Madison Ave between 46th and 47th Sts
What do you call this look? What do I call it? Yeah, I don’t want to sound like a pompous jerk-off, but to be honest with you, I wear all custom suits.
What do you do that allows you to wear only bespoke clothing? I own a temp staffing company; we do a lot with nursing, and the other half is banking, finance and real estate. It’s all about finding talented people in the New York–New Jersey area and putting them to work. I have the easy job—I have a great staff and great contractors representing us. But I wouldn’t say that’s the most exciting piece of me.
Then let’s cut to the chase. Well, I live in Tribeca in an awesome loft above Nobu, right on Hudson Street. I’m a Jersey boy, make no mistake, but I do live in Manhattan. But not a fist-pumping Jersey boy.
What do you think of the term bridge and tunnel? Meaningless to me. [Laughs] I make sure people know where I’m from. They’re like, “Aw, you’re a New Yorker now; Tribeca is so hot.” I’m like, “Take it easy, I’m all good.” I come from a blue-collar family. “Never forget your roots” is what I always say.
So you’re self-made? Yeah, I’m from nothing. My mom was a secretary; my dad was an insulator in the union in New York.
And what do they make of your lifestyle? Unfortunately, my dad breathed in asbestos and died of mesothelioma, cancer of the lining of the lungs, at 50 years old. It was terrible. It sucks. My dad has been dead 12 years. People ask where I get my energy, and I say I’m trying to live life for him. My family was all Italian union workers that weren’t college-educated. That’s what they did, and that was fine. A vacation for me growing up was going to the Jersey Shore. Now it’s the W in South Beach.
Does that get raised eyebrows from people at home? Yeah, no question. But it’s all good. Self-fulfillment is not enough for me. I have a place at the beach, and I get more excited when I have a friend and his wife and four kids take it for a week than me going down there. It’s never about the eyebrows or someone saying, “Oh look, Mike’s driving a Bentley” or “hopping on a private jet.” It’s when someone says, “Omigod, he’s so generous.” That’s what excites me more.
More from Michael
“I have a tremendous amount of money invested in Penn 6 across from Madison Square Garden.”
Chef Stephan Brezinsky (Pok Pok NY, the Third Man) pulls from a childhood filled with home-style Vietnamese cooking—his mother was a native of French-ruled Saigon—for this 65-seat Alphabet City spot. In the sleek space—set with black leather banquettes and a vinyl nook stocked with 45s spinning everything from Ramones to De La Soul—the chef-owner turns out dishes like sriracha-zipped beef tartare with crispy shallots, banana-leaf–grilled skate with charred daikon, and a modern take on thit kho tau (traditionally, marinated pork and boiled eggs), comprising wok-fired pork shoulder and pickled soy egg in a caramel fish sauce. At the granite-topped bar, find cocktails from Dear Irving drinksman Tom Richter, including a Negroni-riffing Nah Toi (sake, Cappelletti, Byrrh Grand Quinquina).
Venue says: “May 18, 6pm-9pm- Taste & learn about sake with Ryan Mellinger, Sake specialist from Joto Sake- $15 flight of 3 sakes or pairing dinner $65”
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