21 questions

Paul Holdengräber Prefers Frog Legs and Melville

Name: Paul Holdengräber
Job: Director of Public Programs, “LIVE from the NYPL
Age: Since 1960
Neighborhood: Fort Greene in Brooklyn near BAM

Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
Bartleby, the Scrivener. Melville’s clerk. He answers all questions with one sentence: “I would prefer not to.”

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
Frog Legs at La Grenouille.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
Create havoc: Invite Al Sharpton to debate Christopher Hitchens at the New York Public Library and have them both show up; watch it online.

Would you still live here on a $35,000 salary?
Did you mean $135,000? I might consider it were I single.

What’s the last thing you saw on Broadway?

Do you give money to panhandlers?
In the morning.

What’s your drink?
Blue Moon Beer.

How often do you prepare your own meals?

What’s your favorite medication?
The Russian & Turkish Baths in the East Village. Special Treatment: Platza
Oak Leaf. Trust me. Do it.

What’s hanging above your sofa?
My head.

How much is too much to spend on a haircut?
I still have quite a lot of hair.

When’s bedtime?
I keep the night company — I suffer from insomnia.

Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square?

What do you think of Donald Trump?

What do you hate most about living in New York?
Donald Trump.

Who is your mortal enemy?
The middle of the night.

When’s the last time you drove a car?
Yesterday. That’s life in New York if you have a car but no garage.

Who should be the next president?
I liked his speech in Berlin.

Times, Post, or Daily News?
The New York Times online in the heat of the night.

Where do you go to be alone?
I am never alone. I am always preoccupied.

What makes someone a New Yorker?
All of the above.

Paul Holdengräber Prefers Frog Legs and Melville