An Interview with Ruby Smith


Meet Ruby Smith. She is what I often refer to as "the best thing New York has given me." Most of my favorite books were recommended by her and most of my favorite films have been viewed on her sofa over samosas. She is smart, clever, beautiful, and my best friend. Enjoy! xx

On reading:

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live” –Joan Didion

My grandmother always said, "reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body." I couldn't agree more. Reading has shaped me in every way and books have been my constant companions. My high school started at 7:20; I would usually arrive at 6:50 to get some reading in before classes started.  Today, I average a book every two or three days.

Books create communities, and communities are vital.

Current favorites include: Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter, Pond by Claire Louise Bennett, I’ll Tell you in Person by Chloe Caldwell, and The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides   

Old standbys include: The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman, Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, and Dubliners by James Joyce.  

On how you spend your Saturday afternoons:

Saturday afternoons are often spent at Joe Coffee on Waverly or in my apartment.  I am a homebody (and both of these places qualify).  I would like to be reading, seeing friends, or napping, more often though, I am writing papers, changing light bulbs, and cleaning my oven.

On your go to dinner party plan:

Ordering in Indian/Thai/Sushi.  A tiny NY kitchen+ a bad cook= a not fun dinner party. Take-out, wine, flowers, and a Hall& Oates record is always my plan.  Oh, and Miss Lily’s cake for dessert.

Alternatively, when I was living in Florence, my roommates and I would often to go the market around 3 (after waking up at 1), get plenty of baguettes, prosciutto, fruit, and Prosecco, and invite our friends over for a pre-dinner dinner party.  Those evenings are some of my fondest memories.

On your personal uniform:

I like to keep things pretty minimal.  Often, I’m in jeans, a striped tee, and loafers (although lately I have been living in Swedish Hasbeens). I usually shy away from color, preferring neutrals (read: navy).  But I also have an affinity for vintage clothing and like to look for unusual pieces (cow hide coat…check, blue polyester jumpsuit…check, red sequined bag…check).  I love Joan Didion’s approach to dressing, as well as Ali McGraw (in Love Story, obviously), and Sofia Coppola always looks cool.

On film:

All time favorite:  A Room with a View

Recent favorite: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Most underrated movie: Paper Heart

On what speaks to you:

coffee, independent bookstores, The Office, traveling, Iowa, staying in, dancing, Wes Anderson, concerts, long phone calls, Mary Tyler Moore reruns, card games, my family, Hamilton, handwritten letters, New York, ping pong, Gregory Peck, my friends, Leanne Shapton, road trips, 80’s music.