Top of the World, Ma!

imageMoby, on the top terrace of the El Dorado, New York City.

“My apartment uptown is the top five levels of the El Dorado, which is a legendary art deco building designed by Emery Roth, originally constructed in 1927. Everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Bono to Groucho Marx has lived there at one point or another. My apartment has five terraces, two of which are 360 degrees, and from the terraces you can see all of Central Park, Long Island Sound, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Hudson River past the George Washington Bridge. It’s basically unobstructed views for about 40 or 50 miles in every direction. Plus, the very top is really popular with hawks and falcons (the birds, not the sports teams).

imageI have a lot of fears, but I’m not afraid of heights. It’s not such a nice apartment for anyone who’s afraid of heights; the very, very top is particularly disconcerting, with a sheer drop of about 400 feet and no guard rail. On one hand, the space is incredibly tranquil and quiet and pristine. When you stand atthe top terrace you feel like an enlightened superhero, with New York City spread before you and only the occasional hawk or falcon hovering nearby. It’s probably the most private apartment in New York, with the only non-bird neighbor being two stories down. And while it’s quiet and pristine, it’s also a fantastic place for a good ’70s-style disco party, replete with all the degenerate trappings of a good ’70s disco party.”

Moby’s new album, Last Night, will be released this month. Photos by Jelle Wagenaar.

imageGavin Rossdale, at Freemans Sporting Club, Lower East Side, New York City.

“If any day can be sacred, there’s nothing to replace the elixir of a razor-sharp shave, a fresh haircut, and some new threads, ideally at Freemans Sporting Club. The warmth of the shop and the accompanying restaurant hit you with the stately, homely décor of a bygone era—a nostalgic glow of style and practicality. You can enter, naked and unkempt, spiritually disheveled, thirsty and hungry, and leave like a punk lord. The food is delicious, the clothes buzz with style, and the staff, skilled and friendly—what’s not to enjoy? I go for the feeling, and the care that’s been put in the place. The places we love have a little of us in them, a kinship maybe. The food is simple, but it takes skill to leave things alone: food without pretense. Bukowski said it best: ‘Don’t Try.’ There’s cold beer on tap, and the mac ’n’ cheese? It’s a gateway to childhood.”

Gavin Rossdale’s solo debut, Wanderlust, will be released this month. Photo by Shawn Mortensen.

imageSia, at the dog park in Silverlake, Los Angeles.

“I spend at least an hour a day at the park with my two mutts. I have Pantera Marvelous, who is black and looks like a shiny labrador pup, but really is a fully grown anomaly (my vet, who is Japanese, calls him a new “bleed”), and Licklick Science, who is seriously licky, and looks like a small Benji dog with three legs. A coyote ate my baby’s leg off. It’s a grand community at the dog park, and an awesome place to observe politics and mood. I have made friends and enemies there. (Pantera has some ‘behavioral issues’ and can be snappy—so embarrassing.)”

Sia is currently on a U.S. tour in support of her album, Some People Have Real Problems. Photo by Sye Williams.

image Lupe Fiasco, on the R train, New York City.

“The life I lead can be very private sometimes, which can create somewhat of a glass ceiling, as far as creativity goes, so for a ‘creative escape’ I need to be in places of public interaction, and in some circumstances that means public transportation. It’s like a public rejuvenation when you live a private lifestyle… It makes sure that my work is grounded in reality and the human experience; you see all forms of the human experience on the train.”

Lupe Fiasco is on tour with Kanye West this month. Photo by Flora Hanitijo.
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