As we move in to the new Todd Snyder flagship store on Madison Square Park, we thought we should introduce ourselves to some of our neighbors. We’ve all heard of Mad Men. Well, meet Madison Men: a collection of people who work in and around Madison Square Park in New York – and who are therefore our new neighbors.
To get relations off on the right foot, we invited each of these guys to pick an outfit from the new Todd Snyder flagship store. Then we chatted to them wearing said outfit in their natural environment. (Which in the case of one was the line for ShakeShack in the middle of the Square – hey, we’re not judging.) Over the next six weeks we’ll be introducing you to them, one by one. There’s Will Guidara and Daniel Humm who co-own Three Michelin-starred restaurant Eleven Madison Park and The NoMad and soon-to-open Made Nice restaurants; James O’Reilly co-founder of NeueHouse, a members’ club for creatives; Rameet Chawla, entrepreneur and founder of design agency Fueled; Zack and Harvey Moscot of Moscot eyewear who have opened a shop-in-shop within the Todd Snyder store; and Ben Pundole VP of Brand Experience for EDITION Hotels photographed inside our very close neighbor the New York EDITION.. But first we meet David Berliner, who is the chairman of the Madison Square Park Conservancy and who is therefore largely responsible for making it one of New York’s most vibrant open spaces.
How long have you been working in and around Madison Square Park?
I moved to the neighborhood in 1993 – it was a very different place then. The park was a center for drugs and prostitution; my son was two and we planned our routes to avoid the park!
What do you typically wear to work?
I usually wear a suit or a sport coat; but on more casual side. I guess my style could be considered classic with a slight edge.
What kind of bag do you take to work?
I like the flexibility to carry a lot – so I typically use a custom leather tote bag.
Turn out your pockets, empty your work bag and list the precise contents.
Keys, business card holder (containing cards for both for President of the Brooklyn Museum and Chairman of Madison Square Park Conservancy); pens, iPhone charger, dark chocolate (I like Askinosie brand – part of the Chocolate University project, which brings high school students to help in community development projects in Tanzania).
What are the particular tools of your particular trade?
My iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, which allows me to take written notes directly on the iPad.
What are your local haunts in and around Madison Square Park?
I am a member of nearby Neuehouse which is a very convenient and comfortable place to meet for breakfast or a drink.
Tell us about another Madison Man you encounter regularly.
I am always happy to run into Tom Reidy, who has worked at the Conservancy for many years. His current role is to lead the production of the Mad Sq Art installations. Tom is a consummate professional who can handle the most daunting and complicated installations with aplomb. He formerly ran all operations for the Conservancy, but he left to pursue his passion in carpentry which I admired immensely – and we were lucky to get him back on a part-time basis to focus on the technical aspects of the art installations.
What notable person do you recall seeing in the park?
Bill Clinton with his granddaughter.
In your time at the Conservancy, what exhibits and events stand out the most?
This sounds like a “political” answer, but as a founding member of the Mad Sq Art Committee, I am most proud of the entire program rather than a single exhibition. Utilizing the park as a gallery without walls, commissioning site-specific work by contemporary artists and building our art program from inception has been incredibly gratifying for me.
Tell us something about the history of the park that people might be surprised to know.
Robert Mapplethorpe was a frequent visitor in the days before things were “cleaned up” – you can use your imagination to ponder what he might have been doing there.
Go to ToddSnyder.com and pick out 3 accessories that best sum you up.
A Timex Redwing watch
A Lotuff portfolio
A Lotuff Working tote (very similar to my own tote)
Visit the Madison Square Park Conservancy