Laura Cooper Brown

New York
Laura Cooper Brown

New York must-do: When I was a visitor I always made a point of going to the little-dog run in Tompkins Square Park. It's ridiculously cute, especially around Halloween when the dogs are all dressed up in their special outfits. My favorite of ‘09: a hot-pink punk Chihuahua.

Off-duty escape: Williamsburg, Brooklyn. My usual route includes stopping by the lovely antique store Luddite down on Broadway and having coffee at Bakeri (they have turtles in their garden pond). I normally brunch at Diner (their burger is the ultimate hangover cure). It's housed in an original 1920's diner and serves delicious seasonal food.

Best time to visit: The turn of Spring. Just when you think you can't take another New York winter day, Spring suddenly appears and everything changes — the mood shift is visible.

Favorite New Yorker: There’s an amazing-looking girl who dances outside the hotel in the evenings. She wears headphones, disco-style makeup and a crazy outfit usually involving a pair of wings. She just dances away, unaware of (or maybe enjoying) everyone watching her. 

Only in New York: 24-hour everything. There's even a 24-hour mani/pedi/waxing place in Little Korea called Juvenex — it's an ER of sorts.

If you could change one thing here: The noise. When I first moved to New York, I lived on Canal Street — Chinatown's major thoroughfare where a lot of the buildings are used for storage. Every day I'd hear a chorus of reversing trucks, wailing fire engines and honking horns. Never again.

Last meal before you die: Steak au Poivre and a glass of red wine at Raoul’s in SoHo. Dining there is one of the rare occasions when I feel all grown up.

Still dying to: Have my Audrey Hepburn moment. I’m hoping for an occasion where I can wander the streets in a fabulous gown. Perhaps the Met Costume Institute Gala…