Photography by Trevor Smith

Andi Potamkin

Art Curator | Founder, Le Mise

| Williamsburg

Where-the-Wild-Things-Are-like furry ottomans, a marble-printed arm chair and art as far as the eye can see, Andi Potamkin’s Brooklyn home isn’t short on personality— and yet, it’s as effortless as it is curated, as precious as it is eccentric. Only Andi Potamkin. The Broadway-actor-turned-art-curator is one of those captivating spirits that just seems to make it all work— think hosting a wedding in the middle of the Utah desert, trading in her brunette locks for silver ones and convincing a prominent New York art dealer (Steven Kasher) to open a gallery with her then-just-25-year-old self. Again, only Potamkin. A master at identifying fine art in the quotidian, she now curates independent international art shows as well as personal collections under the umbrella of Le Mise, her Brooklyn-based art and design firm. And then, of course, there’s her Chelsea hair salon/art gallery, Three Squares Studio: a joint project with her husband and hair extraordinaire, Jordan Blackmore. Blackmore oversees all aspects of the salon while Potamkin handles its rotating art display. (Naturally.) Here, Potamkin sits down with CITIPHILE to reveal her little black book on NYC.

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: Café Mogador (MAP IT, x) has the best Mediterranean food and super cool vibes. I like to sit in the back garden where you can see them working the tandoori oven. The restaurant is fun and lively, but not too loud or overwhelming which is why it’s a perfect place to go with a group of girlfriends or for a fun date night. I get the cardamom yogurt chicken (which is off the menu and so good). My favorite waitress told me about it so I call it “Selena’s chicken.”

COFFEE OR TEA: I recently discovered this little tea shop called Puerh Brooklyn (MAP IT, x). They carry exquisite teas and tea wares from China, Japan, India and Taiwan. I took my sister-in-law for a tea ceremony and meditation when she visited last month. The shop also does classes and workshops on everything about tea.

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: ABC Kitchen (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x). The food is seasonal and locally sourced, and the presentation is always gorgeous. The décor is dreamy, of course, because the restaurant is in the ground floor of ABC Carpet and Home, mecca of home shopping (MAP IT, x). Whatever you order, it’s going to be fantastic, but make sure not to miss the salted caramel sundae at the end— it’s to die for.

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: Mezcal with a matching pour of fresh lime-juice and a small bottle of sparkling water to mix in myself… It’s kind of an odd order, but it’s clean and delicious. Videology (MAP IT, x) is our favorite spot for a good drink and cool vibes. It used to be our local movie store, but now has a bar where they serve awesome popcorn and show old black-and-white footage of The Beatles while playing Jack White on the speakers. There is a sweet little screening room in the back where they play cult classic films and tv shows. It’s so cool. 

LADIES LUNCH: Il Buco Alimentari (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x)— great Italian food and a very cool European feel. It’s perfect for birthday dinners or a work lunch with girlfriends. If I’m having dinner with my father though, I’ll go to the original Il Buco (MAP IT, BOOK ITx) one block away and ask for a table upstairs. My dad is old-school (like an Italian politician) and it’s more his vibe there.

AFTER-WORK HAPPY HOUR: Usually, it takes place at my apartment. I’m most comfortable at home and, sometimes, after a long day of work, we just don’t want to see anybody else. If I’m meeting girlfriends in the city, I like the back garden at The Bowery Hotel (MAP IT, x) or the library in The NoMad Hotel (MAP IT, x).

MUSIC PICK: Oof— I am so not the right person to ask this. You should ask my friend Recho Omondi [designer of OMONDI]. She’s much better than I at this subject.

BEST BRUNCH: Colette (MAP IT, BOOK ITx) is very cozy with an old-bar feel and they have a sweet garden in the back. The kale and white bean stew is incredible.

BEST PEOPLE WATCHING: At a museum, any museum. I love to watch people having an interaction with art, especially children.

HEALTHY STAPLE: I pop by Dépanneur (MAP IT, x), the adorable grocery store around the corner from our apartment. They have a plethora of local, artisanal and specialty items and the soup of the day is always really good.

GUILTY PLEASURE: If we are having a really guilty pleasure day, we will order Momofuku Milkbar (MAP IT, x) cake balls. They are super dense and pretty much as indulgent as it gets. Our wedding cake was by Milkbar; we like it that much.

FIRST THING I MISS WHEN I’M AWAY: The access to culture.

REGULAR AT: Our neighborhood bakery, Bakeri (MAP IT, x), makes everything from scratch every morning. The bread there is out of this world. All the girls who work there wear matching blue jumpsuits and they are all very serious. They only take cash and it’s kind of intimidatingly hip, but none of that matters because the baked goods are just incredible.

DATE NIGHT STANDBY: Omen a Zen in SoHo (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x). The restaurant is Japanese understated— minimal décor and the most delicious, simple, Kyoto-style food (ramen, udon, sashimi… It’s not a sushi place). The vibe is quiet and super intimate, the perfect place to have a long, uninterrupted conversation. We’ve been going there for romantic evenings since we first moved to the city.

DELIVERY GO-TO: Oh goodness, Postmates and Seamless make it so easy to not leave home… I’m always placing orders from Juice Press (MAP IT, x) and Hu Kitchen (MAP IT, x)— healthy things to have around the house.

TO SEE AND BE SEEN: Catch in the Meatpacking District (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) is a fun, swanky evening. The crowd is filled with the most beautiful people and the lighting is perfect. I cannot express the importance of good lighting— it makes or breaks a dinner spot for me. The food is consistently fantastic so I get whatever Eugene (the owner) suggests. I trust him completely.

TO ESCAPE AND UNWIND: We recently closed on an 80-acre plot of land in upstate New York so we will be going there to escape and unwind as often as possible.

TO GET INSPIRED: I hop on a bike. You can see so much of the city, and in a very different way than by car or by foot. Plus, if something peaks your interest, you can just hop off the bike and walk on in.

ARTIST TO WATCH: Olivia Locher (x) is one to watch. She shoots Fashion Week portraits and backstage for W Magazine, and her photographs always happen to be my favorites. Additionally, she does personal projects like her recent I Fought the Law series, which is a play on absurd laws from different states. Her work has a fresh, youthful optimism that brightens up a whole room.

ALL-TIME FAVORITE ARTIST: Damn, this is such a hard question… Bacon, Baldessari, Basquiat, Bourgeouis, Burri… And that’s just B!

WHEN IT COMES TO ART, EVERYONE NEEDS AT LEAST: only a set of eyes and a point of view.

COLLECT YOUR OWN: Anja Niemi just had an exhibit up at the Burning in Water gallery (MAP IT, x); I’m in love with her work. Her photographs are dreamy and feminine with just a touch of quirky dark humor, and her work is a stealthe prices are really fair. Full disclosure, I worked on the show, but I say all this nonetheless in an unbiased way. I personally bought a piece from the show so I literally put my money where my mouth is.

GO-TO GETAWAY: We spent our honeymoon driving up Big Sur and have fallen in love with the West Coast. We have a little beach house out in Malibu and it’s the perfect getaway for us. It’s a world away from New York, but I have the pillowcases and vegan protein that I like.

CLOSET CHECK: I’m a luxurious minimalist. I like clothing that is well-made and that feels as though it was respected in the making of the piece. I care a lot about fabric: the texture and feel of clothing. And cut is of utmost importance. If a woman knows how to dress for her body and how to play with proportion, she can be kind of like a magician. Oroboro (MAP IT, x) clothing carries chic, but wearable clothing from up-and-coming lines like Creatures of ComfortRyan Roche and Lauren Manoogian. I got the super sweet knit leisure suit I’m wearing in the portrait from this store.

BEST HOST/HOSTESS GIFTS: Beam Brooklyn (MAP IT, x) is an exquisitely curated shop for home goods and small design objects. I often stop in to find little treasures for my house and they always have a gift for the hard-to-please friend or hostess who has it all. The owner, Greg has exceptional taste (and his dog is super cute.) Also, I like Mociun (MAP IT, x), an airy store with charming ceramics (bowl, pitchers, mugs and such) from local artisans as well as a delicate jewelry and yummy apothecary products. For my friends with kids, there is nowhere cuter than Sweet William (MAP ITx)— it’s in Silver Lake, but you can shop online… that store sometimes makes me wish I had children.

BEAUTY BLACK BOOK: Lynnette Hernden (x) at Three Squares Studio (MAP IT, x)! She recently colored my hair silver and I am obsessed with it; Lynnette is a genius. In my neighborhood, I go to Primp and Polish (MAP IT, x) for nails, but I’m not telling who I go to because she is always booked up already anyway… I’m sorry.

FIT PICK: I practice yoga pretty frequently— four or five times per week. In Williamsburg: Kula Yoga (MAP IT, x), Y7 (MAP IT, x) and Modo (MAP IT, x). In Manhattan: Yoga Vida in NoHo (MAP IT, x).

ULTIMATE NY MOMENT: My girlfriends threw me a bachelorette party at Sunday Suppers (MAP IT, x), which was the quintessential Brooklyn experience: only a few blocks away from my apartment, I found myself at what looked to be a giant abandoned, but somehow still very cool-looking building. I buzzed in and entered an old elevator with the open metal door that you have to close yourself. A few floors up, the elevator opened to a sprawling white loft, immaculately clean and shiny, like the kind of place Anne Hathaway would work at in a movie. One full wall was a massive kitchen and the wall beside it was all windows with a sunset view of the Manhattan skyline. It was really magical. We took a cooking class and drank a lot of wine and laughed and made speeches all night. It was the best. CP

Andi’s New York

Andi Potamkin

From L to R: First Row: Olivia Locher; Cake balls from MilkBar; A spread at Café Mogador; Mociun. Second Row: Roasted gnocchi at Il Buco; Beam Brooklyn; View from the East River Ferry; Y7 Yoga.


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