TCQ&A: Lydia Fenet

If you’ve been to a local non-profit auction any time in the past decade, you have probably basked in the talent, smarts and charm that is Lydia Fenet. I didn’t realize that’s whom I was photographing when I grabbed this shot on Staple Street last winter and posted it on Instagram, but a few followers did — and I came to learn she’s a neighbor.

She was named one of New York’s most influential women by Gotham magazine and has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Crain’s, and has appeared in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair and Town & Country. Find out why below.

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).


1. How long have you lived in the area?
I’ve lived in Tribeca for nine years. I lived in the Flatiron for 12 years, but after we had our second child we wanted to move to a neighborhood with more parks that felt less crowded. I grew up in Louisiana, but I have lived in New York since 1999 so this feels like home.

2. Married? Partnered?
I’m married to Chris Delaney – he works in finance. When we first met in 2005, he was living on Reade Street with his two best friends. They were both dating women who they later married so Tribeca has always been part of our story – and the story of our life in New York.

3. Kids? Pets?
Three children. All three went to Washington Market which really made Tribeca feel like our home. It is such a special school with such deep ties to the neighborhood. We can’t walk a block without running into their friends, our friends or teachers who used to teach our kids. It’s such a special place to raise kids in the city.

4. Where do you live? Southern Tribeca

5. What do you do for a living?
I do so many things and always love adding more into the mix. I am an auctioneer – an ambassador for Christie’s and the principal auctioneer for Broad Arrow Auction group, the author of “The Most Powerful Woman in the Room is You” and an upcoming book – “Claim Your Confidence,” a podcast host and professional speaker. [She has led auctions for more than 600 organizations raising over half a billion dollars for nonprofits globally.]

7. Most-frequented restaurants: Tre Sorelle (best pizza in the city), Bubby’s all day/every day for pancakes with the kids, Edward’s for the omelette, Locanda Verde (ricotta appetizer is hard to beat). I also love a dinner outside at Yves or Smith & Mills. I am not much of a cook in case you can’t tell….

8. For special occasions, I go to: Marc Forgione – there is nothing like the roast chicken and a glass of wine on a cold day. I met Marc taking auctions for an amazing non-profit called Cookies for Kids Cancer – he is such a great person so I am really happy for his success. Excited for his new restaurant though I will really miss the space on Reade.

9. Best sandwich: Blue Spoon Café – small soup and half of the turkey/apple sandwich

10. Sweet-tooth satisfaction: How much room do you have? Duane Street Patisserie Ring Dings, Frenchette Bakery anything/everything, Insomnia Cookies, the kids love Downtown Yogurt Factory after soccer.

11. Most delicious cocktail: I am a champagne drinker – a glass of champagne at the bar at Fouqet’s makes for a magical evening

12. I usually order in from Kaede Sushi, and I always order the gyoza .

14. The last non-essential item I bought: Flowers at Morgan’s Market

15. When I walk into my apartment, the first thing I see that I bought around here is: scooters from Boomerang Toys

16. I’m so glad Morgan’s Market & King’s Pharmacy are in the neighborhood, because without them Tribeca wouldn’t be Tribeca.

17. How I stay fit: Equinox for working out, runs on the West Side Highway and I walk everywhere and anywhere. I always try to leave enough time to walk wherever I go – it’s my favorite part of living here.

18. Where I get beautiful: Nail Spy on Murray is my favorite mani/pedi spot. When it is auction season, I am usually on stage three to four nights a week so I see them almost every week. My daughters can sense when I am going to Nail Spy so more times than not I have them with me. Drybar is always good when I have a big auction or event.

20. A recent enthusiasm: I am so excited for the Perelman Performing Arts Center to open. The thought of having world class performing arts a few blocks away is exactly why I love living in the city.

21. A worthy splurge: Anything at the Shibui Spa at the Greenwich Hotel. I walk out feeling like I’ve been on a week’s vacation after one hour in the spa.

22. A recent case of sticker shock: I tried to book an Uber to an auction in Midtown one rainy night. The quote was $59.00 with a 7-minute wait…..

23. When my kids are older, they’ll always remember scooting to Brookfield Plaza for Nutella crepes at Le District and playing outside on the waterfront on a beautiful day.

26. Kids’ classes you’d recommend: Spotlight Kids is THE BEST for theater classes. Dancebody Kids for dance. DUSC for soccer.

27. I’ve never been to L’Entrée or Au Cheval and I don’t know why. I walk by both of them all the time and think about stopping, but haven’t stopped in yet.

30. I tend to take out-of-towners to: The Highline followed by brunch at the Roxy

31. I wish I lived in…. I wouldn’t change a thing. Comparison is the thief of joy.

32. My very favorite spot: I love wandering through the alleys in Tribeca – Staple Street, Courtland Alley. There are very few places in New York where you can have a whole street to yourself.

33. Pet peeve: Trash on the streets

35. A doctor I’d recommend: Tribeca Pediatrics on Warren Street

37. A local celebrity I’d like to run into: I’m not sure Taylor Swift knows this, but I think we would be great friends.

39. Tribeca could use more neighborhood grocery stores/delis and fewer cigarette/vape shops.

40. If I could change one thing about the neighborhood: I wish that every storefront was filled with a great new store/restaurant/boutique/deli. I understand the need for big box stores and chains, but when my husband lived down here in 2005 there were so many cool spots that you couldn’t find anywhere else in NYC.

42. A business I miss: When Chris lived down here in the early aughts, there was a store/restaurant called The Candy Shoppe on Chambers Street. They had the greatest brunch. It had that 1950s soda shop feel. We could never figure out how they stayed in business because the pancakes were $3 dollars and everything was so inexpensive, but we loved it.

43. My best Tribeca story: In my first job at Christie’s in the events department in 1999, I was asked to take a cab to Tribeca to pick up a Pink Panther costume for a Contemporary Art party where we were selling Jeff Koons’s Pink Panther. The head of the Contemporary department wanted to wear it at the party. I took a cab from Midtown down to a neighborhood I had never heard of – Tribeca – and fell asleep in the cab. The cab driver woke me up to tell me we had arrived and I remember thinking we must have gone to another borough because it looked so different than anywhere else in New York. I walked up these rickety stairs to the fifth floor of an old loft building and opened a door into a massive warehouse of costumes. I remember walking back out of the building and thinking that it was one of the most amazing places I had ever seen.

46. Proof that change is good: Hudson River Park – I have always been a runner and I can remember running down the West Side Highway as early as 1999. It is a testament to HRP and the generosity of the donors who contribute to the organization that we have such an incredible series of piers and parks to enjoy up and down the West Side Highway.

48. Best reason to go AboCa (aboveCanal): I love strolling through Soho – great restaurants and shopping

49. If I couldn’t live here, I’d live in… West Village…but not really because I don’t want to leave Tribeca.