Who are you? What do you do for a living?
I'm a journalist-- by day, I write for Fortune magazine, and on the side I do other writing, both fiction and nonfiction, for some other places.
What's the first thing you do on a weekend morning?
I have to admit I usually waste the better part of the morning in bed. By the time I haul my ass up at 11 I'm feeling good and I grab a paperback or my iPad and walk out to one of two coffee shops, depending on my mood: Pedlar Cafe or Van Leeuwen, which is actually an ice cream place but has a fun, cozy space to get a lil macchiato.
The Day's Menu
Very often, it's brunch with a friend at Lobo, 61 Local, Hunter's or my local diner spot, Cobble Hill Coffee Shop. When it's not winter, I'll walk a couple blocks up to the park-- to call it a park is funny for me, having lived right by Central Park for two years; Cobble Hill Park is more like a tiny quad-- and sit on a bench with an iced coffee and a book. There's a breakfast spot right by the park, Ted & Honey, that for whatever reason I only go to when the weather's nice, but I'll grab food there and take it into the park.
What are you reading/watching/listening to?
Considering I'm constantly playing music during the week, either through headphones at work or on my laptop at home, I think my apartment is pretty quiet on Sundays. As soon as I wake up I go outside, and I never wear headphones. But I do read— usually new fiction and mostly novels. In the last month I read and loved recent, newish books by John Irving, Chang-rae Lee, Susan Choi, J.M. Coetzee, Christopher Beha and Donna Tartt.
Reserved for Weekends
Sunday is my day for a few tasks, some fun and some not. Cleaning my place. And even on Sunday, that doesn't always get done… I try to write at least a good chunk of fiction (there's one "big thing" I'm working on, plus I toy with short stories) or get a non-Fortune piece done, whether that's a book review, personal essay, or freelance thing.
What's unique about Sunday?
If I do it right, it's the only day of the week when I don't leave the borough of Brooklyn. I'll venture down to Park Slope, where I have some friends, but I try my best not to get convinced to go into Manhattan for anything.
I'm truly contented with my weekend late Sunday afternoon when I'm walking down the street in my neighborhood, unstressed, feeling like I've relaxed but also gotten a few things done this weekend. I feel like I own the block.
As a writer, do routines help you creatively? Why or why not?
During the week, routine is what keeps me so efficient. But on the weekend, you have to have a looser routine, with pockets of flexibility and spontaneity. If you're too rigid in the Sunday routine, it kills the joy of having one.
What's your ideal week-ender?
A cold beer on the couch.