellent. Look for the quietly strong-looking trainer with dreadlocks who all the other trainers seem to admire/look up to.

18. Where I get beautiful: Marco at Lance Lappin salon—thank you! I’m also dying to try Aire Ancient Baths. That place is dark so I reckon it makes everyone look good.

19. What’s the area’s best-kept secret? Poets House. A wonderful place to work with river views but I won’t tell you where it is as that might spoil it.

22. A recent case of sticker shock: A well-known supermarket somewhere on Greenwich Street—every day of the week.

24. Rainy-day activity: A glass of wine at the Conrad hotel followed by a movie (or even two) followed by another glass of wine and the spicy chicken burger at North End Grill. That is downtown heaven right there, all within a single city block.

27. I’ve never been to Acappella restaurant, and I don’t know why.

28. I’m sorry, Mangez Avec Moi (not Express), but I won’t be coming back.

29. How does that Italian restaurant with the blacked-out windows on Warren stay in business?

31. I wish I lived in…. that huge loft above Le Pain Quotidien on W. Broadway.

32. My very favorite spot: My living room windowsill.

33. Pet peeve: The (limited) amount of time allowed to cross the West Side Highway at Murray—plus  the impatience of drivers as you try to get across.

35. A doctor I’d recommend: Dr. Alan Kessler, the former Head of Obstetrics at Cornell. A truly remarkable individual on every level. And Dr. Michel Cohen of Tribeca Pediatrics—but be prepared for some no-nonsense parenting! Combine the two and you are golden….

36. My most memorable celebrity sighting: Laurence Fishburne, sitting at the table next to me at Bubby’s the week I moved here from San Francisco. I felt like I had arrived.

39. Tribeca could use more good-quality Thai restaurants and fewer pubs on Murray Street.

40. If I could change one thing about the neighborhood: I would pedestrianize Greenwich Street. It takes courage for a city to do something like that but it would make the world a better place.

41. A business I’d like to have here: An independent movie theater—like the Angelika (but one that serves wine). Brooklyn does it better….

45. Proof that change is good: Look at a photograph of me when I used to live uptown and look at me now.

47. I wish you had asked me about: The artists we represent.

Recent TCQ&As:
Michael Boodro
Leah Singer
Doug Tedeschi
Kalyn Johnson Chandler
Claire Hollander

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  1. This is a brilliant ….clinically depressed without the river..i couldn’t agree more. Would love to come check out your work Sanjay – looks amazing – especially given the space we live in..oh yes, congrats on the adorable bambina

  2. Hahah thanks Zoona. With pleasure…email me at and lets set something up. Best, Sanjay

  3. Great food for thought Sanjay- am inspired to go do something different………… once I have got through all laundry!!

  4. I work in the hood and everything you mention is so relate-able. The vietnamese sandwich is my favorite too. And I am going to DeRose Method this thursday for a class. Will definitely be checking out the art work. Looks amazing.