Brooklyn-raised actress Rosie Perez has proven her comedic and dramatic chops on stage, small screen and film with memorable roles, including The Ritz (Broadway), Fearless and White Men Can’t Jump (film) and also as co-host of ABC-TV’s The View. She talked to Where New York about Brooklyn, the Statue of Liberty and lunch at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
Q: You live in Brooklyn. What do you think of its massive transformation?
A: The gentrification has been a bit of a shock. The boroughs have always been slow to change. The quickness is tough for us. I’m still trying to get used to the massive amount of people on the streets, the increase of cars, noise pollution and the disappearance of mom-and-pop stores. I used to know about 80 percent of my neighbors. Now, it’s less than half of that, but I’m keeping up a positive attitude, partly because of the amount of jobs that places like the Atlantic Center and Barclays have provided. I just hope the real Brooklyn sense of a community survives.
Q: What is your favorite “medium: ” TV, film, theater?
A: I enjoy it all. I guess it’s the ham in me. I do have to say that I feel most alive on a stage.
Q: Favorite spots in the city?
A Perfect Day
Morning in Brooklyn: A walk in Fort Greene Park. Sitting on a park bench with my neighbors/friends, talking up a storm. Taking turns playing tennis. Some more talking. And just walking around my neighborhood taking in the beautiful brownstones and tree-lined streets.
Morning in Manhattan: Walking along the West Side Highway is the best!
Afternoon in Brooklyn: Taking a drive down to Red Hook. I love Red Hook. I love walking down Valentino Pier and looking out at the Statue of Liberty, watching the water taxis and tugboats pass by. Red Hook still has quite a few mom-and-pop shops and great restaurants, too.
Afternoon in Manhattan: MoMA. Period. Actually, I love all of the museums the city has to offer. But I do love MoMA. The best part for me is having lunch at its restaurant [Danny Meyer’s The Modern]. Having a fantastic lunch inside the museum? Come on, people!
Night in Brooklyn: I love just being home. Brooklyn is so lovely. I just love crossing the bridges and being away from all the bright lights of the city.
Night in Manhattan: Broadway!