Photography by Meredith Jenks

Natalie Joos

Casting Director | Writer

| Williamsburg

Originally from Belgium, Natalie Joos approaches dressing the European way— vibrantly and creatively, always with a boldness or drama. She’ll be in bubble gum pink see-through chiffon one day and a vintage basketball jersey the next (Joos may be fashion’s ultimate chameleon) making her a regular subject of street style photographers like Scott Schuman and Phil Oh. On the professional side, she has a knack for finding industry superstars (even before they’re famous), working alongside photo legends like Mario Sorrenti and Ellen von Unwerth, as well as casting leggy runway beauties for designers like Helmut Lang, Phillip Lim and Yigal Azrouel. She’s also the inimitable voice behind Tales of Endearment, her vintage-savvy fashion blog. Here, Joos sits down with CITIPHILE to reveal her little black book on NYC.

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: I live in Williamsburg, so there is really no need for me to go anywhere else. We have the best restaurants, amazing coffee places, wine bars and cocktail spots. In a one-block radius from my house, I can eat Uruguayan beef and tuna empanadas at Tabaré (MAP IT, x), fries and oysters at Walter Foods (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x), have cocktails downstairs at Rye (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x), take dates to the Custom American Wine Bar (MAP IT, x) and watch movies at Williamsburg Cinemas (MAP IT).

COFFEE OR TEA: Coffee at Black Brick on Bedford Avenue (MAP IT, x). Their coffee isn’t the only reason I go there— it’s a very cozy spot with friendly service. They used to store my almond milk in the fridge so I wouldn’t have to go home with my cup each time! This summer, they started serving their own almond milk though so I’m set.

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: I love the miso cod at Indochine (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x). I have always enjoyed the flavors and ambience there. You can’t go wrong.

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: Anything that is sweet really; I couldn’t name a favorite. My go-to is probably a sugar-free mojito or something with elderflower liquor. Hotel Delmano (MAP IT, x) is great for cocktails!

GIRL’S NIGHT OUT: Wherever the boys are… where are they?

HEALTHY STAPLE: Whole Foods (MAP IT) or any sushi place. I’ll get a brown rice roll and some sashimi.

GUILTY PLEASURE: I love sugar and salt, but I have quite a restricted diet. Luckily, I can eat potatoes so I stuff myself with chips and fries as often as I can. As a Belgian, I also love chocolate, but nowadays it has to be dark.

FIRST THING I MISS WHEN I’M AWAY: The iced almond milk lattes and rice cakes I eat daily.

REGULAR AT: Tabaré, Black Brick, Clay Gym (MAP IT, x), SoHo House (MAP IT, x), and all of the vintage stores in the city! I am a creature of habit and I am super loyal— when I commit, you have me for life… unless you disgracefully disappoint me, twice (like my exes have). I have been with the same bank for 12 years, with the same phone company, I only fly United, I’ve lived in my apartment for 13 years… extremely loyal. Once I find something good, I stick to it because I think it’s beneficial for both parties: my rent is cheap, I am Gold Star Alliance member, etc. I love the perks and the thank you’s!

DATE NIGHT STANDBY: Downstairs at Rye is cool for cocktails and Custom American Wine Bar on the corner of Driggs and Metropolitan Avenue. If you feel like the date is going well, you can order food at either and keep chatting!

DELIVERY GO-TO: I only order from Sumo on Havemeyer Street (MAP IT, ORDER IT, x).

CLOSET CHECK: My style is feminine, eclectic and fun. I love all of the big stores like Opening Ceremony (MAP IT, x), Barneys (MAP IT, x) and Bergdorf Goodman (MAP IT, x). I don’t shop often, but when I do, I want it all done at once. When I feel like being inspired, I go vintage shopping— it’s my therapy. As soon as I see all the colors and prints, I get excited. I love finding the treasure— I never shop for anything in particular; I just want to find the piece that will make me feel proud and unique. Great shops/markets are Stella Dallas (MAP IT, x), Amarcord (MAP IT, x), Artists & Fleas (MAP IT, x) and the Chelsea Flea Market (MAP IT, x).

BEAUTY BLACK BOOK: Lena Ott (x) does my color. She just opened her own salon, Suite Caroline (MAP IT, x), on Greene Street. She’s a genius.

ULTIMATE NY MOMENT: My greatest New York moment happened a few years ago. I had just left a party (it must have been around 2 am) and headed home in a taxi. The driver was young and had great tunes so I started singing along. He was also a great driver (fast and efficient) so I complimented him on both his driving and his musical choices. He told me it was a brand new taxi, from that year and that he was very happy with it. I cheered every time he accelerated. Then he asked me, “do u want to drive my car?” I couldn’t believe my ears. We switched seats and he let me drive myself home across the Williamsburg Bridge! It was so exhilarating… Great music, fast car, cool dude. New York is the best! CP

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