On “Orange Is the New Black,” Natalie “Fig” Figueroa is a coarse, nasty prison warden — the antithesis, it seems, of Alysia Reiner, the book-loving, ecologically minded New York mom who plays her. Now 49, she lives in Harlem with her actor husband, David Alan Basche, and their daughter, Livia, 9, with whom she just built a fairy house. “It’s kind of like a dollhouse, but you put it in the back yard and it welcomes the fairies,” Reiner tells The Post’s ERIC HEGEDÜS. Here’s where you’ll find her on the weekends.
We’ve been in Harlem since 2004. We have a brownstone that was a “crack house” — no windows, no doors, no plumbing, no roof. It took a year and a half to renovate [and] it’s my Barbie dream house. My supercrafty husband just built a treehouse with my daughter in the backyard.
We live right near Marcus Garvey Park. I have such love for it because my daughter grew up going there. We have picnics there, she learned how to ride her bike there, we sled there. Every year for Halloween they have a big parade around the park. They have those minilibraries, sort of like birdhouses and people put a book in and take a book out. They have sprinklers — I have so many memories of my daughter in the sprinklers there when she was little.
My daughter is superphysical. We go to this place called Circus Warehouse in Queens almost every weekend. She loves the flying trapeze, but they have silks and everything. I have video of me on the flying trapeze. I’m the girl who jumps out of planes and is not scared. I mean, I am, but I get a little high off of fear.
I’m a huge bookstore fan and I’ll go down to the Strand and just wander. When I was a kid, my favorite bookstore was Shakespeare and Company. I just read that it is coming back and I’m over the moon!
I love finding new areas of the city that I don’t usually spend time in. There’s a little mezcal bar called Claro in Brooklyn and they have this incredible selection. I’m very into sustainability; they are as organic as possible and all local. Mezcal is a version of tequila I’ve gotten into because they say it’s superhealthy and doesn’t give you as much of a hangover.
I’m a big ice-cream fan. My favorite Harlem ice-cream place is Sugar Hill Creamery, which I feel like I don’t want to tell you because I don’t want there to be lines and lines and lines. It’s all homemade. Their vegan chocolate sorbet is the best thing I’ve ever eaten in my life, but then they make these rare flavors like sweet-pea-and-strawberry. Oh, my God … Know what else I love? When you ask for a taste, they do it with a metal spoon so they don’t waste plastic.
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