By Veena Murali
Stern professors are some of the most vibrant and intelligent individuals that Stern students know. But students can be quick to inhibit professors’ roles as humans with actual interests and passions and see them simply as grading machines. Stern professors, like Stern students, have favorite restaurants and foods, things to do, and places around both NYU and New York City. Some of them have chosen to share those favorites.
Dean Menon, the cheerleader and Dean of Stern’s Undergraduate College, has a taste for various cultural cuisines around NYU and the city. She feels that NY Dosa, a famous cart serving vegan Indian crepes in Washington Square Park, “brings the magic of Washington Square to your dining experience.” Her favorite restaurant in New York City is SriPaPhai, an authentic and home-y Thai restaurant in Queens. Dean Menon also shared that one of her favorite things to do in New York City is take in the smells of produce, baked goods, and flowers floating through the Union Square Farmers’ Market. She also “loves walks by the water in Battery Park,” as the “area is vibrant, scenic, and calm-inducing.” Dean Menon exclaims that “there is no dearth of things to do” in NYC and hopes NYU students check out some of her recommendations.
Business and Society professor Maria Patterson has lived in New York City for over thirty years, which has drawn her to more reliable and classic restaurants than flashy new joints. In her opinion, 107 West offers “excellent, excellent” fried chicken that is by far the best in the city. Being a North Carolina native, Professor Patterson knows her fried chicken. She also enjoys dining at Bohemian Spirit, a Czech restaurant located in an area with heavy Eastern European culture that serves “potato dumplings that are to die for!” Professor Patterson encourages all students to explore some of the lesser-known museums in New York City. Her favorites include The Cloisters, The Museum of African Art, and Grey Art Gallery, which all have special and unique collections with rich histories and backgrounds. One of her favorite parks in the city is Fort Tyron Park, as it provides a lovely setting and spectacular views of the Hudson. Overall, Professor Patterson believes strongly that all students should get out and enjoy all that New York City has to offer.
Professor Sonia Marciano, who teaches Strategic Analysis, shared her attraction to small-scale entertainment in New York City and the many restaurants around the Village. She says Minetta Tavern, an old-fashioned American restaurant, has some of “the best burgers and the best souffles” you can find. Another one of her favorites is Gemma, where she usually orders eggs and bacon. She believes it serves the best breakfast in New York City. Professor Marciano is also an avid audience member of plays by the Manhattan Theatre Club. She also recommends students check out parlor magic. One of her favorite chamber magic shows was by Steve Coen, and she recounts the experience as “really fun and [an] excellent under the radar thing to do.” Professor Marciano is inspired by the various skills that are taught in New York City; she has even taken a glassblowing class before and hopes students take advantages of all the opportunities to pick up quirky and unique hobbies.
Dean Ashish Bhatia, an NYU Stern alumnus himself, talked to us about his favorite hotspots during his student years and now. He was a big fan of Mamoun’s, popular among college students for its affordable and delicious Middle Eastern fare. Nowadays, while he mostly eats salads for lunch, he likes to mix things up sometimes with the spicy Pad See Ew special at Kiin Thai. In Jersey City, he loves pizza from Razza, which was coincidentally rated the best New York City pizza by The New York Times (despite being in New Jersey). Some of his favorite things to do in the city are enjoy the views of Manhattan from Brooklyn Promenade and Liberty State Park. Assistant Dean Bhatia claims his camera roll is filled with pictures from these places. His advice to students is that they “need to get out of Manhattan” and appreciate other areas of New York, and always be grateful for the 24-hour access to food available throughout the city.
The members of Stern’s faculty and administration all have different interests when it comes to restaurants, places, and things to do. However, they all share one common sentiment: they know they are living in the best city in the world.