MIDTOWN RENTAL IS FIT FOR AN 'AMERICAN IDOL'
By MICKI SIEGEL
NEW YORK POST
Normally I do not share anything here that I feel invades Taylor Hicks' personal space, but as he has voluntarily shared his current 'space' with both the NEW YORK POST and OK Magazine (in this week's issue), I thought I'd pass along this great article!
Plus I'm thrilled to learn that Taylor is a lover of green things too!
I was pretty sure he had a green thumb just from several things he has said in the past, but this article confirms it!
HICKS, OUT OF THE STICKS:
Taylor Hicks has lived, written music and often cooked in this one-bedroom apartment while starring in the Broadway production of "Grease."
"This apartment has been perfect for me and what I wanted to achieve," Taylor Hicks says of his Midtown rental. "I wanted to write some music, have friends over, be comfortable and be close to Broadway."
But his stay is now coming to an end. The season five winner of "American Idol" is winding down his first role in a Broadway musical as a soulful, Elvis Presley-ish Teen Angel in "Grease." His last performance will be Sept. 7. (Not to worry, "Idol" fans: On Sept. 9, another season five contestant, Ace Young, will join "Grease" as Kenickie.) For the past two months of his run, Hicks, 31, has been living in the posh Atelier condominium on 42nd Street. This sort of "Hollywood on the Hudson" building, a half-block from the river, has residents including Lindsay Lohan and Nick Lachey. The building features a roof deck, swimming pool, fitness center and basketball court.
Hicks' two-bedroom, one-bath corner unit, which rents for $4,600 a month, includes floor-to-ceiling windows that offer river views as well as city views to the north and south.
"It's a wonderful apartment," says Hicks, who likes the convenient location. "I run in the Hudson River Park, I swim in the pool and I practice my golf swings at Chelsea Piers. It's close to the theater, and I really enjoy being near the water. It's just the best of both worlds."The apartment came furnished, but, Hicks "spruced it up a bit."
Together with decorator Marne Cahn, he bought new pieces that are both handsome and practical.
"This is my first time of having new things," the gray-haired, Alabama-born singer says. "Everything I've always had in my apartment have been my grandmother's hand-me-downs. This is the first time I've actually been able to go out on my own and buy a piece of furniture that hasn't been handed down over generations in my family."
One of his new pieces is a soft avocado suede couch daybed in the second bedroom. It can open out into a queen-size bed for friends who stay over.
"This room is kind of my sitting room," he says of the second bedroom. "I write music in here, I talk on the phone. And the view - it's just about a 180-degree view of whatever you want to see in New York. At night, with the city lights, it's absolutely stunning." The living room is outfitted with a deep brown, almost black leather sofa, which "is really comfortable," Hicks says. "Some mornings I wake up and realize I slept the entire night on the couch. That's how comfortable it is."
It's also the room where he has a wall of guitars.
"I keep the two guitars I like to write with hanging on hooks on the wall," he says. "They're handy, so, if the muse hits me, I can corral her before she gets away." In addition to playing guitar and singing, Hicks has many other talents that he didn't get a chance to display on "American Idol." Like his green thumb - almost every window is filled with thriving plants.
"Because there's so much light in this apartment, there's an equal opportunity for lots of plants to grow," he says.
That extends to the coffee table, which has a glass top with plants and peat moss inside it.
"I just thought it would be real cool to have some greenery within the table," he says.
Hicks is also quite the cook. The open kitchen has seen him whipping up dishes for guests. His specialties are lasagna and chicken piccata.
"A few days ago a fan sent me five slabs of barbecued ribs," Hicks says. "They were already pre-cooked, so I just put them in the oven to warm them and brought them to the theater so we could all eat them. Needless to say, we danced a little slow that night."
Now that he's leaving the show, Hicks is about to record his next album. There's no title or release date yet (he's hoping for early next year), but he's quite excited about it.
"I had time to really create and write the songs," he says. "It's going to be very creative."
And ending this run in "Grease" doesn't mean he's saying goodbye to Broadway. He's hoping for another musical in the not-too-distant future.
"I've had a wonderful time," Hicks says. "I'll be back here again. I'll be putting all my new furniture right back in a place somewhere around here.
I'm really thankful that I was able to come here and experience New York and help spice up the place a little bit. It's definitely country come to town."
* A painting of his band playing at the House of Blues in New Orleans
* A T-shirt he got when, at 18, he worked in a roadhouse called the Flora-Bama Lounge
* His TaylorMade golf clubs
* His collection of old music magazines: "I learn from the singers I read about. They helped me create my own style."
* His case of 12 harmonicas, all in different keys
* His book "Heart Full of Soul"
* The plants all over his apartment
“A heathy garden is a reflection of a healthy soul.”
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