Wine bar winter
Three let's-order-everything barstaurants, Andrew McCarthy, Nine tables for Valentine's Day, Le Coucou, Atomix, Manhatta, Libertine, La Grenouille, Prada's winter armor, the RTO war, MORE
WORK • Tuesday Routine
ANDREW MCCARTHY • actor, director, author • andrewmccarthy.com
Neighborhood you work in: various
It’s Tuesday morning, where are you working?
That depends. This question isn’t as easy to answer for me as it might be for other people. Having no ability (or desire) to hold down any one job, there are several I bounce between.
If I’m directing a TV show, I'm up and out, usually by 6 am. The beauty (and drawback) of such a job is that your time is not your own. I'm driven to wherever it is we might be shooting, I’m fed, and deposited back home in the evening. In between I have to coordinate and film what will be edited down to about six minutes of an hour TV show each day.
If I’m writing, I’ll be sitting at the kitchen table, with a mug of watery tea and a glass of sparkling water for several hours in the morning before my brain turns to mush. If I’m acting, it’s the same as directing, except I have the stress of learning lines and I’m free of the responsibility of running the show. The difference between the two is that directing is stressful and acting creates anxiety. Both can be fun and rewarding.
What’s the Tuesday morning scene at your workplace?
Directing: At 7 am, 50 people look at me and say, in essence: What are we doing? I explain the scene we’re to shoot, rehearse the actors, discuss camera movements, and when the controlled chaos ensues, I go have a cup of tea while everyone else goes to work.
Writing: Hopefully the house is empty and is silent. I procrastinate as long as possible, then, when I realize everyone is coming home in 45 minutes, I rail against them not giving me the time I need, and finally get something done as the door opens.
Acting: I am pampered and deferred to. It is not very good for my character or sense of reality.
What’s on the agenda for today?
Directing and Acting: The best part is that every day is totally different, depending on the scenes to be shot and the locations.
Writing: It also varies, but what doesn’t is the sitting down to do it. Many people say they don’t like writing but love the feeling of having written. I actually love the blank page and the rewriting. It’s like a puzzle I’m trying to solve. When I told a novelist friend that I actually love the process, she said, “Oh, you must not be very good.”
What’s for lunch?
If I'm on set, then whatever the caterer is feeding us (just not the chicken). If I’m writing, lately I’ve been making a lot of watermelon and feta salads, or I sneak off to Shake Shack.
Any plans tonight?
If I’m directing, then I have to figure out how we’re going to shoot tomorrow’s work. If I'm acting, then I have to learn lines (and I thought homework was done after I left school).
If I’m writing, then maybe taking my wife/kids out to dinner. Lately we’ve been on an (expensive) sushi jag, Sushi Gari (I get the tuna of Gari) on Columbus. Or we go to the Bondi Sushi on Broadway. But Patsy’s Pizza always works, too.
RESTAURANTS • First Person
A top five season
In the depths of winter, wine bars are where I want to be drinking — and eating. Fortunately, New York City is riding high on a recent wave of excellent options, small, no-nonsense places with interesting lists and let’s-order-everything menus.