Lauren's top 5 places in NYC
I spend most of my time in Brooklyn, and I went to Brooklyn Museum of Art recently. It has so much stuff that’s historical and modern art as well—it had the Kehinde Wiley exhibit and the Judy Chicago Dinner Party piece. There were just so many amazing things that were on. It’s in a lovely place in the city, of course—it’s so close to the beautiful Prospect Park.
Most of the time, when we go to New York, we’re working all of the time, though last time we did get Italian food at a place called Lil’ Frankie’s. It has a nice family-style cooking vibe, and the food was insane. I had a kind of puttanesca thing with tomato and anchovy in it. I’m kind of a crappy, lapsed vegetarian, so I now eat fish, which is not right, it’s not vegetarian—but it was very tasty.
First time we played in New York was in 2013. It was all very eye-opening. A very bright lights, big city sort of vibe, and we played the Mercury Lounge. We always have really enjoyed those club shows, because there’s a kinetic energy in those small kind of venues. When you look at the list of people who have been through there, it’s insane. Every band you can think of has played there on their way up.
The Mercury Lounge is right around the corner from Katz’s Deli, and we did all go and get our When Harry Met Sally… sandwiches just so we could live out that one tourist moment. No, we resisted the urge to [re-create that famous scene], because that’s probably done quite a lot. But the sandwich was great, it was quite huge, so I had to carry the other half around with me for several hours, until I had to eat again.
If I’m up for movies and such, I head out to special showings at BAM or Nitehawk. At first I was suspicious of any venue that allowed you to drink while you’re watching movies. I thought that would encourage bad behavior, but I went to see Birdman, and everyone was well behaved. (That’s when I realized I wasn’t in Glasgow anymore. Over there, this proposition would have been a nightmare.) I love those kinds of little, bespoke cinemas. I worked in a lot of cinemas when I was at college, and I’m a movie dork, and it’s a nice thing to do while you’re on tour. Everything is different a lot of the time, you’re never in the same place, but I like going to the cinema because it feels like no matter where you are, the experience is really the same. It’s the two hours when you get to switch off your brain and be immersed in a story.