Natasha Welchner

60th St between Broadway and Columbus Ave

Natasha Welchner
Natasha Welchner

Photograph: Jay Muhlin

What are you up to? I'm returning a Netflix movie: Match Point.

Is your accent French? Yes. I'm French, but I grew up in Casablanca. I've lived in New York for 11 years.

Casablanca sounds so glamorous. Was it all sex, cigarettes and Humphrey Bogart? [Laughs] Bon, it was! Of course, not exactly like the movie. I eventually left and opened a restaurant in Minorca, Spain, with a Dutch friend and her husband, a Swiss chef.

More glamour! Not really. The chef fell in love with an American girl. He left his wife, the restaurant, Spain—he left everything. It was like a Greek tragedy: You have about 20 people at the beginning, and by the end everybody has killed everybody and there's one person left. That was me. Now I'm retired and an American citizen.

Is the U.S. living up to your expectations? Oh yes. Well, not Bush, of course. Please. Non, non, non, non, non.

The only thing he's got going for him is that he's not dating a model. [Laughs] Yes, but the French, you know, we call it a petite affaire. It's acceptable. I remember that big fuss about Clinton—who cares what the President is doing? Besides, if he has a good...whatever...then at least he won't start a war.

Ha! We should get Cheney a mistress. May I ask how old you are? I won't tell. That's something I always lie about, because I'm vain, vain, vain! [Laughs] I want a question mark in place of my date of birth on my tombstone.

We'll just say you're of the gilded age, then. Perfect!

—Kate Lowenstein