In the Easy Chair with Stephanie Hayes-Houlihan

AGE: 64.

OCCUPATION: Co-owner of Water Street Café in Stonington.

RESIDENCE: Stonington.

Born Ramey Air Force Base, Puerto Rico; raised in France, England, Scotland, Italy, California, South Carolina and my hometown, New York City. 

RIGHT NOW I’M IN THE MIDDLE OF: Staying in business through COVID-19.

I AM COPING WITH LIFE IN THE AGE OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC BY: Taking it one day at a time, following health safety protocols, staying in touch with friends, meditating.

MY PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: With my husband, the Water Street Café.

TOP ON MY BUCKET LIST: The Grand Canyon.

I ALWAYS CARRY: Lipstick.

WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I GREW UP: Party planner and United Nations translator (which I accomplished).

MY HEROES ARE: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo and .

FAVORITE AUTHORS: Delia Owens, Dr. Gabor Maté and Jodi Picoult.

BOOKS ON MY NIGHT STAND: “Where the Crawdads Sing,” by Delia Owens; “The Shipping News” by Annie Proulx; and “Wilderness, the Gateway to the Soul: Enlightenment Through Wilderness,” by Scott Stillman.

TOP THREE SONGS ON MY PLAYLIST: “Do you Feel Like I Do,” by Peter Frampton; “Fragile,” by Sting; “Muoio Per Te,” by Sting; and “Senza Una Donna,” by Zucchero.

LAST THREE SONGS I SELECTED ON SPOTIFY: “Brandenburg,” by Black Violin; “Oh My Love,” by my niece, Little Flowers (what a beautiful voice); and “Om Tryambakam,” by the spiritual mantra singers Deva Primal, Miten and Manose.  

FAVORITE THREE MOVIES OF ALL TIME: “Green Card,” “The Deerhunter,” and “Passengers” with Jennifer Lawrence.

FAVORITE TV SHOWS: I don’t watch much TV.

FAVORITE RADIO STATION/SHOWS: NPR.

TOP COMFORT FOOD: Ice cream.

SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES I USE MOSTLY: Facebook.

TRAITS I MOST ADMIRE: Integrity.

PET PEEVES: No turn signal!

FAVORITE QUOTATION: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” — Mahatma Gandhi

MY FAVORITE THING ABOUT OUR LITTLE CORNER OF THE WORLD: The Atlantic Ocean.

CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: My family and my dogs.

LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT ME: I am half Hispanic and I speak fluent Italian.

BEST ADVICE I EVER RECEIVED: Was from my mother: “Always be gracious.”

ADVICE I BEST LIKE TO GIVE: Don’t underestimate your own strength and ability.

IF I RULED THE WORLD I WOULD: Be at peace with all countries, take care and educate the poor, take care of the earth and provide free health care for everyone.

IF I WON THE LOTTERY, THE FIRST THING I WOULD DO IS: Pay off debt!

I DRIVE A: 2017 green Subaru Outback.

I WISH I DROVE A: Tesla.

ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE: Non-dairy creamer.

IF I COULD INVITE ONE SPECIAL PERSON TO JOIN ME FOR DINNER AND CONVERSATION, I WOULD INVITE: Leonardo DiCaprio, environmentalist extraordinaire!

— Interview arranged and edited by Nancy Burns-Fusaro

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