Zoe Kazan Loves Video Store, Cocktails and Pizza in Cobble Hill

By Heidi Patalano on April 24, 2013 6:44am 

NEW YORK CITY — Zoe Kazan is Brooklyn strong.

Though she grew up in sunny Los Angeles, the actress, screenwriter and granddaughter of legendary director Elia Kazan has been a Cobble Hill resident for the past six years. She and her boyfriend, actor Paul Dano, are soon moving on to Clinton Hill, but Kazan confessed to having an abiding love for the 'hood that's long been her retreat from working on Broadway in Times Square.

She took a moment to reflect with DNAinfo.com New York on some of Cobble Hill's finer charms (and a not so fine grocery store) while promoting her latest film, "The Pretty One," which is screening at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Q: What are some of your favorite spots in Cobble Hill?
A: I’ve lived all over that neighborhood for the last six years. It just feels like home to me. We’re about to move, unfortunately, but I just love it there. I go to Brucie. I go to our video store, Video Free Brooklyn. I was there last night. I go there multiple times a week. I love Book Court, the bookstore. It’s one of my favorite places. Paul is a huge fan of Henry Public, so we go there for cocktails a lot. He gets the turkey sandwich and I poach off his plate.

Q: What about ordering in?
A: We order pizza a bunch from South Brooklyn Pizza or from Savoia. We’ll order Japanese food from Ki Sushi or the Thai Lunch Special from HopHap. Those are probably our go-to things. We don’t have great Chinese or Indian in the neighborhood. I love those foods. That’s the next frontier. I cook a lot of Italian food and try to cook healthy foods for us, but you get tired.

Q: So does that mean you’re hitting Union Market?
A: I do. You know, they are so expensive there. The problem is that the Met Foods by us, it smells so much like roach poison in there. Every time I go in there, I’m like, "Am I poisoning myself?" So, I try to get our canned beans, our basics, over at the Met Foods. Or there’s a natural food place up on Court Street, and that’s less expensive than Union, so I’ll try to go there. I only go to Union for fancy olives or cheese. We go to the butcher for meat — we live right by the Paisano’s. There’s that K and Y — it’s a fruit and vegetable place and, I don’t know, they’re getting produce off the back of the truck or something because I don’t know how they can afford to charge what they do, but I get all my produce there. It’s better than going to Union Market.

Q: Well yeah, it’s like $4 for a red pepper there.
A: I love it in there, though. It appeals to the "bougie" part of me. It’s so awful. I walk in there and I’m like, "pretty groceries! Beautiful crackers! Gluten-free s--t!” It’s terrible. I’m becoming the person I hate.

Q: What about an exercise route in the neighborhood. We hear you like long walks. Or are you going to the gym?
A: I’m the world’s worst gym-goer. I used to belong to the New York Sports Club, but I never went. It was a waste of money, so I started doing exercise videos in my apartment. My friend comes over and we do them together. It’s DIY.

Q: What do you like least about the neighborhood?
A: It’s just changed a lot in the last six years. It’s gotten a lot wealthier. It just feels less diverse — not that it ever felt diverse in a huge way, but it was a lot more Italian when I moved into that neighborhood. It felt like there were a lot of older people, families who had been there for many generations. Now when I look around, I just see strollers. So, we’re moving out of the neighborhood, but I’m definitely going to come visit.

Q: Where are you going next?
A: Clinton Hill.

Q: What was the attraction there?
A: Just a change of pace. I’ve got a lot of friends over there.

Q: But then you’re going to be on the G train.
A: The C and the G. We’re closer to the C.

Q: And you used to live in Park Slope.
A: I love Franny’s, obviously. I’m such a foodie, and going to Brooklyn Larder just appeals to a part of my soul. I get so happy looking at eight different kinds of salami. It just makes me happy. That’s mostly what I do — I just go over there for food.

Q: So you’re Brooklyn forever. You’d never move back to Manhattan?
A: I just like a feeling of separation, especially working in the Theater District — coming home from Times Square, having it feel really different from that. Having the river between you and that.

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