On one of those winter days posing as spring, I meet Fast Company‘s senior editor Jason Feifer in Brooklyn Bridge Park. His wife is teaching a class at home around the corner in Brooklyn Heights, so he has time to kill—something that doesn’t come naturally to Jason. (“Fair warning,” he wrote to me. “I’m a New Yorker who doesn’t really like to slow down.”) Yet someone who is this busy—he constantly tweets at @heyfeifer, he profiles celebrities (Shaq, Matt Damon, Chris Pines, Kristin Chenoweth), he leaves the office and keeps on writing for Destination Weddings or Men’s Health—has got to punch out, have a Kit Kat, and relax once in a while, even if Fast is written on his business card. I wanted to find out what he did for fun in and around the city.
Jason’s Top 6 Favorite Mobile Apps
NBA Game Time
We sit cross-legged on the grass, the shiny skyline at the tip of our noses. “New York is where everything is to me,” says the former Bostonian/Floridian. I nod and wonder if this talented guy is going to drop any cool travel tips or just wax poetic like Woody Allen in Manhattan.
I slurp down the rest of my iced latte. “So, any favorite spots in Brooklyn?” I ask nicely. And his words start to come out, fast.
“I love that there are never any lines at Brooklyn restaurants—and they’re not as loud. One of my favorite bars in Brooklyn is Boat.” He tells me there is no sign out front and the beer at this sweet local dive is good and cheap. He recommends the Atlantic Chip Shop for watching British soccer and eating fish and chips. Go to Floyd, he says, for affordable drinks and a game of Bocce Ball.
“Mocha Hookah is an amazing amalgamation of random goodness—a hookah bar full of comfortable seating and Middle Eastern guys playing cards, a gelato shop, a breakfast joint, a bar, a Middle Eastern restaurant… and it’s open 24 hours, meaning if you want to get your falafel-with-some-apple-hookah on after the bars close, you can. I don’t know if you’d actually want to, but you can. And that’s what New York is all about.”
I ask where he goes outside Brooklyn. “I like to take the PATH to Red Bull Stadium in Jersey City. You can get great cheap seats close to the field.” (The team is hot off a win too.)
As for way outside New York City, Jason is teeming with Boston tips. Want Boston Cream Pie and a taste of old world beauty? Go to Omni Parker House. Craving pizza and ice cream? Picco is the spot. Want something fun, funky and a little expensive? Myers + Chang. Already craving a hot dog? Jason visits Spikes on every trip back to Boston for the 57 T-Bird veggie dog. Ready for a cultural activity? Head to the Institute of Contemporary Art in the Seaport District.
The senior editor of the magazine “where ideas and people meet” insists he doesn’t carry around maxims but obliges this author’s request for the best piece of advice he’s ever been given. “When I graduated from college and was trying to figure out how to make it in journalism, I decided I wanted to be a newspaper columnist, and emailed Boston Globe metro columnist Brian McGrory to ask how he got his job. He wrote me a very nice reply, explaining that it was a rather circuitous route—he’d worked a number of high-profile gigs at the newspaper as a straight-up reporter, before being offered the plum posting. Instead of focusing on the end goal, he said, focus on the foundations that you build a journalism career on—writing voice and hustle and reporting chops—and the rest will take care of itself. Which was very true: I’ve changed my mind many times about what I ultimately want to do in this business, but the fundamentals allow me to find my own way.”
And because being a good writer and fierce recycler just isn’t enough these days, Jason also happens to have dexterous doodling abilities. (Check out his latest drawing in Fast Co.) We agreed he should create something for this story too, so he did.
(Click on the infographic to view a larger version.)
View Jason Feifer’s Favorite Places Around NYC in a larger map