Why are there so few gin drinkers? Everybody’s drinking vodka or in some cases white rum. Ugh. I happen to be a huge gin fan, and I have had friends, my local liquor store, their acquaintances bring me their gin recommendations based on something unusual. And New York state gin is something people are talking about now. Now, if it’s not from the U.K., forget about it. It’s absolutely undrinkable. My niece’s boyfriend brought me a bottle of gin three weeks ago, and I thought, “Oh, this is thrilling, and it’s a beautiful label, and I can’t wait to try it.” Oh my god, I thought I was going to die of poison. [Walks to his bar to look at the brand] It’s dark, and it’s from Rochester. It’s a stunning bottle. It’s called Barr Hill Reserve Tom Cat Gin, and it has a lovely B on the stopper on top. [A loud crash] Oops. There goes my bar. It’s rejecting the Tom Cat.
I love Bombay. I usually have a gin and tonic, though I love a restaurant martini. I’m not certain that I like Tim Gunn’s martinis. There’s something about having a martini out that’s really fantastic. And something about having it at home that’s kind of sad.
I was excited about Season 1 when it was first airing. I couldn’t get through two episodes. I thought: “This is horrible. I can’t stand this show.” And I left it. Then when I came back for Season 4, I thought, “Good heavens, in some ways it’s a different show.” It struck me that it had matured in a way. I can’t get enough of it. In fact, I try to squeeze in one 22-minute episode a day just because it takes me to a happy place.
I’m a huge fan of the Diller-von Furstenberg philanthropy. We have the High Line thanks to them. And now we have Little Island. It’s so beautifully, sensitively done, but it doesn’t feel precious. You feel as though you could just throw out a picnic blanket and have a meal there. It’s a remarkable, remarkable piece — and frankly, I saw the architectural plans and I thought: “This is so ambitious. How can this possibly be executed?” Well, it’s even a greater statement in real life.
Another show I saw three times. The cast was brilliant. The writing’s brilliant. The songs are hilarious, if they’re not plucking at your heartstrings. I liked the movie. It certainly would not be one of my Top 10, maybe not even one of my Top 100. But the musical is one of my Top 10 musicals ever, if not the top. It’s just so delightfully told and uplifting, without being saccharin and ridiculous. Just plain laugh-until-you-hurt fun. I hope it returns to Broadway.
8. Nora Ephron’s Essays
Those essays are a bit like the written form of “Schitt’s Creek.” They’re just so purging and cathartic. She says what’s on her mind, and she calls things the way they are, and it’s done with humor and intellect and a great deal of irony. I’ve reread them and I’ve reread, and I laugh just as hard. Everyone should have at least one volume, and have it handy.