I Love My Kitchen Because: Claudia Gonson

Claudia Gonson, the manager and piano player of The Magnetic Fields, moved into her Park Slope apartment in 2002 because of the kitchen: There was something about it that made her feel instantly happy and at home. When not taking care of her two-year-old daughter or touring with the band (The Magnetic Fields will be touring selected dates in the US this fall to support their new album [Love at the Bottom of the Sea](

• There are two big vintage fish posters hanging on the walls. I think I found one at a yard sale a long time ago and then just decided to make it into a theme. When I was in high school and college I worked in a fish market in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and I just became really involved with fish. I'm not a great cook now, but I'm a pretty great fish cook. My early training as a 15-year-old was to take home a different piece of fish every day from the Boston harbor and and figure out what to do with it.

• Raising a kid, every day can feel a bit like fighting a battle to get things done, so I tend to just make the same four recipes over and over again. But this routine is actually really great for me as a new mom and for her as a toddler still getting used to trying foods. Every Sunday I've been going to the farmers' market, getting some nice fish, and having my friend over for dinner. It's a really nice weekly tradition. I'll pan-fry the fish and we'll make a nice big salad together, and watch some TV. I love it. For me, eating the same foods over and over again isn't so bad, because you get good at them, and you know how to do it.


Credit: Noah Fecks

• My daughter went through a phase where she would sit in front of the fridge and play with the magnets there while I was cooking. That was a really nice kind of family scene; I hope she'll start doing that again.

• My favorite tool is my "chopper" (my chef's knife). I didn't have a real one for a long time, then my mom gave me one—it was actually hers and she was scared of using it—and now the difference in speed in which I get through my cooking is immeasurable. I love to chop up tons of vegetables and fennel for my "crunchy salad" that I always leave in my fridge in order to have a go-to dish to snack on.

• It's a ridiculously small amount of space I have to work with. The kitty litter is next to the stove, it used to be in what is now the baby's room, and now there really is just nowhere to fit it in the apartment. I guess if I was a little more clever I could cut a cat door into the cupboard under the sink and put it there, but basically it just defaulted to that position by the stove and has stayed. It is amusing, though, that every time I want to broil my fish I have to move the kitty litter. It's amazing the measures we get used to taking to make living in small spaces work. It's definitely starting to feel like I need to expand my home.


Interview conducted and condensed by Anna Stockwell

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