New Novelist. Cooperative Commuter. Mixed Martial Artist. We have a kick ass morning with Bloomberg’s Stan Parish.
“I’m always leaving the house in some semi-dressed state.”
We arrive at Stan Parish’s Lower East Side apartment early on an awfully hot summer’s day. Parish whirls to the door and welcomes us in, half-dressed. “If you’ll excuse me fellas,” he says. “I usually stumble out of here pretty quickly in the mornings.”
Stan, 31, has been writing since he first came to New York. (He grew up in California and New Jersey.) When we met him, he was an editor at GQ Magazine. He is now the Deputy Editor for Bloomberg’s quarterly luxury mag, Bloomberg Pursuits. Oh yeah, and he just became an author. His first novel – a coming-of-age, transatlantic romp entitled Down the Shore – hit shelves earlier this summer.
As we mentioned, Parish is rushing. Earlier, he’d shaved (“I shave every Monday with a Harry’s engraved Winston razor I got from my old roommate, Eric. I love having my initials on there – they prevent other guys from stealing it at bachelor parties when there’s eleven of us sharing a bathroom”), and tossed on a suit jacket over his T-shirt and trousers (“I’m always leaving the house in some semi-dressed state”). Before he goes, however, he ducks into his bedroom to give his girlfriend a kiss goodbye.
Next, Stan strides across Rivington Street towards Caffe Vita on Ludlow Street. “Every day it’s the same,” he says. “A Kyoto iced coffee with milk and sugar. You know, because I’m basically a wuss.” We laugh, but know that isn’t true. Why? Well, our next stop is Vitor Shaolin’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class in midtown; but more on that later. Now, we’re standing at the Delancey Street subway station, as a swarm of people hover on the stairs, waiting to see which train (the F and the M trains leave from opposite sides of the station) will show up first. “There’s always a great moment of commuter cooperation here,” Stan jokes. “A lot of head nods. A strong sense of solidarity.” The F train arrives and we scramble towards a crowded car.
When we arrive at Modern Martial Arts on 8th Avenue, Vitor Shaolin greets us, himself (his name is on the door). He is both friendly and mildly terrifying – we’re sure he prefers it that way. Stan hits the locker room to change and returns in a rash guard and shorts. After a light warm up, the class moves into high-action live drills, with pairs of classmates squaring off against one another. After a prolonged grapple, Stan pins his opponent. He’s good at this.
“I mean, after starting the day getting the shit kicked out of you, it’s only going to get better, right?”
Class ends, and Stan showers and knots up his tie in the bathroom mirror. “Jiu Jitsu is such a great dose of adrenaline and humility in the morning,” he says. “Plus, I hate the gym; I can’t run in place, I don’t like lifting things for no reason. This is edifying. You really feel like you’re learning something. You also sweat… a lot.” Stan takes a much-needed moment to cool off in the lobby’s air conditioning before we depart. He slips gingerly into his suit jacket, grabs his briefcase and readies himself for the short walk to Bloomberg’s Lexington Ave offices. There, we exchange handshakes just outside the towering courtyard entrance. As he turns, Stan offers a parting blow: “I mean, after starting the day getting the shit kicked out of you, it’s only going to get better, right?”