Photography by Trevor Smith

Lisa Mayock and Jeff Halmos

Designers, Monogram

| Clinton Hill

It didn’t take long before we were majorly crushing on Lisa Mayock and Jeff Halmos— and by “long,” we mean we were pretty much smitten as soon as we stepped inside the charismatic husband and wife’s Clinton Hill pad. Graphic, homemade wallpaper decorates the entrance (Mayock’s doing), their pet pug has his own illustrated self-portrait (FYI, it hangs just above his food bowl), and their living room is pure plant-filled, ceiling-swing-clad magic. Toss in tales of their supernal honeymoon through India, and now, their two beautiful boys (French named, Lucien and Pascal, of course), and we suddenly found new meaning in the phrase, “life goals.” Genuine design doyens, the CFDA-award-winning couple earned their fashion chops (and aforementioned awards) separately— Mayock launching former women’s wear label, Vena Cava, with fellow Parsons peer, Sophie Buhai; and Halmos co-founding menswear brands, Trovata and Shipley & Halmos, respectively. However, by what we like to call, “design intervention,” they’ve officially joined fashion forces with the debut of their graphic tee brand, Monogram. Inspired by vintage tees and influential artists like Herb Lubalin and Bob Gill, the made-in-LA shirts feature quippy phrases like, “Consenting Adults” and “Maximalism” alongside original, art-minded graphics. Fact: these are not your typical tucked-into-denim tees; the “Nudes” shirt alone bears MoMA-like art deserving of similarly elevated separates like cropped culottes, accordion skirts and, if you’re committed to channeling your inner “artiste,” even a beret (check out the styling on Monogram’s site if you’re skeptical). Indeed, printed tees have never looked so chic. Here, the couple sits down with CITIPHILE to reveal their little black book on NYC.

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: LM: Locanda Vini e Olii (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) which is just a few blocks from our house. I love that it’s on the bottom floor of a brownstone in a residential area— when we sit outside, there are usually children playing on the sidewalk out front. Having a glass of Montepulciano and the beef tagliata is my perfect meal.
JH:
This summer, we hit up Chilo’s (MAP IT, x) on Friday afternoons with a few friends. They have delicious slushy cocktails, a taco truck in the back, and it’s kid-friendly. 

COFFEE OR TEA: LM: Hands-down coffee. I loved Tilda— sadly, it recently closed.
JH: Coffee for me. Tilda was the best spot in our neighborhood! 

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: JH: Man, that’s a tough call! So many [places] come to mind. If I were to leave NYC, I’d probably miss the abundance of great pizza spots— it’s so easy to grab a delicious slice at any hour of the day. 

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: LM: I’m a tequila drinker— the “Le Tequila” cocktail from Le Turtle (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) is my new favorite.
JH: I’m definitely a Manhattan type of guy. I can’t say that I have a go-to spot. 

AFTER-WORK HAPPY HOUR: LM: Our backyard.
JH: With two young kids, our happy hours are usually in our backyard!

GROUP DINNER: LM: Roman’s (MAP IT, x) is always a crowd-pleaser, and there are plenty of [post-meal] bar options nearby if we’re not ready to head home quite yet.
JH: Speedy Romeo (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) is a few blocks away; they’re very kid-friendly and good for groups.

WHERE TO BRING OUT-OF-TOWNERS: LM: Again, Vini e Olii. It’s an old pharmacy and most of the original fixtures are still there. It’s just a great neighborhood spot.
JH: We love to take a walk from our place over to Colonia Verde (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) for dinner in their greenhouse room. It’s a pretty walk through the neighborhood, the restaurant is beautiful, and the food is great too!

MUSIC PICK: LM: It’s a mixed bag, but I love ‘80s metal and anything Phil Spector-y. I’m always asking the bartender what record is playing at Doris (MAP IT, x) (most likely to their annoyance); they also have a house Lambrusco which is my other drink of choice.
JH: Whenever I remember, I tune into Hot 97 on Thursday mornings for Throwback Thursday with Mr. Cee— lots of great ‘90s hip-hop.

BEST BRUNCH: LM: Our version of brunch is grabbing pastries to go— we usually eat them at the park or while walking around the flea market.
JH: On the weekends, we usually hit Lunitas (MAP IT, x)– it’s close to home and the owners are super nice. We can just sit and chill.

BEST PEOPLE WATCHING: LM: The subway— you can really see anything.
JH: Williamsburg— so many truly stylish people and others trying really (REALLY!) hard to be.

HEALTHY STAPLE: LM: Salads from Leafage (MAP IT, x). They’re really tasty and everything comes with a bag of free popcorn for post-lunch snacking.
JH: I don’t really have a go-to. 

GUILTY PLEASURE: LM: The bread pudding from Blue Ribbon (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) is one of the best desserts I’ve had in my life.
JH: The burger at Emily (MAP IT, BOOK ITx). You have to get there early since they sell out, but man, is it good. 

NY’S BEST-KEPT SECRET: LM: The sculpture gardens at Pratt Institute (MAP IT, x)— the best place for a meandering stroll and a chat.

FIRST THING I MISS WHEN I’M AWAY: LM: The convenience. I love having the option to go out and get red grapes in the middle of the night if I wanted to.
JH: Slow weekends around the neighborhood, walking to get breakfast, hanging in the park with my sister and her wife, and just being lazy. 

REGULAR AT: LM:  Speedy Romeo for pizza. It’s one of the few places with truly delicious food that has something to please everyone— whether you’re 8 or 80.
JH: On the way to the train on weekdays, I usually get coffee and something to eat at Clementine (MAP IT, x). They recently expanded to a larger space too. 

DATE NIGHT STANDBY: LM: Colonia Verde is a recent discovery— excellent drinks, great steak and the back room is completely lit by candles.
JH: We usually go to Roman’s in Fort Greene— the food and wine are always on point.

DELIVERY GO-TO: LM: The bibimbap and soba from Cafe 232 (MAP IT, x).
JH: We like to get delivery from Istanbul Park (MAP IT, x). I’ve never been [there] in person so I have no clue if it’s nice or where it even is, but the food is solid!

TO SEE AND BE SEEN: LM: The playground at Fort Greene Park (MAP ITx) on a Saturday morning.
JH: SoHo during NYFW.

TO RELAX AND UNWIND: LM: The promenade at Brooklyn Bridge Park (MAP IT, x)— being able to see a large body of water feels instantly soothing [to me].
JH: Prospect Park (MAP IT, x).

TO GET INSPIRED: LM: The libraries at Parsons (MAP IT, x) and FIT (MAP IT, x), and flea markets for diving into piles of old magazines and memorabilia.
JH: Printed Matter in Chelsea (MAP IT, x).

GO-TO GETAWAY: LM: The Russian and Turkish Baths on 10th Street (MAP IT, x).
JH: I’m looking forward to my annual guys trip to Steamboat, Colorado. My pal, Colin at Carl’s Tavern (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) takes care of us and makes a great Moscow Mule!

AUTUMN IN THE CITY: JH: It’s my favorite time of year in NYC for sure. It doesn’t get any better than sitting outside drinking coffee in our backyard in the mornings. The same can be said about a glass of wine or a cocktail once the kids are in bed at night!

CLOSET CHECK: LM: I’m a big vintage fan— I’d say 80% of my wardrobe has been pre-loved by someone else. I especially love Amarcord (MAP IT, x), Horizons (MAP IT, x), Vintedge (MAP IT, x) and Marlene Wetherell (MAP IT, x).
JH: I’m a creature of habit.  I wear the same thing over and over— always jeans (various shades of blue), sneakers (white), and plain colored t-shirts or woven shirts. I also really hate shopping for new clothes so when I do take the time to go into a dressing room, I usually end up buying a whole bunch [of stuff] at a time so I don’t have to do it again for a while!

BEST HOME DÉCOR: LM: Our interior style is graphic, colorful and left of center. I’ve had really good luck at Housing Works (MAP IT, x) and the Brooklyn Flea (MAP IT, x), and I also really like The Future Perfect (MAP IT, x). Our secret is a great upholsterer called DAS Upholstery in Ditmas Park (MAP IT, x)– our interior designer buddy turned us on to it.
JH: We’ve filled our home with objects from all over the place. In our living room alone, there are pieces we purchased while in Massachusetts (Brimfield!), Atlanta, San Francisco, LA, Florida, here in Brooklyn, Istanbul (long story!), and from eBay.

BEST HOST/HOSTESS GIFTS: LM: Muji (MAP IT, x). I’d be hard-pressed to find a friend who didn’t like their extra petite notebooks or rainbow colored pens.
JH: We usually bring a bottle of wine or perhaps a candle from DS & Durga (MAP ITx). 

BEAUTY/GROOMING BLACK BOOK: LM: David Greenhouse’s massages at Greenhouse Holistic (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) are phenomenal.
JH: Nick and the boys at No Club Barbershop (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) keep my hair lookin’ right!

FIT PICK: LM: Rebecca Navarro (x) for personal training. I need to get back on the wagon after recently having a baby, but I adore her.
JH: We go to our local YMCA in Bed-Stuy (MAP IT, x), and I also take private pilates classes with an old friend of mine who has been an instructor for years.

ULTIMATE NY MOMENT: LM: Oh, yes. There are two that come to mind— neither of which are fit to print….
JH: When I used to live in SoHo, I was walking the dog early one morning paying very little attention to who was around me. I was on Lafayette near Kenmare, and no one else was on the street so it was dead quiet. All of a sudden, this guy comes around the corner and starts walking toward me.  He looked really lost and confused, or maybe, just deep in thought. As I walked by him, I noticed it was Larry David— I had to look around to see if I was on the set of Curb Your Enthusiasm! CP

Lisa & Jeff’s New York

From L to R: First Row: Pasta at Vini e Olii; Morning treats from Tilda; Comic book from Printed Matter; The garden at Colonia Verde. Second Row: Ceramics at The Future Perfect; Amarcord Vintage; Pizza at Speedy Romeo's; Cocktail from Le Turtle.

From L to R: First Row: Pasta at Vini e Olii; Morning treats from Tilda; Comic book from Printed Matter; The garden at Colonia Verde. Second Row: Ceramics at The Future Perfect; Amarcord Vintage; Pizza at Speedy Romeo’s; Cocktail from Le Turtle.

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