6 (or fewer) degrees of separation at Sweetwater

Sweetwater 2 sign

In addition to being one of the ace reps here at Stockland Martel, Emily Leonardo is one of the most on-the-town people we know. This is a relationship business, after all, so on many a night, Emily is traversing the concrete canyons of New York, alighting at the newest restaurant and bar hot spots, usually with industry colleagues as her willing accomplices. The shoptalk took on a particularly acute intensity recently, though, after she attended the opening of artist (and longtime art buyer) Jean Wolff at Schaefer Landing in Williamsburg. In search of a local restaurant with a favorable proportion of excellent food sexy people, Emily and her friend Mea Tefka of JWT decided to have dinner at Sweetwater Restaurant on N. 6th Street. Emily knows one of the owners, Pablo, and the evening was off to a typically enjoyable start when a man and woman sat at the table next to Emily and Mea. As Emily explains, the night suddenly turned into an episode of This Is Your Life:

“Mea and I were at our table, chatting away about food, and the guy and girl next to us were eavesdropping. When the waiter came, they ordered what Mea and I had said we wanted to get. We were like, ‘Oh, my God!’ Then they ordered scallops, and the guy gave us one. He asked if we were food writers, and we told him no. And he said we should have a food blog. Then we started talking about what we do for a living. I told him I work at Stockland Martel, and it turns out the guy, Stuart Hart, is a partner at the New Cruelty. And he said to me, ‘You know Hilary.’ Hilary is a friend of mine who I’ve known forever who used to go out with him! I remember when they broke up. So we joked about relationships and everything, and we were dying over the coincidence of knowing each other but never having met till now.

“And then the girl he was with, her name is Giselle, and she works at Publicis Modem. She got on the phone and was telling some friends about having met us there at Sweetwater and that they should come by, and they did. They turned out to be Brett Simon, who’s an associate creative director at Atmosphere BBDO, and his brother—whose name I can’t remember (sorry!)—a printmaker who works at Pace Prints. I told Brett’s brother that I bought my first print, by Polly Apfelbaum, last year at an Armory Show, and he told me he had grown up in the same town as Polly. Then he said he went to school in New Mexico and worked at Arena Editions there, and of course Arena Editions published Nadav Kander’s first monograph, Beauty’s Nothing!

“Stuart, meanwhile, was buying everyone drinks, and we were all having a great time when the owner of the restaurant came out to close down the back patio, where we were sitting. ‘Oh, my God, I haven’t seen you in so long! Not since you hired me to paint your apartment!’ And that was eight years ago. It was the craziest night of six degrees of separation ever. And it all happened at Sweetwater.”

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