21 questions

Chip Kidd Walks Fast and Likes a Stiff Drink


Photo: Patrick McMullan

Name: Chip Kidd
Age: 43
Occupation: Associate art director at Knopf, singer and percussionist in the band artbreak, and the author of two novels, The Cheese Monkeys and the recently published The Learners.
Neighborhood: Upper East Side, “on the same street that Lucy and Ricky used to live on.”

Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
I guess Truman Capote — he falls into all four of those categories.

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
Not a fair question at all. Recently, it’s a tie between Una Pizza Napoletana and the new Blue Ribbon Sushi.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
I mainly surf eBay, porn, MySpace, the Drudge Report, and Ain’t It Cool News, all punctuated by fits of designing book covers.

Would you still live here on a $35,000 salary?
You mean I’m getting a raise? Yay!

What’s the last thing you saw on Broadway?
Spamalot. Again. Not as good as the first time, but a friend is going to be joining the cast and invited me to go.

Do you give money to panhandlers?
Only if they’re relatives, or very good friends.

What’s your drink?
I call it a “Lucky Pierre” — a straight-up martini that’s half-vodka and half-gin, a little vermouth, and a twist.

How often do you prepare your own meals?
That all depends on what you mean by preparing. As in, I prepare to take my wallet out when the doorman tells me my delivery from Baluchi’s has arrived.

What’s your favorite medication?
A glowing review for something I’ve done. Works wonders.

What’s hanging above your sofa?
A three-by-four-and-a-half-foot framed and linen-backed poster for the French release of the Columbia Batman movie serials from the early fifties. It’s the only known example. Hey, you asked.

How much is too much to spend on a haircut?
Anything over $20, including tip. I mean, please.

When’s bedtime?
When there’s just nothing left to stay awake for.

Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square?
Anyone who prefers the old Times Square is more than welcome to move to Detroit, where they continue to re-create it, citywide.

What do you think of Donald Trump?
I’m sorry, who is that?

What do you hate most about living in New York?
Hardly anything, except those weird taxi shift changes, usually at the height of rush hour or on weekend mornings, which make it impossible to get a cab, especially when you have four bags and are in a hurry. Utterly maddening.

Who is your mortal enemy?
Anyone who is in front of me, walking slower than I am.

When’s the last time you drove a car?
We have a house in Connecticut, so I drive every other weekend or so.

Who should be the next president?
Someone with at least a shred of human decency. It would be so refreshing.

Times, Post, or Daily News?
The first two. They sort of nicely cancel each other out. Or sort of viciously, as the case may be.

Where do you go to be alone?
To one of my fan-club meetings.

What makes someone a New Yorker?
Always knowing where your wallet is.

Chip Kidd Walks Fast and Likes a Stiff Drink