Rose-Marie Swift’s Guide to Greenwich Village

How RMS Beauty’s founder — and her cute dog Frankie — navigates New York City…

This post comes to you from contributor, Katheryn Erickson.

Though RMS Beauty founder Rose-Marie Swift grew up in Vancouver, her energy is all New York. The makeup artist, who shares a tiny pup named Frankie with Miranda Kerr, keeps it very real and her quirky sense of humor is contagious — basically, it’s impossible not to crack up when you’re talking to Rose-Marie. “I treat the city as a pinball machine,” she jokes. “That’s how I move around. I literally figure out where I want to go and I go fast. If I think I’m gonna bang into something or someone, I’ll move my body really quick. That’s weird, right?” She also lives and breathes the clean, green lifestyle of her brand — shopping at the farmers’  market, taking public transit, and tuning in to the ingredients in absolutely everything (seriously: she once asked for the ingredient deck at a local ice cream shop). Below Swift shares her picks for the neighborhood she’s called home for 27 years.

The best part about living in the Village…

The convenience. And I’m addicted to the Union Square Greenmarket. It’s my favorite place in the whole world, and I buy all my food from the organic farmers. I go to Lucky Dog and Keith’s Farm. Hawthorne Valley Farm is where I buy raw sauerkraut, and they have the best broccoli. I’m always making huge salads and vegetable dishes, but one of my favorites is during broccoli season. I get fresh broccoli from Hawthorne Valley, steam it, and pour macadamia nut oil and seaweed on top — even my little dog Frankie will pick that over chicken. I put it over a bed of potatoes from the market too. I’m telling you — it’s orgasmic. People freak out, like, ‘Oh my god, are you going to make that broccoli thing?’ It’s so simple and it tastes so good. I also do a green juice or some kind of vegetable smoothie with fruit in the morning. I put bananas, blueberries, kale, Swiss chard, and then cauliflower to make it all thick; cauliflower is like my ice cream.

The best time to visit the city…

My favorite time of the year, hands down, is the fall. I love the smell of the falling leaves, and I love that the temperature is slightly cold. It just feels like it’s closing into snuggling and wanting to be warm. There’s something romantic about fall for me. And of course all the fall vegetables are at the market: sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin.

The best spots to bring your dog…

If you have a pet, go to Whiskers, [a holistic pet store] in the East Village. Other pet stores have all this pharmaceutical-laden crap for animals. When you go to Whiskers, you’re getting a much better choice. We’re all obsessed with our dogs in New York, and it’s fun to go there. My favorite park for Frankie is definitely Union Square. It’s kind of our meeting ground — after every little thing we do, we go for a stroll through the park so she can chase the squirrels. She goes insane over them. She knows birds are not cool and groovy, but she gets very excited over squirrels. She’s started to vibrate. You can see her big ears vibrating and her heart beats really fast. It’s really funny.

The best Sunday morning plan…

I have to admit…the first thing I do is roll over and grab Frankie, massage her belly, and say, “I love you Frankie!” I’m obsessed with telling her every morning when I wake up that I love her. Of course she doesn’t listen. I go out for breakfast on Sunday with my best friend. We always go to Quartino, an organic place on Bleecker Street. I have the steamed spinach with egg and potatoes. It’s amazing. And they have this homemade amaranth bread that’s fantastic. I’ll have a black tea with farm fresh honey, which makes it taste really good. I’ve never had coffee in my life. I love the smell, but can’t stand the taste.

The facialist that’ll give a Living Luminizer-esque glow…

I go to Ildi Pekar, a Hungarian facialist, uptown; she’s a good friend of mine. Ildi has a super knowledge of the skin, the facial structure, and ingredients in skincare. She’s smart and knows that most of it is crap.

The best way to get around town…

I’m a subway girl. I can’t stand taking a cab or a car service. It takes too long. I like to get on the subway, and it’s right around the corner from my apartment. Getting around is how I get my exercise. I don’t call it walking — I’m basically in a sprint. I will actually run down the street! In the subway, I go up all the escalators by running, two stairs at a time. I exercised my whole life—my mother always made me do something — but now I just charge around so much and I’m so high energy that I burn everything off.

But if you are going to walk (and not run), the best places for a stroll…

I like walking along the High Line. It’s so pretty. I go in the different seasons because you get a whole different view of the city. 10th and 11th Streets are also beautiful to walk along — anywhere from the East Village all the way to the Westside. Bank Street is really nice because it’s got big, beautiful homes. I love anywhere with fancy old homes. I love Gramercy Park. I bought a house in Savannah, Georgia because it has like 23 Gramercy Parks. My house is on one of the squares. I found a Gramercy Park that’s cheaper!

The best veggie dish…

When abcV first opened up, they had a ramen noodle soup that was beyond. They don’t have it right now because the vegetables are no longer in season, but it’ll probably be back in the springtime. It was mouthwatering. The soup had Meyer lemon in it, and I’m not a lemon fan but they gave me a complimentary soup one day because I’m a good client. I thought, ‘Oh god, Meyer lemon in a soup? Bleh!’ But I loved it. I went there every day — sometimes twice a day in the afternoon and the evening — just to have that soup.

The best place to shop for ideas…

I’m not a shopper. I never really buy anything new, and I am one of those people that wears a black uniform. It’s always the same clothes: AG jeans and a black cashmere sweater, the same shoes, the same Celine coat. That’s me. I’m not a dresser-upper. Even though I work in fashion I’m never going, ‘Oh my god, I’ve got to have that.’ Nah.

But one of my favorite stores to look around in is ABC Carpet and Home. It’s so unusual in there. All the sections are interesting — it makes you think, so you’re not always going for the same taste. I just bought an organic bed from ABC. Most people will go to mattress stores where they have all that fire retardant, chemical-laden stuff, but I got really into searching for an organic bed. I highly recommend it.

Photos of abcV and abc carpet & home courtesy of abc.

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I agree with her on the subway! No risk of traffic, too!

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

3 years ago

Great post!