Dai Shi

Bleecker St at Mercer St

Isn't Dai Shi a character in Power Rangers?
Is it? Before my mother even gave birth, my parents chose it. In Chinese it means "contemporary, fashionable."

They predicted well. Where are you from?
Shanghai. I came to Chicago for business school and moved to New York in '99.

What do you do?
I'm a finance manager for a bank with a silly policy—so I can't tell you which one. But I try not to identify myself by what I do, but by my hobbies.

Which are?
I love singing. I was in a garage band for awhile. I also love interior design—my place in Beijing was in a national interior design magazine.

Boy, garage band and finance manager are on opposite ends of the personality spectrum.
[Laughs] I know. I love that term: garage band.

Are there a lot of words in English that don't exist in Chinese?
Years ago when the movie Serendipity came out, I was so fascinated and puzzled by that word. I just couldn't translate it into Chinese.

Is there no serendipity in China?
[Laughs] Yes! Yes! For thousands and thousands of years there was no serendipity!

Yes! My parents were introduced. There was no such thing as John Cusack chasing after a girl in the Waldorf-Astoria.

How old are you?
Oh, can we not publish that? When you reach a certain age people think your opportunities are running out. I don't buy that. There are so many great things that can still happen to me—like I take a walk in Soho one day and bump into you!

More thoughts from Dai Shi

"I'm really looking forward to the contemporary dance series starting June 10 at the Joyce, with dancers from six African countries and French choreography."

"I was wearing this shirt on my husband's birthday and he said, 'Dear, you look lovely as usual today.' I said, 'Yes, that's because I wrapped myself up like a big gift for your birthday.'"

"I'm both a big spender and a frugal spender. When I'm shopping with friends and they ask me, 'Should I buy this?' I often say, 'No, that goes to your P and L: your profit and loss statement.' But then they point at a really nice, durable leather bag. I say, 'Yes, go for it. That goes to your balance sheet and becomes equity and assets.'"