Heather Burns’s East Village

HBOCourtesy of HBO.

“I first visited New York City when I was 17 years old, and it was love at first sight,” explains actress Heather Burns. Though she plays Leah, the quintessential Brooklynite (and the girlfriend of Zach Galifianakis’s character) on HBO’s “Bored to Death,” the East Village has been her home for 18 years. When she became a student at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, the Chicago native landed a rent-stabilized apartment on St. Marks Place and never left. These days, she’s engaged to fellow “Bored to Death” actor Ajay Naidu and gearing up for the third season of her hit show — premiering Sunday, October 10 — by visiting plenty of local hotspots.

Best dinner spot
My favorite restaurant for dinner is Pylos on Seventh street. It’s Greek, but more traditional Greek than Greek-American. I love the salads, especially the horiatiki.

First stop after coming home from a trip
I always go to Cafe Orlin to eat. I practically live there anyway, but they’re open super late, so I can always get food and a nice glass of wine. I love the food there, and I’m usually starving after I fly.

Best late-night hang
It depends on my late-night mood. The Bowery Hotel is so beautiful and cozy. In the winter it’s nice because of the big fireplace and in the summer it’s nice to sit outside. Grassroots Tavern is my pub. I’ve been going there as long as I’ve lived in the city, so I’m friends with everyone who works there. The drinks are cheap and the jukebox is really good. I even went there during Hurricane Irene with my friends and we ended up staying pretty late.

Local ritual for show nights
My sister cooks me a nice dinner, or we go out to eat, then watch “Bored to Death.” We hang out most Sundays, so it’s perfect.

Favorite East Village artist
I’ve always been inspired by the Factory films, especially Paul Morrissey. I love seeing the neighborhood in the ‘60s. “Trash” is one of my favorites. There’s a scene where Joe Dallesandro walks down my block. And, if you look really closely, you can see a very young Sissy Spacek sitting on a stoop. At least that’s the rumor, but it has to be her.

Favorite boutique
One place I love is Jillery. Whenever I have an event, it’s the best place to get a cocktail purse. Most of their purses are vintage, and you can always find something really unique.

Favorite way to spend a chilly afternoon
A nice autumn day for me would be getting a latte at Mud Cafe and walking for hours. I love walking around Tompkins Square Park and Washington Square Park. Then, maybe a movie or a stop at St. Mark’s Bookshop. I’ve heard that Cooper Union is raising their rent, and they may close. I will be devastated if that happens. That store is a neighborhood institution. I really hope they save it!

Of course we have to ask our favorite question: Did you choose the East Village, or did the East Village choose you?

“I chose the East Village, but I’ve stayed there so long because it’s chosen me to stay,” responds Burns, adding that she is e-mailing her responses to our questions from LA: “I can’t wait to get home.”

Angela Cravens is the editorial director of the pop culture “channelzine” Arcade 44