Curriculum Vitae Q&A with Michael + Lisa Coleman, founders of Recreo.
Astrological sign? Lisa: Aquarius Michael: Aries
Lucky number? Michael: 27 – that’s how old I was when I met Lisa. Lisa: Awwww – I guess I’d better say 25 then…
Favorite Color? Lisa: Green Michael: Ditto…green is the color of life.
Uptown, Midtown, or Downtown? Lisa: Downtown. Michael: Most of our time is spent in the small colonial town of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. There’s no uptown and no downtown…just pure charm anywhere you turn.
Morning, Noon, or Night? Lisa: Morning, though you cannot beat the sunsets in San Miguel. Michael: On vacation, morning. Everyday life, evening.
Oscars, Tonys, or Grammys? Michael: I’ll have to defer to Lisa on this one….the last movie I really paid attention to was “Animal House.” Lisa: Golden Globes.
Met, MOMA, or Movies? Michael: Met, all day long. Lisa: Met – you can get lost there…in a good way.
Football, Baseball, or Basketball? Michael: Basketball, mid-90’s Chicago Bulls, or Baseball, Chicago Cubs, just about any year ever. Lisa: Once a hockey mom, always a hockey mom.
Green Tea, Black Tea, or Herbal Tea? Lisa: Two iced green teas every morning after my hike. Michael: I am confused by this question… why drink tea when there’s coffee to be had?
Sugar, Splenda, or Stevia? Lisa: No. Michael: Good coffee needs nothing but the time to drink it.
Red, White, or Rosé? Lisa: White, as in tequila. Michael: Did I mention coffee?
Spicy, Salty, or Sweet? Lisa: Salty. Michael: Sweet.
Sandwich, Soup, or Salad? Lisa: Love a good chopped salad, with anything that’s fresh and local. Michael: All of the above.
Is your wardrobe black, white, or color? Lisa: Yes. Michael: My daily uniform is blue jeans with a white button-down shirt, riding boots, and usually a serape over one shoulder.
Is your closet messy or neat? Michael: Messy. Messier. Messiest. Lisa: Neat. The secret to a long marriage is separate closets.
What’s your favorite room? Lisa: I’m happy hanging out anywhere, but there IS one room in our house with windows all around, and comfy furniture. It’s my favorite spot. Michael: My favorite room at home is a “sala abierta” – a room that’s covered but not closed, opening onto the lawn and garden. It’s where I work, and read, and enjoy San Miguel’s perpetual springtime weather.
What do you collect? Lisa: Memories. Michael: And I’m trying (without much success) to hold onto memories! Wait…what was the question again?
Dream dinner guest? Lisa: David Bowie. Michael: In more normal times, I’d choose someone witty and entertaining, like Noël Coward or Dorothy Parker. But given the tenor of our times, I’d now invite James Baldwin and William F. Buckley, Jr., together. Their famous Cambridge debate on race relations is maybe even more topical now than when it happened, more than a half a century ago. These are issues we all need to deal with, urgently.
Sunday ritual? Lisa & Michael: Since the lockdown, we’ve been taking the time to really explore our surroundings. So early every Sunday morning, we choose a new area in the countryside outside town to hike, to see things from a different perspective, to enjoy each other, and to justify a huge brunch afterward. And we get to do this with our daughter, so it’s even better. We hope our son will soon be able to join these excursions, once he’s finished quarantining in British Columbia.
Favorite flower? Lisa: Peonies. Michael: Jasmine in springtime, gardenia in the summer.
Cheat meal? Lisa: Gooey, creamy pasta…any shape…as long as it’s fettuccine. Michael: Fast-food burgers when nobody is looking. Kale, quinoa and Swiss chard when they are.
Do you have any rituals that you consider important to being your best self? Lisa: Nearly every morning, I start my day with a long walk with one of my dearest, funniest friends; starting the day with a little laughter is the best ritual I can imagine. Michael: Morning exercise and meditation.
Talent you’d like to have? Lisa: Singing…or painting. Michael: Focus.
Quality you want to be remembered by? Lisa: A great listener. Michael: Empathy.
Best things about New York? Lisa: There is so much I love about New York…mostly through my childhood memories. I was born there and had a very happy childhood there. Michael: The energy, drawn from people who represent just about every country and every culture from around the world. It is infectious and relentless…sometimes exhilarating and sometimes exhausting, but ever-present.
What does Considered Luxury mean to you? Lisa & Michael: To us, luxury isn’t about exclusivity or price or being fancy. But it IS about craftsmanship, timeless design, and enduring quality. “Considered luxury” becomes all the more meaningful, because it adds an element of thoughtfulness and responsible consumption. It prompts us to ask: Who made this? Were the makers treated fairly? Is it sustainable? Will it bring lasting joy? And finally, a luxury that is “considered” is something that, once acquired, becomes a meaningful part of the owner’s life…thus it’s more personal and valuable. This notion of Considered Luxury is absolutely consistent with the values and practices that govern everything we do at Recreo San Miguel, so it’s easy for us to embrace it and renew our commitment to the things that matter to us.