Those who remember him as TV’s John-Boy Walton are often shocked to find that Richard Thomas is a lifelong Manhattanite. “It confuses people all the time,” says Thomas, 68, who spent most of his childhood at 60 W. 96th St., a building that no longer exists. A self-described “theater brat,” he’s back on Broadway in “The Great Society,” playing Hubert Humphrey to Brian Cox’s LBJ. He tells The Post where you’ll find him and wife Georgiana on those rare weekends when he’s not performing.
Georgi and I tend to live theater hours even if I’m not in a show: Lights out at 2, up at 10 a.m. I’ll make her a Bulletproof coffee and a strong cup of black tea for me, and then we’ll get back in bed, read our emails and the paper, and talk to whichever of our kids are available.
We love to cook. During our two-year courtship, we’d get on the phone and talk about what we were cooking for our kids, and one of the pleasures of our marriage is cooking together. On Saturday, we’ll go down to Union Square’s farmers market to shop for groceries. We love Violet Hill Farm, where they’ve given us great cookies for years, and Keith’s [Farm], for garlic, and Norwich Meadows Farm, where we’ll pick up whatever’s in season, then walk on up to Eataly to finish shopping.
Sometimes I’ll go down to my Zen center, Village Zendo on Broadway, just north of Prince, to meditate. I came of age in the ’60s, when we were opening our eyes to Eastern traditions, and I was a Chinese major at Columbia. But I just started practicing around 12 years ago.
When I’m downtown, I never miss a chance to go to the McNally Jackson bookstore — the very model of a modern major bookstore! I love just browsing along the shelves. Sometimes I’ll have a coffee there, or we’ll walk down the street to Café Gitane. It has a delicious light menu, sort of French-Mediterranean, with beautiful baked eggs. But there are no reservations, so you have to get lucky.
After lunch, we may check out the Paul Smith store if we’re looking for clothes. I love Paul Smith, because the flowers, stripes and polka dots remind me of the British invasion. There’s a bit of ’60s nostalgia when you grew up in New York, looking for Carnaby Street.
If we go to the Met, I love the Asian galleries. At MoMA, I will look at the paintings I saw back when I went to McBurney high school. If I had a long period between classes, I’d run down to look at what I loved: the Van Goghs, Matisses and Picassos. Later, I fell for the abstract expressionists. They may be out of fashion now, but the great thing about being 68 years old is, you don’t have to worry about fashion!