Lucinda Constable, Chinatown, New York
Images by Jessica Nash
Event designer and IN BED favourite Lucinda Constable made the move from Sydney to New York over eight years ago. In that time she’s built a formidable events business, made a beautiful home, and created a network of friends that feel more like family. We spoke to Lucinda about life in and out of the city and the importance of having a space to call your own.
“I have lived in my little home for two years. After living in Williamsburg for almost six years, it was time for a sea change across the bridge! I never thought I would live in Manhattan, as Brooklyn felt more ‘Australian’ with space and trees. Work was getting a bit nuts so reducing my daily commute was a real lifesaver and somehow I landed in the most trendy spot in New York right now, the infamous ‘Dimes Square’, which can be a bit much, but on the flip side it means I don’t have to go far on a daily basis. A blessing or a curse? I am still not sure....”
“I was lucky enough to find a south facing apartment, so it’s flooded with natural light all day long. I sneakily knocked a wall out to create my dining room, which was the best decision I ever made. I love spending time at home alone, pottering around, watering my plant babies and reading on the couch listening to music.”
My day to day job is rather turbo, so it’s nice to know I have somewhere quiet to retreat to where I can sit in silence. I love having people over, but my kitchen doesn’t exactly lend itself to the extravagant dinner parties I dream of, so takeout is usually the go-to I am ashamed to say… But perhaps I fulfil the entertaining side of my life through my work, for now anyway…”
My day to day job is rather turbo, so it’s nice to know I have somewhere quiet to retreat to where I can sit in silence.
“I didn’t bring much with me when I moved to New York almost eight years ago, so I really had to start again. I travel a lot and am always collecting (hoarding) things along the way. I have a love of ethnic textiles, which isn’t the most convenient for storage, but what can you do! I have collected rugs across Mexico, Morocco, Greece and Turkey and am constantly swapping them out or loaning them to people.”
“I also collect ceramic bowls, which miraculously seem to get filled as soon as I put them down. My art is mostly by friends and prints collected at markets and art fairs. I have a lot of abstract works by Frances Yeoland that really brighten up my space. Everything in my apartment is focussed around colour. As much as I sometimes wish I was one of those streamlined monochromatic people, I am just not!”
I also collect ceramic bowls, which miraculously seem to get filled as soon as I put them down. My art is mostly by friends and prints collected at markets and art fairs.
“Chinatown has everything one could need, which means I do not leave as often as I should. When I moved to the neighborhood I was surprised by the community spirit. This can be hard to come across in large cities like New York, but it is definitely present here. I like to shop and eat local, which works well as all my favourite spots are here. I live across the street from Dimes Deli, which acts like an extension of my living room, and in the warmer months, my alfresco dining room. It’s no secret that I am a big pizza fan, and probably unconsciously moved to the area so I could be closer to Scarr’s Pizza. I spend more time here than I should probably admit… I am lucky enough to work two blocks away from home, and have an amazing group of friends in a close vicinity. It’s a great place to live.”
My career path has been more of a winding lane than a straight trajectory. I have never planned on doing anything specific, but more so have fallen into things. I think this suits my personality and has never bothered me. I am extremely ambitious but am often changing my mind about what I want to do on a day-to-day basis. Before founding The Table New York I was doing fashion styling, and before that I was editing an online magazine called Pages. I knew fashion was not my ‘passion’, but the contacts I made during these years meant everything when starting a new business venture.”
I have never planned on doing anything specific, but more so have fallen into things. I think this suits my personality and has never bothered me. I am extremely ambitious but am often changing my mind about what I want to do on a day-to-day basis.
“My clients usually come to me with a loose event brief - a venue, or a theme, and then we work together to make all the pieces come together. I love working on dinner parties the most, taking influence from collection mood boards, fabric swatches and colour palettes. I make a lot of custom linens and work with an amazing team of florists who are now friends. It’s all very collaborative and relationship based, which is what I initially loved about the fashion world. It’s really fun to see an idea come to life, and for people to enjoy themselves over a shared meal. Human connection and shared experience is what makes the world go ‘round!”
“New York is unlike any other city I have been to. The energy here is kinetic... And frantic. It feels like time passes more quickly here. That said, a lot can be accomplished in one day, and people will do anything to make it happen. I appreciate the slow pace of other cities, but for a work environment it’s harder to get things done. I thrive with a good to-do list and short time frame! I can feel myself slowing down personally… my body is constantly screaming “I hate you” and I don’t blame it! 2020 calls for more work/life balance, and travel is everything to me. I am constantly planning my escape, but love returning just as much. I think the secret to living in New York is getting out as often as you can, recharging and having a wild adventure, then back to the grind!”
New York is unlike any other city I have been to. The energy here is kinetic... And frantic. It feels like time passes more quickly here.
“They say it takes about three years to feel at home in NYC, and I think that was spot on for me. It helped moving with a solid group of friends already in place, they are now my family away from home. I miss Australia and the connection to nature. Spiritually I really crave that. I was just there for Christmas and with everything going on I felt much closer to my country than I have in the past eight years, and like I was actually part of something. Attending the marches and seeing things first hand changed everything for me. Not living in your birth country is like being in limbo, and watching events unfold on the news is very abstract. I miss spending time with my family of course, it’s very hard, but for now NYC is home. Hopefully in the future there can be more time spent in both locations.”