Name: Caroline & Michael Ventura
Company Affiliation + Job Title: Founder of Sub Rosa, Calliope, and And&And
Social: @themichaelventura / @_carolineventura
What do you do and how did you get here?
We are creative collaborators who love to explore ideas and bring them to life. Michael started the strategy and design practice Sub Rosa over a decade ago. The studio’s work helps organizations and people make great things happen in the world. Caroline started BRVTVS 5 years ago. The women’s fine jewelry line is designed by Caroline and carried in shops around the world.
Together, the two of us decided to take a long lease on what was then a dilapidated old building and reinvigorate it into a bustling hub for creative ideas. The ground floor now houses our retail shop, Calliope, which sells mid-century and contemporary furniture and objects for the home. It’s adjoined by And&And, a curated gallery that hosts lectures, shows, and other experiences that we think the world would like as much as we do. BRVTVS’s studio also lives on the first floor. The second floor is home to Sub Rosa
, and we live on the 3rd.
Basically, we never leave. And we’re happy about that!
What do you love about Meatpacking?
It’s a real neighborhood. It’s walkable. It’s got great culture, food, shopping and residents. With the store and gallery being a bit of an open door to the community, we’ve gotten to know a lot of our neighbors and love that we can walk our dog down the street and bump into interesting people doing great stuff every day. It’s kinda magical to think we have the opportunity to live and work among so many fantastic, creative individuals.
If you had 15 minutes, how will you spend it in the neighborhood?
We’d make some tea, hang on our stoop, and say hi to the neighbors.
If you had a few hours in the neighborhood, how would you ideally spend the day?
We’d start with a bite to eat at one of the neighborhood cafes or restaurants (probably a dog-friendly one), then cut over to the river for a walk down the water to watch the sunset over New Jersey. If there’s time left after that, we’d leave it to chance – some of our best experiences in the neighborhood have been unplanned.
Where do you go to escape the crowds? People watch?
Both Abington Square and Hudson River Park
offer great opportunities to disappear amidst the chaos of the city. They are some of our favorite spots to escape to when we need a moment to breathe. As for people watching, some of the best action happens right in our store. Calliope
is a shop, but it’s also a place we’ve encouraged people to simply come to hang out. Some people come and play records, others bring a book and a coffee and hang out. There’s always something interesting happening in there and you never quite know who’s gonna walk in next.
What’s your most memorable moment or experience in Meatpacking?
Collectively we think it was probably the day our 3+ years of renovation were finally finished enough for us to move into the building. We still didn’t have gas to cook a meal for another 6 months, but that first night sleeping in a building we spent so much time rebuilding and making our own was really special. It was the start of a long relationship with this neighborhood.
Where will you recommend for a great cocktail or bite?
Oh man – Sophie’s Choice
. If we have to choose, we’d probably say Café Gitane
for a quiet morning breakfast during the week. The early morning light is perfect in there and the food, music and staff all make waking up a little easier. For a cocktail, one of our favorite spots is a post-work drink at Café Cluny where we can tuck into a corner and catch up on our respective days.
Of all the personalities in Meatpacking (whether you know the person or not), whom would you want to grab a drink with? And where?
We’d be happy sharing a good bottle of wine and some roast chicken at Barbuto with Jonathan Waxman. That guy makes the best chicken in New York.
What should we know about you outside of work. Hobbies, life, that sort of thing?
We’re big fans of anything that gets us out and moving around. A good hike, a trip to the beach with #darrylthedog, a weekend adventure to parts unknown. Any and all of the above are good with us.