Photo: courtesy kathryn garcia
If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair but the hair spray and the electric toothbrush. We asked Kathryn Garcia — a Democratic candidate running to be New York City’s next mayor — about the cookbook, sunscreen, and ice-cube trays she can’t live without.
My copy is stained because it has been on the counter too many times. As a kid, my mom and dad used it. Mine is not a hand-me-down — my mom was not giving me her Joy of Cooking. I love the recipe for seven-minute icing. It’s less sweet than buttercream and will keep a cake fresh: The icing acts like cement when you put it on. It’s sugar, cream of tartar, and egg whites. I cooked more often when my kids lived at home; they’re 25 and 22 now. These days, I do most cooking on the weekend. I prepare meals like soups or chilis and freeze them to have during the week.
I do have other water bottles, but this one keeps water super, super cold all day. I tried to fill it with coffee once, but the bottle kept it so hot that I burned myself. Mine has a sort of marbled look.
I use these to make skinny ice cubes to put in the S’well bottle because the mouth isn’t big enough for regular ice cubes. I prefer water with ice because I like it very chilly.
Occasionally I will take phone calls on my Apple Watch and feel like Inspector Gadget. What I really use it for is the “activity” function, which allows me to sort of compete with family and friends who also have Apple Watches. During the height of the pandemic when I wasn’t really moving enough, I’d get notifications that so-and-so just finished a workout. Those made me think about how I needed to get a workout in. My mother and my kids are all Apple Watch wearers and convinced me to get one. Competition motivates me. My mother is the most consistent exerciser because working out has always been a part of her world. I’m allergic to metals — I once got a rash from wearing a Swatch watch — but this one is somehow fine. I don’t have a fancy band; mine is silicone because it’s less likely to cause an allergic reaction.
You can cry your eyes out in this and it will not smear. Black under your eyes is never a good look. I don’t know how they do it, but it never smears. I’ve been using it for probably 15, 20 years. I am a pretty low-maintenance person. I can be ready and out the door in ten minutes. But mascara has always been part of my routine. If anything, I’ll put on mascara and lipstick.
I’ve worn them a lot while campaigning across the city. When you’ve got to be walking and going up and down subway-station steps, it’s good to have a shoe on the flatter side. My pink ones are not looking so pink — they’ve held up, they just look dirty from all the wear. They’ve also molded to my feet over time, which is why I haven’t gone out and gotten a new pair yet.
This is a little on the pinker side. It’s not too much of a statement, but not colorless either. It matches everything, no matter what I wear. I don’t need to have 13 lipsticks. Whenever I finish a tube, I get a new one. My daughter actually told me she thought the color would work for me. She’s much more into makeup than I am.
I used to have a bottle of Purell floating around at the bottom of my purse, but that was not working for me. I got tired of digging and didn’t want to touch everything, so now I get the ones with the hooks you can attach to a bag. I try to elbow-bump, but sometimes that ends up as a handshake. I sanitize whenever I stop shaking hands. I wasn’t as worried about sanitizing before COVID; I’d wash my hands and maybe get to the sanitizer. But now, I pay a lot more attention.
I put it on every day — you have to. Even when you think the sun is not out, it is out. I’ve been wearing this sunscreen for years. It’s easy, sheer, and smells nice — it reminds me of the beach. I am a beach person; I love going to Jacob Riis, Coney Island. I mainly use it on my face, but if I’m at the beach and don’t have sunscreen for my body, I’ll put it on. That almost never happens because I try to make sure I never burn. I got sunburnt a lot as a kid. My kids like to tan and, growing up, they did not enjoy Mom coming at them with the sunscreen. My son would literally get out of the water and roll in the sand to make sure I couldn’t put it on.
The one I’ve been using recently has a blue floral pattern; it’s quite pretty. The bag can hold rally posters, which I didn’t think would fit. It’s super strong, too — it can hold a gallon of milk. I always keep a reusable bag in my purse. Do it for just a week and you’re like, “Oh my gosh, there’s a lot less waste.” When I was with the Department of Sanitation, we started sending New Yorkers free reusable bags to incentivize them to make the change. When you give people the tools, folks see how much less waste they leave behind. It’s really motivating.
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