Matt Koff’s debut comedy album Who’s My Little Guy? is now out on 800 Pound Gorilla. Fans know Matt from his writing on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, for which he won an Emmy, as well as his stand-up appearances on Adam Devine’s House Party and The History Channel’s I Love the 1880s. After doing comedy for over a decade, Matt decided it was time to fulfill his dream of releasing an album because his therapist told him to shut up and do it already.
As a late-night TV show writer, Matt typically deals with current events, so for Who’s My Little Guy? he wanted to shift gears and delve into more personal experiences, like what it’s like breaking your arms in a bicycle accident in New York City, getting fired from a game show, having a neurotic mother who believes that every day may be your last, and how awkward it can be to celebrate Christmas when you’re a Jew. Recorded at Union Hall in Brooklyn, Who’s My Little Guy? provides an escape from the times we live in by offering a delightfully strange comedy experience.
And to celebrate the release, Matt shared his top 5 places in New York City to get some fucking peace and quiet.
Ah, New York City. Call it what you will: The Big Apple, The Giant Papaya, The Sizeable Squash. For a city where people rarely say a word to each other, New York sure is loud. It’s got every kind of noise pollution: Blaring sirens, cackling NYU bros, old ladies blasting Enrique Iglesias from their portable bluetooth speakers at 3am. If you’ve lived here long enough– and I’ve lived here way longer than that– New York City’s hoopla will drive you batty. Luckily, there are a few places to find a little slice of serenity.
THE NORTH WOODS. Midtown’s got it all: dining, nightlife, and… a forest?! (Record scratch.) That’s right, if you’re looking for a place in Manhattan that isn’t overflowing with hot dog vendors and selfie-stick-slingin’ tourists, head to the North Woods, one of Central Park’s official woodland preserves. Here you can watch some robins, peep some leaves, even meditate by a waterfall. These woods are so secluded that, if you awoke here after being knocked unconscious, you’d swear you were bears-deep in the Ozarks. (Except with fewer antelope and more Yankees caps.)
ROOSEVELT ISLAND. Did you know that there’s an island that lies between Manhattan and Queens? It’s called Roosevelt Island. Named after Franklin Delano Roosevelt (the one with polio), Roosevelt Island is a two-mile long, primarily residential, blissfully peaceful shangri-la that stretches the equivalent length of East 45th to East 86th Street. Accessible by F train and a tram, it’s a great spot to escape midtown’s hubbubb. Grab a peppermint tea from the island’s one and only Starbucks (!), then venture south to explore the abandoned smallpox hospital before it becomes something even more depressing: a luxury condominium. (I’m hoping they call it someone cool, like SmoPo.)
RED HOOK. This neighborhood is hands-down my favorite place in Brooklyn. With its relaxed shanty-town vibe, part of what makes Red Hook so chill is that it’s so remote. No subways run to this part of town, which means you have to get here the old-fashioned way: by hitch-hiking with a twitchy ex-convict. But it’s well worth it: not only does Red Hook have an amazing view of the East River, it’s also home to some of the best eateries in the city, like Hometown Barbecue, Brooklyn Crab, and Ample Hills’ Flagship Ice Cream Store. And if you find yourself in an emergency where you need 96 different types of olive oil, don’t worry: they’ve also got a Fairway.
NYC FERRY. Avast ye matey! Did you know that you can set sail on NYC’s waterways for a mere $2.75? Yes, the ferry system can take you all over, but this journey is also a destination in and of itself. They sell beer, they sell wine, and if you bring drugs on board, who cares? You’re international waters, baby! (Haven’t fact-checked this one, but it feels true.) And if $2.75 is too steep, there’s also the Staten Island Ferry which is free. The only downside is that it brings you to Staten Island.
NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY. Who would have guessed that the best place for silence in the city is smack-dab in the middle of midtown? If you’re looking for good, solid quietude, there’s nowhere better than the Main Branch of the New York Public Library. Of all the locations I’ve mentioned, this one has the best kind of quiet: the kind that’s enforced by 70-year-old security guards. And sure, there’s branches all over, but those places are for losers. The Stephen A. Schwartzman Building on 42nd street is the biggest, the most beautiful, and it’s where they shot the opening scene of Ghostbusters. If it’s good enough for Dr. Peter Venkmann, it’s good enough for yoU.