Ari Heckman, founder and CEO of interior design and development firm ASH NYC, doesn’t bother much with the concept of separating work from life – according to Ari, he can’t really distinguish his hobbies from what he does on a daily basis. It seems that this West Village resident, who describes his line of work as being in the “creation business,” has that whole “love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life” thing down pat. While Ari and his team are creating rooms, buildings, hotels, and more for his clients in NYC and beyond, travel is what keeps him going. “I travel wherever and whenever I can – there are influences and inspirations on every corner and through every door, and the world is full of new material.”
WHAT WOULD THE TITLE OF YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHY BE?
“Works in Progress”
WHAT CAN’T YOU TRAVEL WITHOUT, AND WHY?
My iPad mini, sleep mask, and Kiehl’s facial fuel.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE TRAVEL DESTINATION, AND WHY?
Rome – it’s constantly unfolding despite being thousands of years old. Plus the food and wine guarantee a good time.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO ON A GORGEOUS SUNDAY AFTERNOON IN NYC?
Lounging in Hudson River Park followed by a cocktail in the back patio of Bobo.
AND WHAT ABOUT A RAINY SUNDAY AFTERNOON?
Peruse books at the Strand, see a film at the Angelika or visit the Guggenheim. It’s as much an experience for the process of upwardly navigating the building as it is for viewing art.
IF YOU COULD CHOOSE ONE PERSON TO SHOW YOU “THEIR NEW YORK,” WHO WOULD IT BE?
Michael Bloomberg. His professional and personal life allows access to parts of New York that are behind closed doors. There are few people who see the top-secret inner workings of government but also mingle with some of the world’s most creative and social people.
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR ART FIX, AND WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE ARTISTS?
I’m lucky to know artists who are at the vanguard of the NYC arts scene, like painters Ryan Sullivan and Zane Lewis. My favorite artist depends on the mood or the day, but Francesca Woodman, Francis Bacon, Alex Katz are usually among them.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR UNDER THE RADAR MUST-DO RECOMMENDATIONS FOR NYC VISITORS?
Get on the subway and explore an emerging neighborhood like Bushwick. The Brooklyn Navy Yard is a relic of another era, and the Brooklyn Flea has great food, great people watching and occasional great finds.
WHAT ALBUM WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOUR PERSONAL SOUNDTRACK TO NYC?
Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, because don’t we all wish we could live in Woody Allen’s vision of Manhattan?