When writer Jeryl Brunner quizzed “Sex and the City” designer Patricia Field about her favorite spot in New York City, she assumed it would be a trendy nightclub or stylish eaterie in the East Village.
The flamboyant costumer picked the downtown Pathmark supermarket off the FDR Drive. “She loves it because she can park her car there, just like she could if she lived in the suburbs,” says Brunner. “And, since it’s in a diverse neighborhood, it sells lots of different types of ethnic foods.” Field’s unexpected choice is included in Brunner’s first book, the just-published “My City, My New York: Famous New Yorkers Share Their Favorite Places” (Globe Pequot Press, $12.95). The 46-year-old freelance journalist asked hundreds of well-known New Yorkers to dish on their favorite places. Boldface names include Mayor Bloomberg (who chose the Greek diner Viand on Madison Ave.), Chris Noth (Da Marino in midtown), Daniel Radcliffe (the piers near the West Village), Michael Moore(Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center) and Tina Fey (Central Park and Riverside Park).
Brunner, a magazine writer who lives on the upper West Side, came up with the idea after she was commissioned to write a similarly themed article for National Geographic Traveler. “Wherever I go, I always like to ask the locals for their tips and recommendations,” she says. “And I love to hear the reasons why.” She enjoyed the assignment so much, it became the foundation for her book. “The whole idea was to create a love letter to New York,” she explains. “To celebrate the city and all of its magic.” The well-connected singleton spent more than six months gathering heartfelt quotes about the best parks, bookstores, cafes, bars and sights in the city. Many are from producers, actors and artists. There are also recommendations from broadcasters, politicians, restaurateurs and athletes.
“It was a difficult task, involving a lot of telephone calls and emails,” laughs Brunner. “But it was a labor of love. It was fascinating learning about people’s connections to certain places, their experiences and memories.” Central Park was the most popular spot, followed by the scenic cycle path along the Hudson River. Favored restaurants include Tribeca Grill, Scalinatella and Balthazar.