Five million Americans start their day with Kelly Ripa and her co-host and husband Mark Consuelos on WABC’s LIVE with Kelly and Mark.
Viewers have come to know the duo as their on-air friends, but they’re our actual NYC neighbors! The couple, who has been married for almost 30 years, lives on the Upper East Side with their dogs and raised their now 20-something kids here. They are NYC locals and they work here, just like we do!
Kelly and Mark officially began co-hosting LIVE together in April this year after Ryan Seacrest left the show, and starting Tuesday, September 5, at 9am, they’ll begin their first full season together.
Ahead of the season premiere, we asked them about their favorite spots around the city like any neighbor would! We also spoke with Art Moore, the executive in charge of production, and Michael Gelman, the show’s executive producer who has helmed LIVE since its inception and raised his family in NYC with his wife, author Laurie Gelman.
After all, like any local, they’re all excited to share what they love about NYC.
Where in NYC did you have your first date?
Kelly: Well, we had two first dates. One was a group first date, but I think we were into each other. It was at Arizona 206, do you remember that restaurant?
Mark: I do! It’s not there anymore, but it was referenced in American Psycho.
Mark/Kelly: The second spot, which was really like our first date and we took our kids there on our 10th wedding anniversary, was John’s of 12th Street.
What is your favorite restaurant that no one else knows or talks about?
Kelly: Mark is shaking his head because he’s like “Everybody knows about it,” but I don’t think everybody knows about it, do you?
Mark: Emilio’s Ballato but with a disclaimer that is very much well known.
Kelly: It’s very much well known but it’s our spot when it’s a special occasion. That’s where we go.
Michael: I love the Greek food at Elea on the Upper West Side. It’s a cool space with great service, great food and it really feels like a downtown restaurant. I also am a big fan of Celeste which is authentic, Italian Roman cuisine. It’s reasonably priced, all cash, great ingredients and better than your average local Italian restaurant.
Art: My favorite lunch spot is Pomodoro Restaurant on Columbus Avenue at 71st Street. It has great food and service and I have been going there for over 20 years! For Sundays, I like to do a Broadway show. Combining that with lunch or dinner at Joe Allen’s on West 46th Street, makes a perfect day. It’s just the best place; I have been going there for over 40 years! It has comfortable food and ta errific atmosphere that keep the whole theatrical experience tied together.
What dog park do you love to bring the pets and why?
Kelly: We take the dogs to Central Park and we just let them run behind literally the area behind Alice in Wonderland. That’s where all the dogs meet up, that’s where we bump into [“Live” Producer] Lori Schulweis and her dog Oliver.
That’s where all the dogs sort of hang out on the Upper East. That’s where you’ll find our dogs. And they have their individual pee spots, their individual poop spots, and they’re like clockwork.
Mark: Guaranteed. It’s a guaranteed great spot.
Michael: My wife, Laurie Gelman, loves to take our dog Billie to Central Park year-round. It’s one of the only spots where you can have your dog off-leash till about 9pm. It’s fantastic, beautiful and convenient.
What’s your best late-night spot to hang with friends and why?
Kelly: Okay, this one is exclusive.
Mark: It’s very exclusive. Bar 5.
Kelly: Bar 5 in our townhouse and where all of our friends meet. Mark turned this room into a cigar bar. [Mark: Cigar Lounge]. It’s like a lounge and it’s where everyone hangs out. It’s closed to the public but it’s really nice.
Mark: Yeah, we’re not taking any new member applications … very limited capacity.
You raised 3 kids in New York City. What is the best New York City kid activity that you guys have enjoyed or would recommend to other people with kids?
Kelly: You know, there are so many free activities in New York City. During Christmas time, we would take them to the Time Warner Center and watch the light show. They have this incredible mall and they have this light show and it’s like every 5 minutes it lights up. Same with Grand Central Station. We used to take them to the Window downtown because we raised our kids in Soho. We were more of a downtown young kid family.
Mark: There was one spot down there that we always went to—the Scholastic Book Store—but I don’t think it’s there anymore.
Kelly: Or it’s in some sort of transition. But we also used to go to this place called Pop A Bubble. And it’s a candy store, but you would watch them pull taffy. And my kids would spend easily an hour staring into the window while they pulled taffy and made all these really beautiful candies.
Is there a New York gym or workout studio that you love and why?
Mark: Structure Park Avenue. It’s a basement gym. Again, it’s kind of hidden, no one really knows it’s there. It has all the great stuff that I like to use.
Kelly: And my studio is Anna Kaiser Studios on the Upper East Side. And I’ve been going there since its inception, since it opened and it’s the greatest. They’ve got the best dance classes, the best toning classes, the best overall hip workouts … it’s just the greatest place. The trainers are incredible, the people are nice, it’s friendly, it’s clean, they do an incredible job with like just maintenance. It’s my favorite.
Michael: My favorite pilates/Gyrotonic studio is Kinespirit on the Upper West Side and I’ve been going there for around 10 years. I love it because there aren’t many places that teach both gyrotonic AND pilates and they have master trainers who are almost all professional dancers. In my mind, the best outdoor tennis in New York City is easily Central Park. The location is convenient and you get to play while taking in such gorgeous views of the park and the NYC skyline in all four directions. CityView in Long Island City is also a favorite spot of mine for indoor playing; they have har-tru clay courts and a beautiful exercise space and spa too.
What is your go-to pizza, bagel or deli place?
Kelly: My Sunday morning bagel spot is Tal Bagels. They have the best Strawberry Cream Cheese. If you get there early enough, the bagels are hot and still steaming.
Mark: Pizza is Patsy’s Upper East, right?
Kelly: Lombardi’s on Spring Street. It’s delicious.
Do you have a secret movie theater that you love? Do you even go to the movie theater?
Kelly: I famously hate movie theaters. I’m not a movie theater person. Do you have a movie theater?
Mark: I mean, I love the Angelika [Angelika Film Center] on Houston.
So if it’s a date night, where in New York City would we find you?
Kelly: Awwww… that’s so nice … if we ever went on dates, where would you take me? The Polo Bar is nice for a date night. But that’s more like dates with friends, I wouldn’t call that a two-person date.
Mark: Locanda Verde. We used to go there a lot.
Kelly/Mark: Locanda Verde, yes. And we like to eat in the library. The two of us. Locanda Verde. Eat in the library. By the fireplace. Great fall/winter spot.
If you’re going for a morning hike or morning run, where would we find you?
Kelly/Mark: The Bridal Path in Central Park. That’s our favorite spot.
Favorite museum for a rainy day?
Kelly: There’s a lot. I love the Met, obviously. Obviously, the Met is sort of my go-to museum, but if it’s with kids it’s got to be the Museum of Natural History. Between the Bronx Zoo and the Museum of Natural History and the Central Park Zoo, we literally raised our kids in those places.
Best concert, comedy club or karaoke venue?
Kelly: I’m going to tell you about this place—now again, this is if you have adult friends, not for the kids. There’s this place called Company XIV. I go there all the time. It’s like burlesque entertainment. They put on these incredible shows. It is beautifully curated. They have the most talented performers and follow their Instagram page, it’s really extraordinary. And they have this sister company called Cocktail Magique, they just have these bespoke cocktails that are out of this world, that go with the performances. It’s really an exceptional spot that literally I feel like only “in the know” people know to go to this spot. Again, it’s adult, it’s not for the kids.
What is a spot that makes you glad to be a New Yorker?
Mark: When you’re coming back into the city, and it’s just about maybe a half mile from Long Island before you enter the Midtown Tunnel, you see the skyline of Manhattan.
Kelly: That skyline sucks our breath away every time we see it.
A friend is visiting New York City for the first time. Where do you send them?
Mark: Ooh! Indochine?
Kelly: Well Indochine is so fun, especially for out-of-towners. It’s just like such a fun scene, it’s such great people, it’s such a New York City staple.
Mark: The history there...
Kelly: The wallpaper is cool, the seating is cool, the servers are amazing, the food is always delicious. And then I would also recommend taking them to anywhere in Lincoln Center. [Mark: Yes] To see the ballet or the opera. These are like just gems if you want to see the most talented people on earth and you don’t want to go to a Broadway show, that’s where I would go.
Art: Usually when friends are visiting, we look for interesting dining experiences … after all, it is New York! They always think I will come up with a new, exciting place they haven’t been. I am pretty good at doing that, but truthfully I repeat many that I really enjoy and know they will, too. To relax, talk, and enjoy a delicious meal is a wonderful way for me to relax and have quality time with my friends.
The Live studio is on the Upper West Side. What is the best spot that you enjoy there?
Kelly: Besides Lincoln Center, I would say Pomodoro. There’s this restaurant called Pomodoro on Columbus Avenue and here’s what you order: You order the tomato soup [Mark: In the bread] because they serve it inside a loaf of bread. Mark and I spent our early relationship ordering that when we were at the studios of All My Children. They would deliver there and we would get the soup and the bread. You eat the soup and then you eat the bowl, which was a loaf of bread. It’s really… [Mark: Special]