in the Public Realm
Cocktails & Conversations

February 22nd, 2013 Center for Architecture, New York City

The Pairing:
Claire Weisz, WXY Architects
James Russell, Bloomberg News

Cocktail designed by:
Toby Cecchini, Bartender + Author

Claire Weisz, WXY Architecture
View WXY Architecture's projects

Claire Weisz is an architect and urbanist and a founding principal of WXY, an award winning practice based in NYC. With partners Mark Yoes, Layng Pew and Adam Lubinsky, WXY focuses on innovative approaches to public space, structures and cities. They have received the League Prize and an Emerging Voice in 2011 from the Architecture League. Recent and ongoing public work include the redesign of Astor Place, the waterfront of Far Rockaway Park, the Spring Street Sanitation Garage, Transmitter Park and Pier, Pier 26’s Boathouse/Restaurant, The Battery’s Seaglass, and the latest study for Pier 40.

WXY's planning initiatives include Civic Action with The Noguchi Museum and Socrates Sculpture Park, GCT/East Midtown's Next 100 re-imagined with MAS, strategic planning for the Brooklyn Tech Triangle and the East River Blueway Plan. Claire co-founded with Andrea Woodner The Design Trust for Public Space and is currently on faculty at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service.

James Russell, Bloomberg News
James S. Russell, FAIA, is the architecture critic for Bloomberg News, which reaches 260,000 professionals and 350 publications worldwide. Mr. Russell's commentaries also appear in Bloomberg Businessweek and the Bloomberg Muse website ( He has been a guest on Bloomberg radio and TV.

His book, The Agile City: Building Well Being and Wealth in an Era of Climate Change, was published by Island Press in 2011. New York magazine’s Justin Davidson wrote, “There’s more common sense and intelligence on each page than most writing on this topic can squeeze out of an entire book.” For 18 years Mr. Russell was an editor at Architectural Record magazine, the premier American journal for practicing architects, helping it to earn a National Magazine Award for General Excellence (2003) as well as numerous other industry awards.

Mr. Russell is an adjunct professor at the Spitzer School of Architecture of the City College of New York. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and the Editorial Advisor to AIANY’s Oculus Committee.

Toby Cecchini, Bartender & Author
Toby is a writer and bartender based in New York City. He has written on food, wine and spirits for GQ, Food and Wine, and The New York Times. His first book, Cosmopolitan: A Bartender's Life, was published in 2003. He is currently at work on his second book, a travelogue of spirits based on his travels for The New York Times' Living and travel magazines. He began bartending at the Odeon in 1987, where he is credited with creating the internationally recognized version of the Cosmopolitan cocktail in New York. He followed that with stints in several bars including Passersby, which he owned until 2008.


  • 2 oz. Anchor Distilling Hophead Vodka
  • 1 oz. Cocchi Americano
  • 2 fresh shiso leaves
  • 2 dashes pomelo/Seville orange tincture (orange bitters, for home use)

Tear shiso leaves into pieces and lightly muddle in the bottom of a mixing glass. Add ice, then liquid ingredients and stir for at least one minute. Strain into a chilled martini coupe. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel.