25 Questions: Meet Karen Seiger, "Markets of New York"

Karen Seiger, in one of her favorite months, October, at a market.

Karen Seiger is the author of the book and website, “Markets of New York.” She is a market enthusiast, author, blogger about markets and founder of Sirene MediaWorks, a marketing company that helps businesses with social media, loyalty programming, and sustainable/green marketing. 

Previously, Karen worked in international marketing, loyalty, partnership management, and business development at American Express. She managed international aid and development programs in Latin America and Africa before that. She travels to Paris any chance she gets, and you can find her most weekends at New York City’s outdoor markets. Her website, and books, is a wealth of information, especially for people who love things handmade. Many crafters know of Karen, but don't know her personally, Here she is, in 25 questions.

1. What are you listening to right now?  Having a Flight of the Conchords revival today. Can’t stop listening to “Frodo, Don’t Wear the Ring” and cracking up. I also can’t stop listening to Challa, a new song from my Bollywood crush, Shahrukh Khan. 

2.DC or New York? New York! I lived in DC for 11 years and loved it, but New York is home. 

3. What is your favorite weather? Cool, sunny fall or early spring. Any day that’s cool enough so I can wear my favorite sweaters or warm enough to jump in a lake.

4. Where was the best meal you ate?  Well, aside from pretty much every bite I’ve had in the markets, the very best meal I’ve ever had was for James’ birthday at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. They made us a butter tasting, and everything was literally fresh from the farm. Then we had dessert outside and watched a million fireflies put on a show for us on a hillside.

5. Favorite airline? How about “Least Favorite Airline”? United/Continental

6. Facebook or Twitter? Facebook. 

7. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? My mom.

8. What’s your favorite TV show?  Anything on Masterpiece Mystery, especially the new Sherlock Holmes. CBS Sunday Morning, too. I like really good stories.

9. What’s your favorite holiday? Thanksgiving! No religion, just eating, snoozing, and eating some more, with friends and family.

10. What is your favorite month? Well, my birthday is in March, and I celebrate it all month long. But I have a soft spot for October weather.

11. Best job, and why? Best job I ever had was as a writing tutor for students with learning and physical disabilities in college. A bunch of us worked in a huge open space and shouted out grammar questions to each other as needed. So much fun, so much collaboration -- and some real learning went on there.

12. Favorite market food? I truly, deeply love it all. Except I can’t do kimmchi, ever since a jar of it popped open in my totebag on the subway. (I’m sure I‘m not the only one who will never forget that experience, i.e. everyone else who was on that train car.)

13. What was the last movie you saw?  It was “Kites,” another awesome Bollywood movie (I just get sick of Hollywood, and they never break into singing and dancing.)

14. Butter, plain, salted, cheese or caramel pop corn? Butter on a savory day, caramel on a sweet day. Have you tried maple syrup popcorn? Delicious!!

15. Favorite NYC neighborhood? I love so many, but the West Village is my favorite to live in.

16. Favorite piece purchased at a market? I love everything I purchase in the markets. But my perfect, handmade, black suede loafers from John Lobb for Hermes that I got at Hell’s Kitchen Flea are way up there.

17. What 3 things are physically close to you? Right now? My cellphone, my lovely handmade onyx desk lamp that my parents got me in Mexico a million years ago, and an orchid we rescued from the trash room.

18. Have you ever crashed a car? Not personally, but I’ve been in some bang-ups, and I’ve had whiplash twice, although once was from an incident in gym class.

19. What time did you wake up this morning? Crack o’ 8:30

20. What does your last text message say? “Funny!”

21. Have you ever been to a different country? Yes – 29 I think.

22. What is your favorite sushi roll? The Karen Roll at Sakura Hana in the West Village. Followed closely by the James Roll. (Really!)

23. How old will you be turning on your next birthday? I haven’t decided yet.

24. Are you a day person or a night person?  DEFINITELY a night person, despite the universe conspiring to the contrary.

25. Can you taste the difference between Coke and Pepsi?  OMG Yes! Can’t you? I’m a Mexican Coke person – I love the real sugar.

Susan Spedalle/ Wink and Flip