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Illustration by Wendy MacNaughton
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The Batali Inquisition: Michael Stipe

The musician and artist likes to sleep on his right side 

The Batali Inquisition: Michael Stipe

The musician and artist likes to sleep on his right side 


When is your favorite time of day?

Dusk is filled with sadness and promise just like me, haha. Midnight or 11 p.m. is when I wake up and start getting real ideas.

Where do you sleep best?

On my right side.

What is the best way to recharge your batteries?

Beach towns, and sun, sun, sun. The further south, the better.

Where is your energy most successfully applied?

I loved performing when I did. It focused all the excess energy that I have into a purpose. I’m also a really good furniture wiper and a relentless housekeeper.

Where do you waste the most energy?

Online, definitely. I will chase any rabbit down any hole, and emerge days later, stupider and starving….

When are you most depleted?

Weddings and funerals. I am a human emotion sponge, and at events where there is so much focused energy, I tend to black out or check out. It’s always exhausting.

Michael Stipe’s “Batali Inquisition Selfie”

What is the last thing you ate?

Blendered bok choy and apple juice(I know, WEIRD), with oatmeal raisin cookies that my Mom made.

When are you hungry?

I’m most hungry after I exercise. Always around 4 p.m. too….

What was the last thing you cooked?

Veg lunch with cheesy quinoa noodles, bok choy, pan seared zucchini with gomasio, and heirloom tomato with chipotle mustard.

If you were a food, what would you be?

Sea urchin!!!!

Describe the perfect meal, what and where?

Well, dang, Mario—most of my perfect meals have been with you…! Hmmm, okay… Hawaiian fish tacos on the beach! Wild boar lasagna with nutmeg in Tuscany! Fresh sea urchin both in Bushwick and off the coast of Sicily! Pork schnitzel in Berlin! Sri Lankan breakfast curry in the Maldives! Local grilled salmon in Vancouver! Cheese, baguette, charcuterie, and red wine at a friend’s apartment in Paris! Socca with a cold beer on the street in Nice! Brazilian quinoa with sundried tomatoes! Mom’s breakfast blackberry tart with black coffee! My bf Thomas’s aunt’s grilled sardines in her backyard in the south of France! Cheese, salad, and Rosé lunch at Château la Coste! Spicy hot street quesadillas in Mexico City and Todos Santos! Breakfast congee in the Hong Kong airport!

What is your favorite Olympic event?

Luge.

What was the last live performance you saw?

A benefit tribute to Lou Reed for AIDS Athens at the 40 Watt Club.

With which artist of all time do you most identify?

This question is impossible to answer honestly.

Who is your favorite literary character?

Bartleby the Scrivener.

What is your favorite method of travel?

Kayak.

What is your favorite vacation spot?

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, I love the Mediterranean.

Where would you live if you could live anywhere?

In a beach town.

What food do you want served at your funeral?

Something really gooey.

What is your favorite luxury?

Caviar and hubris.

Bonus Question: Can you describe the flavor of your childhood??

Click here for Michael Stipe’s answer