#277: Vish Velandy
Vish Velandy on Having No Keys, Agua De Colonia Eau De Cologne, Painting on Vacation, and more.
Cool people like cool things, which is why we asked Vish Velandy to share a taste of his taste on Perfectly Imperfect.
Vish Velandy is a New York City-based actor, painter, and a Real Estate Broker at The Corcoran Group who tells me he has an excellent rental at the top of the Puck Building on Houston for $85,000/month. He’s acted in several of Eugene Kotlyarenko’s independent cult-classics such as A Wonderful Cloud, Wobble Palace, and We Are, and Vish is also in Rebekah Sherman Myntti’s new variety show TOMORROW! alongside Malice K, Catherine Shannon, Ruby McCollister, Madeline Malenfant, and The Ion Pack. Lucky for us, Vish is here to tell us what he’s been into.
Without further ado
Vish Velandy (instagram)
👃 Agua De Colonia eau de cologne
My dad, an immigrant, never wore expensive cologne. Some of my earliest memories are of him spritzing himself with a bottle of Jean Naté, that he bought from CVS, before a party. When I would borrow his dress shirts or a blazer, I could always smell it on the back of the collar where it touched his neck. I like Aqua De Colonia, which is really an aftershave, because in my mind, it’s just as utilitarian and unrefined as something my dad would wear, but actually smells amazing - kind of burnt citrus, and it comes in a beautiful glass bottle. Aqua de Colonia falls into the world of old country club locker room scents like Royall Bay Rhum, which is an old favorite of mine for the summer. My friend Nate said that all girls hate Bay Rhum because it reminds them of their dads, but I still love it. The only caveat of Agua de Colonia is that it fades quickly, but you kind of get whiffs of it all day, which is great.
🖌️🏝️ Painting on vacation
I get sick of reading on vacation, and frankly, it seems wrong to stare at pages all day when you’re somewhere fun. For the past few years, my girlfriend and I have rented a house on a Greek Island. Before I leave NYC, I call an art store in Athens and have them stretch a few canvases for me. When I arrive, I pick them up along with some oil paints, turpentine, and some other supplies and go straight to the ferry. At the house, I set up an easel out of ladder and some wood, in a cave next door to the house that has an amazing view of an azure sea cove below. The cave offers some welcome shade from the blazing Greek sunshine, and it feels great to paint pictures in the open air. The cave makes it private, but the opening to the Aegean Sea makes it not feel claustrophobic. The paintings are usually dry by the time we leave, and I got this old lady down the street to hold my supplies until the next summer when I return. I once saw pictures of Julien Schnabel’s Montauk studio which is basically a gigantic deck with three huge walls and no ceiling, which was kind of my inspiration for trying this. Painting takes longer than sketching in a little book, and it’s more physical than photographs. Every time you look at the paintings, you’ll remember the place where you did them. Everyone should try it.
I think I’m the only person I know who uses handkerchiefs under the age of 80. My mom probably gave me one when I had a runny nose and I never looked back. There’s a handkerchief in my left pocket at all times. I throw them in the laundry at the end of the day and pick up a new one in the morning. I buy them in packs of 10 and chuck them away when they get dingy looking. There’s no way to teach someone how to use one, it’s just about folding. They’re way better than Kleenex for the sensitive skin around your nose, and it just feels much better to touch cotton rather than dry paper.
I would characterize myself as a good gift giver. I’ve never struck out, and rarely get stumped. But if I really have no idea what to give someone, I get them a box of Louis Sherry Chocolates. The company is a New York original from 1881. Their flagship store was in the now former Hermes store on 62nd and Madison. (Now, they do all their business from somewhere in Florida) The original 12 Piece tins come in a variety of very good colors. The flavors are always the same, my favorite is the Sicilian Orange with the horse on it. I also like them because the tins are as good as the chocolates and you can keep them forever. I met someone who’s family has their grandmother’s beat up one from the 50’s. I also heard that F. Scott Fitzgerald used to keep his pencils in one.
🗝️ No Keys
I moved into a doorman building in Kips Bay last year. From the day I moved in, I’ve never locked the door to my apartment. There’s 500 apartments in my half of the complex, and I figure that between the doorman and the sheer number of options, any prospective thief would be apprehended long before finding my unlocked door. I can’t describe the freedom that I feel from not having to carry keys around with me. My favorite part in Sex, Lies and Videotape is where James Spader’s character talks about the freedom that he has from having all his possessions in his car, and how he only has one key. I feel like I’ve one upped him, and it feels incredible.
🗞️ NYPost Home Delivery
Earlier this year I started getting 7-day home delivery of the NY Post. In my building, someone delivers it to my actual apartment door every morning around 5AM. I usually wake up, get the paper, and then I read it in bed before doing anything else. The covers are always perfect, and I love the reporting from Queens and Long Island. The Post is the only paper who’s doing daily coverage of the University of Idaho murders, which I find fascinating. The only thing I hate about the Post is their Gossip Columnist, Cindy Adams. She’s a total bitch, and I find it completely patronizing when she signs off with “Only in New York, kids…only in New York”. I suppose that’s what insane people like about her, but I will always be partial to the far superior Liz Smith.
🥪 Viand (Madison and 61st)
My office used to be above Barneys at 660 Madison Avenue. I used to have lunch at Viand 2-3 times a week at least. I love all Diners, especially ones in New York, but Viand is different. It’s from a long fading tradition of NYC coffee shops - super narrow, with a bar on one side and 2 seater booths on the other. There’s no bathroom which is shocking to the hordes of tourists who find their way to it after seeing the windows at Bergdorf Goodman or going ice skating in Central Park. It’s also cash only, and their ATM has a $3.00 fee. The thing that separates Viand from other diners is the food. Their versions of everything you know are the best. They’re known for their full turkey dinner, which I’ve gotten on Christmas Day before going to Grace Church downtown for their Candlelit Eucharist. Their cheeseburger deluxe is perfect, tuna melt - perfect, Chef Salad - Perfect, BLT - perfect, blueberry muffin on the grill - perfect. It’s also amazingly expensive and I gasp every time I get the bill because it usually means that I have to get more money out at the expensive ATM. The prices keep all the riff raff out, which means that you can always find a seat, and what’s $25 for a perfect sandwich and a coke?
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