I consider myself a New Yorker even though I now reside in Los Angeles and was born in Pennsylvania. I lived in NYC for eight years and got my start in journalism at a (now deceased) quarterly art mag. I went on to work at Time Out New York and Lucky magazine, and founded Racked in 2007.
Hometown: Pottstown, Pa
What kind of kid were you?
Really stubborn and I'm sure exhausting. I looked like a boy for most of it thanks to some unfortunate haircuts. I also went through a phase in middle school where I only wore sweatpants for like a year.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
My mom says that my first professed career was to be "a mom," but I think she's just trying to work whatever angle she's got to get grandchildren. I found a book from elementary school in which I said I want to be a writer, so that came true. I probably imagined it to be really glamorous (aka not blogging).
I've had a lot of bad jobs but the high school summer I spent working for a chicken joint in my very small PA town has to rank among the worst. They did what can only loosely be called catering. The worst part of the whole thing was that, for some reason, the owners wouldn't want to clean the van full of dirty dishes when we came back from a gig. They'd leave it to fester overnight and sometimes over a few days in the heat before we were tasked with cleaning it out. The smell was indescribable.
Exercise--can you tell that I'm trying to fully immerse myself in the LA lifestyle? I didn't really care about it that much when I lived in NYC because I walked so much and also lived in a sixth floor walkup. I panicked when I moved here because I sit so much. I am a recent spinning convert and have started taking dance classes, which I am hilariously bad at.
In LA: Shareen's Downtown vintage warehouse. Roseark is near my house and is pretty spectacular. Satine for browsing. Steven Alan on Abbot Kinney, where I've been eyeing a pair of Acne jeans for the past four months. In New York: Comptoir des Cotonniers (the location on Bleecker in the West Village). If I won the lottery I would go to Barneys on Madison and binge like a nutcase. ABC Carpet is a great way to spend an afternoon.
I've always wanted to go to Vietnam to ride bikes and eat at roadside stands. Also, I've never been to Spain which is embarrassing. My friend who has traveled there a lot was telling me about this tapas place where they give you a whole bottle of Cava with each snack (I mean!). There are lots of places.
What do you love most about your home?
First of all, having a home instead of an apartment. It feels like such a luxury after years of wedging myself into comically tiny spaces. The kitchen might be the best part, or the bathroom which has this pristine white tile that my dog loves to shed all over. It's a guest house, so we're insulated from street noise. It's just really peaceful and quiet.
Most embarrassing fashion faux pas?
See aforementioned year of sweatpants.
Keep reading to meet the enchanting Gabriela Artigas, designer of Leslie's favorite necklace and black diamond ring