Guilty Pleasures: The Travel Secrets of Jorn Weisbrodt

by Michel Heredia Photographed by Jorn Weisbrodt
Monday, July 25, 2011
Jorn Weisbrodt

Jorn Weisbrodt is originally from Germany. He is the Director of the Watermill Center in New York, a laboratory for performance founded by Robert Wilson. This Saturday will be the famous Annual Watermill Summer Benefit. The funds raised will support The Watermill Center’s International Summer Program and Fall/Spring Residency Program, providing a unique environment for young and emerging artists to explore and develop their work. ( Here are Weisbrodt’s terrific travel tips.

 What’s your best travel experience?

Jorn Weisbrodt: “Driving out to our home on the beach in Montauk in two hours from door to door late at night and arriving there, getting out of the car, smelling the ocean, hearing the waves clash against the shore and looking up into millions of stars.”

What’s your worst travel experience?

Jorn Weisbrodt: “Having an emergency landing in Ireland instead of arriving on time in Manchester and then realizing that we only flew with one engine for hours over the Atlantic. Apparently it was closer to get to Ireland than back to New York when the one of two engines broke. Oh and the electricity of the business class chairs (my second transatlantic business class flight ever, I was lucky and got an upgrade) was out as well so all the chairs were in the sleeping position and had to be pulled and pushed into upright position by the not too amused and amusing crew.”

Favorite little detail about a hotel?

Jorn Weisbrodt: “The mailbox in the Parco dei Principi Hotel is probably one of the most beautiful objects designed by Gio Ponti. There are so many incredible details in that hotel. Every room has different tiles all designed by the greatest Italian designer that I requested changing rooms every day.”

What is your favorite way to travel?

Jorn Weisbrodt: “It would probably be by carriage if I grew up in the 18th century but nowadays it is by car late at night. I like it when you are able to get away from it all but it is close enough to take the car and not have much traffic.”

What’s your must-bring item?

Jorn Weisbrodt: “A good book, I am reading Anthony Trollope‘s “The Way We Live Now” at the moment. It is over 800 pages but I love long books, so one can start living in them. It is basically the Madoff story told over 150 years ago.”

What’s the best travel advice you’ve ever received?

Jorn Weisbrodt: “When you go to Taipei from New York go through Alaska. I went twice, the first time I had a stop over in LA, the second time in Alaska and Alaska cuts out 5 hours and in economy class with my height every hour counts. I could not believe it but it is true.”

Favorite meal?

Jorn Weisbrodt: “Anything with truffles.”

Favorite buy? Where?

Jorn Weisbrodt: “A 17th century table from a monastery in Umbria which I bought in a little antique store in Spoleto, Italy, probably one of the most beautiful little towns in Italy, totally unspoiled and not one chain store or restaurant there. It is in our house in Montauk and I always imagine the cast of “The Name of the Rose” sitting around it.”

What would you stock your minibar with?

Jorn Weisbrodt: “Fresh coconut juice but not the stuff that they offer now in plastic packages in supermarkets around the country.”

Your top three list of places to visit next?

Jorn Weisbrodt: “The Carpathian Mountains in Romania, I would love to meet Dracula. India – we met Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, who pushed the legalization of homosexuality in India, and he offered us one of his eight or so palaces and Schleswig-Holstein in Germany. I grew up there but realize that I only have far too dim memories of a lot of the places there and I know it is far more beautiful than my memory is still able to tell me.”

Ideal travel partner (alive or dead) and why?

Jorn Weisbrodt: “My fiancé, Rufus Wainwright, nothing is as good as traveling with the love of your life.”

Guilty splurge?

Jorn Weisbrodt: “Massages, I love them, but I always think they are too expensive and I would definitely survive without them.”

Sunset or sunrise?

Jorn Weisbrodt: “I wish I could say sunrise, but I am a theater person so the nights are always too long to see the sunrise. Sometimes they are too long I guess so then you do.”

Name a travel destination where you thought: I could stay here forever.

Jorn Weisbrodt: “Montauk and then Big Sur. I like the coasts, the edge between land and water has something extremely existential. I like to be able to cross that divide, basically I like to play in the ocean.”



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