Alain Levitt’s East Village

Alain Leavitt, BubblesLeigh LedareThanks for the help, Mr. Levitt.

He may have started out in Los Angeles, but musician Alain Levitt, one half of NYC synth-pop duo Bubbles, has called the East Village home for a solid decade. “The neighborhood has changed quite a bit,” he muses via e-mail in between recording sessions. “There’s good coffee now, some nice restaurants and lots and lots of college kids.” Having recently wrapped a “mini East Coast tour” with Gang Gang Dance, he’ll likely see more of those college kids when he hits the road again. For the moment, however, he found time to tell us about his favorite local hangs.

Best Place to Cool off on a Hot Summer Day
My apartment. It’s not very green of me but the AC is on blast all summer long.

Favorite Place for Dinner
Natori. It’s so easy to get a table and get comfortable. There’s always someone else there you know—especially on Sunday! I love the seafood pancake.

Local Barbershop
The only haircut I’ve had in the last 15 years that I didn’t do myself was by Takamichi Saeki who owns Takamichi Hair on Great Jones. I think that just makes the East Village map cut-off, right?

Ultimate Breakfast
The Middle Eastern eggs at Cafe Mogador. Ten years eating there and not a bad experience.

Best Place for Late-Night Conversation
Max Fish, of course. I do miss Tino and Desiree who used to work there, though.

Favorite East Village Artist
Chico is still at it after all these years. God bless him. He’s the only constant throughout my time in the East Village.

Ideal Spot for People-Watching
Tompkins Square Park is my go-to people-watching destination. I don’t know if anyone else has noticed but the park has gotten really strange again lately. I love it.

Before we let Mr Levitt off the hook, we’ve got to ask, did he choose the East Village? Or did the East Village choose him? His answer is rather mysterious: “The East Village chose me with the help of my mom and sister. That’s all I can say.”

Angela Cravens is the editorial director of the pop culture “channelzine” Arcade44