"I'm very much a New Yorker," says Maria Tash, "and not just the accent. Every time I go somewhere else, whether it's LA or Dubai or Paris, I realize how much of a New Yorker I am. I really belong here."
Tash opened her first piercing studio in Manhattan's East Village in 1993 and later coined the term "curated ear," which refers to multiple piercings deliberately placed on the ear to display an assortment of jewelry that looks harmonious—and fashionable—together. By strategically mixing hoops, studs and dangly bits and bobs on different parts of the ear, Tash and her team create a unique look tailored to each client, often adding multiple piercings in one sitting; the technique also takes into account their personal style and existing jewelry so that the look is completely cohesive.
Stop into our new NYC flagship to shop her collection and add a little somethin' shiny or sparkly, perfectly curated to your own ear. Here is Tash herself on all things New York City, from her favorite spots to eat to where she likes to relax.
If you had to describe New York City in one word, what would it be?
What are your favorite restaurants in the city?
I'm a foodie; I love good food. I love Greek food and French food. I really like Avra on 48th Street—that's really yummy food. I also like La Sirène for French.
Do you have a favorite bar?
I'm a Côtes du Rhône drinker, so I usually go to a nice restaurant and order a glass of red Côtes du Rhône. I don't go to a bar just for the bar, I really go to a restaurant and get a nice glass of wine. My days of drinking apple martinis are over. But, of course, there are so many good choices in the city. Balthazar is right near the office—they have a long bar, but they're always very crowded. So, I also like quiet sometimes, now that I'm older and I've been to some good places. I like quiet, Côtes du Rhône, great food, good conversation.
Where is the best place to get pizza?
I like V&T's pizzeria between 110th and 111th streets on Amsterdam. It's an old-school joint—I went to Barnard College, part of Columbia University—it's across from St. John the Divine. They have amazing pizza. It was very easy for me to answer that even though I haven't had pizza in a long time. The New York pizza scene—we do pizza really well.
You could people watch at Columbus Circle [from] inside that Time Warner/AOL building. It's quiet, you can sit on the terrace, you can look out at Columbus Circle and see a lot of different types of people. If you're looking for good style, I'd go to a good underground club or go downtown, Lower Eastside, et cetera. But there's inspiration with people and dressing everywhere.
Do you have a favorite music venue?
The Mercury Lounge is really good. It's between A and First Avenue on Houston Street. It's actually really good, and you'll see a lot of local scene and a lot of great dressing as well.
Do you have a favorite gallery or museum?
I like The Frick [Collection]. The Frick is a great museum. I like the building as well: it's great and it's got a pool, and they have classical music concerts. It's not really crazy; there's lots of good Flemish art. And if you're going to go to the Met, which is nice, don't go on the weekend.
What's your favorite place to relax?
Home! Oh my god. My bed. I love my bed. I have a very elaborate bed. When I go to a hotel, I really like to take off the sheets and take pictures of where they get the bedding, and then I order it in to make my bed. I have a canopy, I have chiffon around my bed, so I love to relax at home. If I'm not at home, I'm usually at one of the restaurants like Avra or La Sirène to relax.