Mark Stewart, better known as Stew, won a Tony in 2008 for Passing Strange, a semi-autobiographical musical about coming of age while traveling in Europe, which he wrote and performed with his collaborator and now ex-girlfriend Heidi Rodewald. Stew and Rodewald are currently working on a new cycle of songs, and in January released, as Stew & The Negro Problem, a new album called Making It, which deals in part with their break-up (and was also a show at St. Ann’s Warehouse in 2010). We caught up with the Los Angeles native to hear about life in and around Prospect Lefferts Gardens, where he now lives.
Favorite place to people watch?
My back porch, because it’s huge. It’s the biggest porch I’ve ever seen in New York.
Mitchell’s Soul Food on Vanderbilt, because their cakes are kind of lopsided like my grandmother’s, and everything there tastes good.
Best place to attend a show, see a piece of art, or watch a movie?
My guest room, because we screen only the finest in cinema.
Best bookstore or record store?
Unnameable Books on Vanderbilt, because they have obscure, cool music books that nobody else would dare stock.
Best grocery store or farmer’s market?
Park Slope Food Co-op, because all of my friends who cook dinner for me work there.
What’s missing from your neighborhood?
A very late-night delivery spot.
Best outdoor spot?
Prospect Park, because it’s right across the street from me.
Best place to drink?
My guest room.