The City Desk introduces a new feature which gives you a glimpse into the domestic side of our city’s movers and shakers. What happens when they leave the council chambers, newsroom, office, stadium, community center, playhouse, studio, or classroom? What do they do to unwind? What are their passions? We’ll show you how these luminaries approach a little thing we like to call “life.”
At Home With … Carla Perry, Host of NewsCenter 7’s It’s Morning in the City!
Most of the city wakes up with Carla Perry in their homes, but that’s not an indictment of her reputation! Perry, who’s been hosting the city’s No. 1 TV morning show for three years, brings her viewers a blend of news, lifestyle features and entertaining interviews five days a week. Perry — who’s known for her catch phrase, “I like it! Really, I do!” — lives with her husband, Barry, a partner at the law firm Goldwater, Goldwater & Perry LLC, in a four-bed, five-and-a-half-bath Tudor/Greek revival manor on Rose Hill. Perry sat down with The City Desk recently to discuss gardening, her image, and how she’s changing the world one day at a time.
How do you unwind?
I’m a firm believer that working women need to treat themselves every once in a while. My guilty pleasure is my weekly two-hour-long, full-body massage. I just get so tense working in the fast-paced world of local network affiliate news. There’s a lot of stress, a lot of stress. I’ve gotten massages in some of the most exclusive spas in the world. The one at the St. Regis Resort in Bora Bora (an anniversary present from Barry!) was by far the most thoroughly relaxing massage I’ve ever received. Oh, and I do my fair share of shoe shopping. These are Jimmy Choos. Aren’t they fantastic?
Last time you splurged on something for your home?
When we were custom-designing our home last year, Barry and I immediately agreed on one thing: We wanted columns, lots of them. Can you spot them all? We somehow managed to cram 32 columns around the exterior of the home. It’s a record for the subdivision! Funny story about those columns: We ordered Doric columns from the contractor, but six months later we learned they were Ionic! But hey, a column’s a column (at least to me — Barry was steamed!).
Barry and I have agreed not to have children (our careers just take up too much time). But that doesn’t mean I don’t get to have a baby. My Yorkipoo is named Chet Huntley, after one half of the broadcast team we grew up with in our household. No, I’m not that old — Daddy played old tapes of Huntley-Brinkley for me when I was a child. Guess who wanted his little girl to go into broadcast journalism? … What’s that? Uh, no I wouldn’t name my second dog Walter Cronkite. But I did christen the area of the yard where Chet tinkles “Cronkite’s Corner.”
Always in the fridge?
Skim milk. I drink at least three full glasses a day. (I just love those Got Milk? ads! Don’t you?) I also keep the fridge well stocked with a full line of organic vegetables and cheeses. Oh, and of course, I can’t live without my nonfat, no-sugar-added, wheatgrass-infused mocha latte chocolate chip fro-yo from Häagen-Dazs.
Favorite meal to make?
Well, I don’t do much cooking myself. Our chef, Rodrigo, is a whiz in the kitchen though. He prepares the freshest salads and leanest meats. He’s from Spain, you know. Very exotic, his people.
So often I have people ask me how I stay so fit and trim! And I tell them my secret is running around the newsroom — ha! But, in all seriousness, my personal trainer, Bruce, is the secret to this great figure. I work out with him five days a week for two hours a day. I do a full cardio workout, usually a fast-paced walk or hike, and then some light weight lifting. That man, he’s a gem! He keeps me young, I tell you.
Legacy you’re hoping to leave behind?
I got into broadcast journalism for two reasons: Daddy, and the desire to change the world. I’m fairly certain Daddy’s happy with my career [laughs sharply], but I still have a long way to go in changing the world. But I think I’ve made a pretty good start on that road to proactive revolution by chairing the city’s efforts for Bring Your Daughter to Work Day. I’m proud to say that, since I took over the chairmanship of the BYDWD Foundation two years ago, we’ve increased the number of daughters coming to work by 21 percent, and decreased the number of sons coming to work by 6 percent. My efforts to maintain BYDW Day for girls has been called discriminatory and vindictive by some, but I’ve always said I’m just trying to uphold the day’s original mission: To methodically and systematically create consistent opportunities for women to amass as much power in the corporate structure as possible. I’ve been asked why that has to come at the exclusion of bringing boys to work, and I say: “Well, in every competition there’s a winner and a loser, right?”
Most prized possession?
You might notice there are no photographs of me around the house. That’s because I feel my image is healthiest when it’s in full audiovideo. So, instead of a bunch of boring photos (I mean, isn’t it kind of eerie that we can freeze images of people in frames and nail them to the wall? Does that not horrify anyone else?), we have seven 62-inch Sony Bravia HDTVs. Not only that, but we had engineers from Sony come out and calibrate the screen’s lighting and color to match my makeup palette. I like to call it Perry Vision!
What’s that you’re wearing?
Since my livelihood depends on my image, I have to stay up to date when it comes to the latest fashions. I have a great relationship with NewsCenter 7’s wardrobe department, but I also have several contacts in the local fashion community. I probably shouldn’t talk about this yet, because I’m only hearing whispers about it, but the designers are saying bathrobes are going to be really hot this season! It sounds crazy, but they’re saying that we’re going to be wrapped in terry cloth from head to toe and in every social occasion in a few months: at work, at parties, at the gym. So I may look a little weird right now in this forest-green three-quarters number, but remember that I started this trend when everybody’s wearing them in two months!
– C. Gaines, S. Lepro