Upper West Sider: Margot Miller, Illustrator, pixElation

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

margot-millerPeriodically, My Upper West interviews an Upper West Side resident who helps make our neighborhood the diverse and interesting place we love.  Today, we talk to Margot Miller, Accessory Designer and Illustrator, west 80’s.

So, what do you do all day?
I co-run a photo-illustration business called pixElation.  The pixElation process begins with a photoshoot by professional photographer Nikki Baxendale where images are taken and then brought to the studio where I illustrate a unique scene that can stretch as far as the imagination!  Commissions are often given as gifts, used as centerpieces and sign-in boards at parties, etc.  Please visit pixelationfoto.com for some examples and more information!

How long have you lived on the UWS?
I have lived on the UWS for about 3 years now, and can’t imagine living anywhere else.

What made you decide to move to the UWS?
One of my best friends was living here, in a 3 bedroom, when one of her roommates got engaged and wanted to move out to move in with her fiance.  The timing was perfect,  so I took the room!

What is your favorite thing about the neighborhood?
I love that the UWS has the NYC feel, and at the same time feels like a family neighborhood.  About 20 times a day, while walking down the street, I think to myself that I’m living on a set of a Woody Allen movie.

Riverside Park or Central Park?
I’m a Central Park gal myself.  I love rollerskating/rollerdancing there in the summer and that everyone acts like the Great Lawn is a beach, when in fact, it is not.  It’s awesome to people-watch there, and I’ve taken some of my favorite photos there.

Describe your best celebrity sighting on the UWS.
OMG- Tina Fey!  She was really sweet and took a picture with me.  I told her that I get told I look like her often, and she agreed.  I also see Jerry all the time.  Matt Dillon, too.  Also, I’ve seen Kristin Chenoweth at my nail salon which was really exciting!

What is your favorite meal on the UWS? Favorite place for a cocktail?
I think Bellini (Columbus at 83rd) is one of the hidden gems of the UWS.  Great food, great price and it’s BYOB!  So if you go, be sure to tell West Side Wines (Columbus at 83rd) that you’re eating there and you get 10% off.  Also, I love Blossom (Columbus between 82nd and 83rd), Arties (Broadway at 83rd) and Kefi (Columbus at 84th), and my favorite local diner is Three Star (Columbus at 86th).

If you could change one thing about the UWS, what would it be?
Hmmm… I’d Bring Columbus Bakery back!  I loved that place and miss it!

What would you like to see filling the empty storefronts in the UWS, or what would you like to see more of in the UWS?
I could use a good shoe store up here.  And you can never have too many coffee shops!  Maybe a nice wine bar?  Or rollerskating rink?  Or stores that sell handmade items?  Let’s fill those spaces!

Horse and carriage rides in Central Park: romantic, too touristy, or cruel?
Touristy, but if that’s your sorta thing- go for it!  I’ve never been on one, and would bet that I never will.  On the other hand, it is very Sex and the City-Carrie and Big when Carrie gets the phone call that Miranda is having a baby.  So in that case, they’re fine by me.

What are you looking forward to most: completion of Lincoln Center’s renovations, Trader Joe’s on 72nd and Broadway, the shops at Columbus Square, or completion of the 96th Street subway station?
Trader Joe’s all the way!  I was also really happy with the recent Michael’s and Whole Foods addition (Columbus Square, Columbus and 97th)!

What is your favorite thing to do in the ‘hood on a nice UWS day?
I’m currently very far along in a personal photography project, where I post through flickr and my blog (icedgrandesoylatte.blogspot.com).  My favorite nice day activity has become arranging photoshoots to make for some interesting photos.  The UWS is filled with colorful walls and interesting murals and I love to be able to bring my camera, some props and arrange an interesting photo! I also can’t help by stopping at Loehman’s :-) (Broadway at 74th)

Who is your favorite UWS resident, past or present?
Woody Allen.  I grew up watching his movies.  I’ve never seen him, but I know he lives nearby.  Woody, if you’re reading this, I have no acting experience BUT I’d be happy to be in your next film.  Neurotic New Yorker with a hint of geek is my expertise!

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