TCQ&A: Will Heinrich

The writer and New York Times art critic Will Heinrich recently celebrated the Tribeca Gallery District in a heartening post: Ablaze With Art: Thriving Galleries in Lower Manhattan. He also grew up here and still visits his parents, the sculptor Richard Heinrich and librarian and author Amy Vladeck Heinrich, at his childhood home in Tribeca. The photo was shot by his wife, Irina Arnaut.

The rules of the TCQ&A: Answer as many of the 48 questions as you like (but a minimum of 15, and you must answer #1–4). “I tend to be a minimalist,” Heinrich writes.

1. How long have you lived in the area? Where did you move from? Where are you originally from? I grew up on West Broadway and lived there, off and on, into my twenties.

2. Married? Partnered? If so, what’s his/her name and occupation? My wife Irina Arnaut is a filmmaker and artist.

3. Kids? Pets? One small daughter, and no pets but our anxieties.

4. Where do you live? We live in Jackson Heights, although the Covid closure of preschool has had us staying in all sorts of other places, when we can, to find safe playmates.

5. What do you do for a living? Or, what’s your non-day job that is relevant to readers? I write about art for the New York Times and I’m working on a kind-of sequel to my novel “The Pearls,” which came out just before Covid.

6. The best deal around: Lunch from Lahore Deli on Crosby Street.

7. Most-frequented restaurants: These days if I go out in Tribeca I’m probably joining my parents at the Odeon or Takahachi. When I lived there, I usually preferred to eat in Chinatown, where my very favorite place was Bo Ky.

8. For special occasions, I go to: For a special occasion — meaning engagement of a babysitter, when that used to happen — my wife and I liked Cafe Katja on Orchard Street.

10. Sweet-tooth satisfaction: Malley’s dark chocolate, from Cleveland, with Trader Joe’s blistered peanuts. Jesus Christ is that good.

11. Most delicious cocktail: Zubrowka with apple cider, surly bartenders, and Baltic dance music at the old Bulgarian bar just below Canal Street.

31. I wish I lived in… the very top floor of the Woolworth Building.

33. Pet peeve: Currently it’s people wearing their masks wrong — but there was a time when it was the mispronunciation of Houston Street.

36. My most memorable celebrity sighting: While walking through Tribeca Park, once, I locked eyes with a pretty woman on a bench and she smiled at me. I couldn’t place her, though she looked vaguely familiar, and I didn’t have the self-possession to smile back. Later that day, I happened to flip on the TV and catch her appearing in a recent Hollywood superhero movie.

42. A business I miss: Pearl Paint.

49. If I couldn’t live here, I’d live in… Jackson Heights.

Recent TCQ&As:
Peter Carey
• Patrick McGrath
• Logan Levkoff
• Edward Burns
• Ben LeBlanc
• Jacob Weisberg



  1. Second Lahore Deli. Tribeca has Pakistan Tea House, Soho has Lahore Deli. Both are popular with tax cab drivers and traffic cops, very authentic. Love getting food from them.

  2. So, who was the celebrity he saw?

  3. That’s between me and her! ;)

  4. This is great. What years did Will grow up here? I worked on Wall Street in the 80s (will didnt exist yet I assume from the pic) and we would sometimes find a place to meet in Tribeca on weekdays after work. It was different then of course. Usually someone’s loft. I always like hearing about the times between my first days in Tribeca when the Odeon was such a draw for us, through the times I was in California and missed out. I hope to stay in Tribeca for the balance of my natural life. After that, not sure yet …

  5. Will, I’m remembering the days my husband and I lived on Prince Street in Soho in a loft above the landlord’s first floor “rag warehouse”. We still retain some of the moths even now, 40+ years after moving to our Long Island home.
    I’m hoping you will come to Springs in East Hampton, August 19 to 23, 2022 for my solo art show at Ashwauh Hall. Given what I’ve seen of your taste, I think you might like my art. If you’re interested, check out my Instagram site at deborah_held.