“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.
Raised in Hawaii and a graduate of Stanford University, Manhattan-based designer Noa Santos quickly built a reputation for tailor-made ‘couture spaces’ for the young and stylish, garnering features in NBC’s Open House, New York Magazine, Architectural Record and the New York Observer. In late 2012, Noa joined forces with a former client and now co-founder Will Nathan to create Homepolish – a new breed of design firm making the luxury of a personal interior designer accessible, simple and transparent. With over 250 designers, thousands of homes and offices in 10 cities across the country, Homepolish is committed to changing the way people live one space at a time.
Why did you choose to live in Midtown?
Ross (my partner) and I love to move. Actually, I love to move, because I love to redecorate every time I do. I sort of drag Ross along with me. Our last place was in Gramercy which we loved but we wanted to experience the youthfulness of Hell’s Kitchen at least once. From parties at the Paramount to parties in our own apartment, we thought it would be fun to engage in the excitement.
Tell us your 3 neighborhood haunts.
Danji. Modern Korean food. Need I say more? Pretty Ugly. It’s one of the newest gay Saturday night events in the Queen of the Night space. Great dancing if you’re up late. And Therapy on Wednesday nights at 11pm. Our friend Patrick Kuzara hosts a drag event called The Help which is probably the best free entertainment (though I’d pay for it) I’ve seen in a long time.
What’s your favorite street in your neighborhood?
I like 46th street between 8th and 9th. It’s got a good amount of charm even though it’s close to Times Square and it also has Sushi of Gari which is delicious.
What do you value here that other neighborhoods don’t have?
I’ve always loved New York because it never stops. I don’t think I would have been able to start a company like Homepolish if it weren’t for that kind of energy. And there’s no place where that’s more apparent than Times Square. Sometimes it can be a bit much but other times I walk through it and realize just how lucky I am.
What’s one thing that most people don’t know about your neighborhood?
9th Avenue has some really fantastic food. Maybe lots of people know this but I didn’t before I moved here.