#6 Roy Kim

Senior Vice President Design, Extell Development, OHNY board member and site sponsor
Lives in the Financial District, Manhattan

What is your relationship to New York City? I’m from Vancouver – I’m a Canuck! My first to visit to the city, I was 25 and I just assumed that I wouldn’t like it. But, I loved it. I didn’t know how much of an urbanist I was inside. In 2006, I finally moved here.

How and when did you learn about OHNY? I heard about OHNY when I was working for a design firm in Seattle. I came to New York on a visit during OHNY Weekend and loved it. It must have been one of the first ones, back in 2003 or 2004. And now, you are an OHNY board member!

So far, what has been your favorite OHNY site and/or program? One of my favorites was the tour of One World Trade Center. I was not prepared for how thrilling it would feel to be able to step into the ‘ground zero’ space, and then be able to survey the land from the new building. We were able to sign our names on the building, so I got extra ‘cool uncle’ points with my nephew and mother-in-law, who were visiting from Phoenix. That, and the Kushner residence are my favorites.

If you could gain access to any site in New York that you wanted, what would that site be? I would like to go behind-the-scenes at the Rockefeller Center, like seeing the NBC Studios. I want to get into Jack Donaghy’s office (from 30 Rock) preferably with Jack Donaghy in it, and a microwave. Ken, the page, could get us in – and lead the tour!

As it’s the holiday season, what is your favorite holiday spot in New York? I love the many Christmas tree displays throughout the city. In particular, the New York Palace hotel, which is also right near Paley Park (53rd Street between Madison and 5th Aves) and the Sherry Netherland Hotel. Their displays are so beautiful.

What is the best-kept secret about New York City? That it is not as big of a city as people think it is. The grid system makes it easy to get around and easy to break down into sections.

What sites do you have on your “to do” list for the 2012 OHNY Weekend? The TWA Flight Center. Also, the UN I have never been even though it is not far from my office. This past OHNY Weekend we offered tours of the UN with the architects in charge of the current renovation. That sounds amazing. I want to do that!

If you could plan it, how would you celebrate OHNY’s Tenth Anniversary? We should get all of those integral to the development of New York like Jane Jacobs, FDR and Robert Moses all together – basically, we would have to hold a séance. And, it would have to be in a really great space like Governors Island, which would provide the perfect location with a wonderful view of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Great, we’ll bring the Ouija board.

What is the thing you love most about OHNY? I love that it enables people to see New York because we collectively own the city together. It is our city and it is important to explore our environment.

Why do you give to OHNY? Because it is a really great civic organization that makes the city better. OHNY provides access to architecture and design that helps to cultivate awareness about our urban surroundings.

Thanks for sharing with us, Roy!

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