By Christopher A. Pape
The name Julie Chang roles of the tongue as if it were honey; that she is as beautiful in person as she is on TV, doesn’t hurt either. But beyond that, Ms. Chang is a woman of conviction and taste. For she knows not only the hottest and trendiest of places in New York City, but is dedicated to charitable causes with a fervor and passion that not many can match.
NY Resident sat down with this stunning beauty to discuss New York City, her work and the causes she cares about most. Read and enjoy – I know you will love it as much as I loved interviewing her.
New York Resident (NYR): Thank you for this opportunity. New York Resident is a fan of your work. Can you tell us how it’s like – what is a normal day like?
Julie Chang (JC): I think that’s the curse and beauty of my job. No one day is exactly the same. People often ask me, Julie, would you want to be an anchor? Maybe someday, but for now, I love being a reporter because every day is different. For me, I don’t know if I’m going to be at a premiere interviewing Brad Pitt or if I’m going to be live with some local chorus or going to be at Washington Square Park looking for hot men because New York was voted second in the country for hottest men on Traveler’s Digest recent list; so I had the tough assignment to go out there at look for hot men. I cover all the positive stuff – entertainment, lifestyle, etc. Because I get to have fun and the happy angle – it’s great – I get to meet people who are living their dream or the best of their niche. I really feel like I get the pulse of New York.
NYR: What do you cover exactly?
JC: Everything. Everything that’s pleasurable; except for Fashion Week. I do love fashion, but Fashion Week is not fun to cover. It’s a lot of unnecessary attitude.
NYR: We are embarking on interviewing people who are well-known in NY or who have given back to NY in some way. What do you think it means to be a New Yorker?
JC: I think to be a New Yorker you really have to love diversity and intensity, because while people work their brains out here, they also socialize and party even harder. New York is an intense and electric city, you’re never going to know, when you’re out at night, who you are going to meet who’s going to be life changing. On another note, I moved nineteen times by the time I was sixteen and I’ve never felt quite at home in any of the places that I’ve lived, but when I moved to New York, about eight years ago, it just felt like home. If a city could be your soul mate, this place is it. So if you can love New York for all of its cultural perks and its flaws – it’s like a relationship with a guy – you know you’re not going change its imperfections but you accept those imperfections because the great things are so much of a bigger plus, then you are a New Yorker.
NYR: What section of the city do you live in, what do you like about it?
JC: I live in Soho. I’ve in the same apartment for eight years. And I love it because I live in a section where there are very few retail stores. It feels very residential and I love that.
NYR: What are your top five favorite restaurants?
JC: This is like asking a mother to name her favorite child. I will never mention my favorite restaurant because the line already is an hour or two just to be seated. I love my neighborhood eats – Mooncake Foods. It’s very divey but amazing food and great value. It’s pan-Asian. I really love Torrisi Italian Specialties. It’s really good. Balthazar is an old-timer and I love raw bar. For high-end, I go to Marea.
NYR: What is your Favorite Broadway show?
JC: Book of Mormon or War Horse
NYR: Are you involved in any charities?
JC: Tons. Lighthouse International which is one of the oldest charities in the country that deals with visually impaired children. I go to the Saturday school that they run. I got involved because FOX 5 had me host their scholarship lunches and I was just so touched. I don’t think that I can accomplish half of these things these kids do. They really are amazing kids. The magical part of this is that these kids go to normal schools throughout the Tri-State area. They are often teased and social outcasts. For one Saturday a month they get to come together with peers like themselves and feel like they belong. It’s really sad because when 2pm rolls around most of the kids, when they have to get back on the bus, are bawling. But it’s a great organization.
I also work with Inside Broadway. I host their Beacon Awards night. It’s an amazing organization that helps kids see Broadway shows. They will either bring the kids to a Broadway experience or bring the Broadway stars to the schools. I’ve hosted their benefit for the last three years. We’ve honored everyone from Brooke Shields to Mayor Bloomberg. I love that we are able to raise money and that I, in a small way, to help facilitate getting that arts experience. Because, it would be really sad if you lived in New York City, and never get to experience Broadway.