‘Locals Only’ features notable New Yorkers, innovators and friends of CORE and their chosen neighborhoods. We hope to share the magic and uniqueness of New York City’s local areas through the eyes of those who know it best.
Jessica Robinson, a longtime resident of Midtown, is a director, writer and the former head of Robinson Creative Services, a media agency specializing in marketing strategies and interactive campaigns for such clients as Citibank, the Smithsonian and Conde Nast. In 2013 she transitioned out of marketing to begin production on her latest film. Currently working on The Man on the Fifth Floor, a story of a New York that no longer exists and told through the lens of one of the last remaining artist tenants in the Chelsea Hotel, Jessica hopes to share New York’s unique history one film at a time.
Why did you choose to live in Midtown?
I chose the neighborhood because (as Metternich said of Italy) it’s not so much a neighborhood, but a “geographical expression”. It’s filled with museums, restaurants and music.
Tell us your 3 neighborhood haunts.
Eric Kayser for bread, the new Lincoln Center and the garden at Fordham. It’s just next door (but don’t tell anyone or it may close!). And a fourth for good measure: I like the farmer who comes on 9th Avenue between 56th and 57th Street on Wednesdays and Sunday. He has the best produce!
What’s your favorite street in your neighborhood?
It’s hard to pick a favorite in my area, but I guess my favorite streets would be those in mid the 50s between 8th and 9th Avenues. The area is filled with independent shops, a variety of excellent ethnic restaurants and is in close proximity to the theatres. Though my very favorite street is West 52nd Street for ToTTo Ramen (expect to wait for a table, but well worth it!) and next door is Danji, the best Korean restaurant — ever!
What do you value here that other neighborhoods don’t have?
What I most value is Carnegie Hall and Central Park! They’re iconic for a reason.
What’s one thing that most people don’t know about your neighborhood?
Lincoln Center got its name from Abraham Lincoln (or did it?). Actually, it was originally called Lincoln Square, though of course there was Lincoln Kirstein, who was the director of Lincoln Center and founder of the New York City Ballet. So who of you readers knows the real answer?