21 questions

Robin Givhan Drinks Like a Tough Dame

Robin Givhan

Photo: Getty Images

Name: Robin Givhan

Age: 42

Job: Fashion editor for the Washington Post in our New York bureau, recipient of the Eugenia Sheppard Award at today’s Council of Fashion Designers of America awards.

Neighborhood: Upper West Side

Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
Holden Caulfield and the person who cynically responded to the Disney-fication of Times Square by asking: “Why should Times Square be safe for children?” I think it was Fran Leibowitz.

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
For breakfast, it would be the oatmeal at Balthazar, which is the most spectacularly light and fluffy oatmeal ever. I’ve had several pretty splendid meals at Blue Hill, too.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
On an average day, I answer an insane amount of e-mail, try to keep my coffee buzz going, and attempt to fill my computer screen with entertaining and insightful sentences about the fashion industry.

Where do you get your coffee?
I begin my day with home-brewed French roast. I satisfy my afternoon coffee jones at the Columbus Circle Whole Foods.

What’s the last thing you saw on Broadway?
Year of Magical Thinking, because I’d go see Vanessa Redgrave read the phone book.

Do you give money to panhandlers?

What’s your drink?
When I’m feeling like a tough dame, it’s gin: either a gin-and-tonic or a gin gimlet. Otherwise I like to start with Prosecco and then move on to a nice Pinot Noir.

How often do you prepare your own meals?
Quite often, actually. I don’t mind cooking. I enjoy knowing exactly what’s going into my food.

What’s your favorite medication?
Depends on what ails me. I tend to believe aspirin cures most all mild physical problems. A glass of wine can heal the soul.

What’s hanging above your sofa?
A big mirror to give the illusion of more space.

How much is too much to spend on a haircut?
I think if you’re debating a trim versus paying your mortgage, you might have reached the limit.

When’s bedtime?
On a school night: eleven-ish.

Brunch: pro or con?
Pro. I live on the UWS; if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em.

What’s your thread count?
As long as I can’t see through the sheets, I’m good. But I do like fancy linens.

What do you hate most about living in New York?
The strange and putrid smells that emerge on a hot summer day. The belief by so many parents that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with hauling a double-wide, double-decker stroller into tiny stores without so much as an excuse me. (Some of these kids look big enough to run a marathon, and they’re still being pushed around in a Bugaboo?) Subway cars with broken air-conditioning.

What’s your brand of jeans?
Whichever ones treat my derriere with respect.

When’s the last time you drove a car?
About three weeks ago, for a trip to the uptown Fairway.

Who should be the next president?
Someone much smarter than me and all my friends combined.

Times, Post, or Daily News?
Oh, please. The Washington Post. (But I enjoy a good New York Post headline.)

Yankees or Mets?
Yawn, baseball.

What makes someone a New Yorker?
Tenacity, smarts, an open mind, and the fearlessness to jaywalk in front of a Mack truck.

Robin Givhan Drinks Like a Tough Dame