Meet the Staff at Highbrow Magazine: Q&A With Writer Carol Berens

Carol Berens


Carol Berens, an architect and writer, whose work concentrates on design and urban change, lives in New York. She wrote Hotel Bars and Lobbies (McGraw-Hill, 1996) and most recently, Redeveloping Industrial Sites (John Wiley, 2010), as well as articles for design and general interest magazines. She was also the associate editor for The Paris Times, a now sadly defunct English-language monthly newspaper in Paris. Although no longer practicing as an architect, she can never get away from the world of building and sees the world through architect’s eyes, always on the lookout for great design, a new detail, and the little things that make cities great. For more about Berens, visit


Q & A With Carol:


What inspired you to become a writer?

It’s a mystery to me. I always read and I thought the lifestyle of a writer would be romantic.



Who are a few of your favorite authors?

Although I’ve only written nonfiction, the books I read are almost always fiction, with a weakness for detective novels developed from an early age. I have a terrible time picking favorites, but if I must, I would say Richard Ford, Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex, and the best social commentator, Jane Austen.



What’s the worst job/assignment  you’ve ever had?

Waitressing (clothed) in a topless bar—I lasted three hours.



Which is your favorite city in the U.S.?

New York, of course



What’s your all-time favorite film?

All That Jazz. I know it’s a self-indulgent film, especially the last half hour, but how can you not admire Fosse’s talent and willingness to go over the top?



Which newspapers/magazines/websites do you read regularly?

New York Times, The New Yorker, The Drudge Report, Slate (for the TV Club), Arts and Letters Daily, New York Magazine, Poets & Writers



Would you rather become the next editor-in-chief of the New Yorker or replace Jon Stewart as host of the “Daily Show”?

Editor-in-chief, hands down. Even the idea of performing sends me into a fit of anxiety.



What are your favorite “highbrow” pastimes?

 Movies, movies, movies.


Read a few of Carol's articles below:

New York's Ever-Changing Character


New York City's Dreams on Wheels Wake Up to Reality


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