In her single “Nolita Fairytale,” Vanessa Carlton sings about her love of “Ruby's in the afternoon”— a reference to her favorite neighborhood hang. “It’s the best people-watching,” she says of Ruby’s. “Everyone looks like they’re out of an editorial shoot for some hip magazine. But it’s not posey.” Other favorites near the “Nolita flat on rent control” she famously exalts? La Esquina (“I love to get takeout or to just sit at the front taco bar”), Freemans (“I think it wins the devils-on-horseback competition with the Spotted Pig”), and N (“the best chorizo I’ve ever had”). We asked her whether this week found her at any of the above.
Earlier this year Times fashion writer Guy Trebay declared 17-year-old Catherine McNeil to be “fashion’s latest crush,” citing her photo shoots for Mario Testino, her campaigns for Hugo Boss and Dolce & Gabbana, and her sudden status as the sought-after runway model. McNeil has lived on the Lower East Side since moving from Australia in February and can often be found at expat hangout Ruby’s wolfing chicken burgers like her mom used to make. “It’s chicken breast, and you can put lettuce and sweet chili sauce and stuff on it,” she explains. Not that she did much eating out this week between shoots for Another magazine and Versace. We caught her on the way to the airport (she was flying to Paris for a Gaultier shoot) and asked her what she noshed on.
Fourteen years ago, Frank Gluska was kicking back at Coney Island institution Ruby’s, our Best Throwback Bar of 2006, when the manager (whose sister Frank had been dating for twelve years) told him, “Can’t you see we’re busy? Get behind the bar.” “I got behind the bar,” says Gluska, “and that was the beginning of the end.” Since then, he has learned the truth of late owner Ruby Jacobs’s favorite saying, “Once you get the sand of Coney Island between your toes, you’ll never leave.” Because we’ll probably spend the Siren Festival at Ruby’s on Saturday, we asked Gluska to explain his self-described addiction to the place.