February 28th 2011
TC Q&A: “When I Moved to Tribeca, the Odeon Was an Automat”
Deborah Lupard was a logical choice to appear on HGTV’s “Selling New York”—not only was she the top agent in Warburg Realty‘s Tribeca office last year, but she knows show business, having worked as an assistant director for the likes of Martin Scorsese and Oliver Stone before moving into real estate. (“Selling New York” airs Thursdays at 9 p.m.)
How long have you lived in the area?
I’ve lived in Tribeca for over 30 years.
Which restaurants do you frequent most often?
Nobu, Wolfgang’s, Locanda Verde, Pepolino.
Which restaurants do you tend to go to for special occasions?
Bouley because it’s so prim and proper—you can have a really special, maniacally made meal. They never rush you and even when my now-adult son was 9, they always treated him as an adult, respecting his love of food and his good manners.
Where do you order in (or get take-out) from? Are there dishes you always order?
Not a big order-inner. But when I do order in I always order a hamburger or tuna sandwich with French fries from Odeon. When I moved to Tribeca, Odeon was an automat. I loved when it was an automat—perhaps it was the last one in New York City.
Which shops do you find it hard to resist popping into when you pass by?
I love Nili Lotan—not only is she an extraordinary designer, but she’s also a resident of Tribeca. I like to shop there, as it’s a wide-open loft space and the clothes are unique and well made. I like to buy gifts at Stella—the owner has impeccable taste. Dudley’s Paw is a great place if you need to buy a pet gift, and the owner also a longtime resident who is just lovely. Duane Park Patisserie is a must stop when passing by. I find it hard to resist her delectable baked goods, and again she’s a neighbor who makes me feel grounded. I’ve been going there since she opened (20 odd years ago), and I always see someone I know there.
What was the last non-essential item you bought in Tribeca?
I bought a hand-knit hat at Nili Lotan.
Are there any services (salon, fitness, etc.) that you’re particularly glad are in the neighborhood?
I like Equinox. I-Plaza Nail & Spa is a great mani-pedi place, pricey but clean! Younghee Salon has a great colorist named Lenora.
What’s the area’s best-kept secret?
Pepolino (but perhaps not anymore). I have one other secret place but I can’t reveal it, as it really would ruin it. You’ll have to go out and about, and perhaps you, too, will discover it (if you haven’t already). If you do, I’m sure you’ll want to keep it a secret as well.
Where do you always take out-of-towners?
I use to take them to the top of the Twin Towers—loved to do that—and now we just walk around to see all the great architecture that exists in the ‘hood and talk about the history. So much of it has been so spiffed up, you can almost imagine how it looked way back when. If they’re good walkers, we’ll continue all the way down through FiDi to the Seaport.
Which neighborhood building do you wish you lived in and/or owned?
I am very partial to north Tribeca, so it would be many buildings there.
What’s your favorite part of the area (street, park, whatever)?
I like north Tribeca because it still feels very uncongested, the way Tribeca used to be before the population explosion. I really love to walk along the river as well, and Hudson River Park early in the season.
Your most memorable celebrity sighting?
I once saw Elton John outside Thom Browne. He was just standing there all by himself, waiting for his entourage to come out of the store.
If you could change one thing about the neighborhood, what would it be?
I think it’s as good as you get in terms of New York City, and although it has changed so much since I first came, I welcome all the changes. I wouldn’t change a thing.
What’s your best Tribeca story?
After 9/11, all of my friends and neighbors really reached out to each other in ways I could never have imagined. It was a time of great grief, but there was a feeling of extreme love and peace that’s hard to describe. Everyone around was so hurt and destroyed with pain, but so much love was here as well. When the wind blows on certain days you can feel the spirits swirling, and despite how horrible a time that was, the wind feels very strong but peaceful.