Photography by Trevor Smith

Cass Bird


| Leffert's Garden

Hip-hop blaring, spirits up and some fancy footwork, our recent shoot with Cass Bird had all the makings of an ideal precursor to a night out— if only it weren’t 10 am. But, so it goes with Bird— the Los Angeles-raised, New York-based photographer has a soul that’s real, raw and magnetic. She’s the sort of beautiful person who makes everyone that crosses her path feel “seen”— it’s no wonder her photos are colored by an inherent exuberance and spontaneity. Take, for example, her light-speckled, beachside portrait of Daria Werbowy for T Magazine— practically a modern-day “Starry Night”— which now (quite fittingly) hangs above her family fireplace. It espouses that Bird-joie de vivre we’re pretty sure she, her wife, Ali and their two kids, Leo and Mae put out into the universe daily. Her work lives in big-ticket titles like The New Yorker and Vogue, in museums as esteemed as The Brooklyn Museum and The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, in films with leading ladies Salma Hayek and Cate Blanchett (Bird directed them), and yet, she’s still the chick we’d want next to us if ever we were to be stranded on a deserted island: undazed, unfazed and just plain, honest-to-goodness cool. Here, Bird sits down with CITIPHILE to reveal her little black book on NYC.

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: Our kitchen is our go-to Brooklyn spot. Taco night with our friends is our favorite.

COFFEE OR TEA: Coffee at home in bed, hand delivered by Ali Bird every morning— best barista in bed.

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: Cafe Mogador in the East Village (MAP IT, x). Order all of the appetizers!

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: A Shirley Temple with Bramble Trionfo [Creative Director of The Thick].

POWER LUNCH: ABC Kitchen (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x), a stone’s throw away from my studio.

MUSIC PICK: Hip-hop. I’d have to say Nicole Winhoffer (MAP IT, BOOK ITx) has the best playlist in town.


HEALTHY STAPLE: Eataly (MAP IT, x) for something vegetarian.

GUILTY PLEASURE: Momofuku Noodle Bar (MAP IT, x).


REGULAR AT: The sushi bar at The Lobster Place in Chelsea Market (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x).

DATE NIGHT STANDBY: Friday night therapy, then Prune (MAP IT x). All of the waitstaff wears pink and it’s owned by lesbians. When you say “prune,” it highlights your cheekbones.

KID-FRIENDLY STAPLE: LeFrak Center at Lakeside in Prospect Park (MAP IT, x) for roller skating.

TO SEE AND BE SEEN: Instagram, from the privacy of my own bedroom.

TO ESCAPE AND UNWIND: Shibui Spa at The Greenwich Hotel (MAP IT, x).




GO-TO GETAWAY: Hotel Il Pellicano (MAP IT, BOOK ITx).

CLOSET CHECK: My style is much more feminine than you would think.

BEST HOME DÉCOR: Our interior style is Josep Frank-meets-Art Deco-meets-sweatpants. I love The Apartment by the Line (MAP IT, x); I love the Henri Cartier-Bresson photograph and beautiful table lamp we have.

BEST HOST/HOSTESS GIFTS: There is an amazing place in the East Village called Cookbooks (MAP IT, x)— a woman named Bonnie runs it and it’s a tiny store with antique cookbooks, vintage dinnerware, old matchbooks… it’s incredible for a truly unique host or hostess gift.

BEAUTY BLACK BOOK: Tracie Martyn Salon (MAP ITx) for a great facial.

FIT PICK: The NW Method by Nicole Winhoffer.

ULTIMATE NY MOMENT: Shooting Jay-Z at the Barclays Center while it was still under construction. CP

Cass’s New York

From L to R; First Row; Ramen at Momofuko Noodle Bar; Pool at

From L to R; First Row: Ramen at Momofuku Noodle Bar; Shibui Spa; Lasagne at Eataly; Shirley Temple at Prune; Second Row: Sushi at The Lobster Place, Chelsea Market; Coffee at home; ABC Kitchen; Brunch at Café Mogador.


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