21 questions

Kenneth T. Jackson Really, Really Likes Spaghetti

Name:Kenneth T. Jackson
Age: “Ageless”
Neighborhood: Upper West Side
Occupation: Professor, Urban historian, Editor of the Encyclopedia of New York City, Second Edition.

Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
“Big Tim” Sullivan, a very real and very dead larger-than-life lower Manhattan political boss at the turn of the previous century. His funeral in 1913 was one of the largest in NYC history.

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
You just can’t beat a hot dog from a cart.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
I read a lot, which these days is not for the fainthearted (I read books and periodicals made of paper) and I talk about New York City, just about all the time.

What was your first job in New York?
Same as now — professor at Columbia.

What’s the last thing you saw on Broadway?
Million Dollar Quartet, which connected me to my hometown, Memphis.

Do you give money to panhandlers?

What’s your drink?
Diet Pepsi.

How often do you prepare your own meals?
Maybe once a week. [I make] spaghetti. I love spaghetti and could eat it every day. I take all my tours to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx to make sure we all eat spaghetti.

What’s your favorite medication?

What’s hanging above your sofa?
A picture of New York — what else?! It’s a painting of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue with people walking with umbrellas.

How much is too much to spend on a haircut?

When’s bedtime?

Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square?
Mostly the new, although I miss the peep shows of the old.

What do you think of Donald Trump?
I wish I had his hair.

What do you hate most about living in New York?
The tow pound, which is, aside from critical-care units, perhaps the unhappiest place anywhere. I know this from experience.

Who is your mortal enemy?
I buried all of those bastards a long time ago.

When’s the last time you drove a car?
Three days ago.

How has the Wall Street crash affected you?
I lost so much money that I fired my financial adviser (me) and have decided to try my luck with the ponies.

Times, Post, or Daily News?
The New York Times, but the Daily News does a great job covering the city.

Where do you go to be alone?
I go watch a football game.

What makes someone a New Yorker?
Acceptance of others and using public transportation.

Kenneth T. Jackson Really, Really Likes Spaghetti