There’s been talk lately in the land of pop culture that Tom Hanks is “America’s Dad.” On a more local level, there’s a case to be made that Pat Kiernan is “New York’s Dad.”
For nearly 20 years he’s eased NYC awake on NY1, reading us the papers so we head out the door informed and with conversation starters up our sleeves. Now, the Canada-born news anchor, 47, has a story of his own to share. “Good Morning, City” details the pre-dawn and morning happenings of an unnamed metropolis — though sights familiar to New Yorkers are dotted through the children’s book, illustrated by Pascal Campion.
We recently caught up with Kiernan ahead of this week’s book launch. He told us the project came about when a children’s book publisher reached out to him on Twitter, with “the idea of [a children’s] book for waking up, because there’s so many books about bedtime,” he said.
It’s an area of expertise for Kiernan. “I’m super well suited to it: I’ve got all this background about the 4,000 times I’ve commuted through the deserted streets of New York City at 4 a.m. to go on NY1.”
Here are some more interesting tidbits we learned about the man who’s become a part of our morning routines.
He’s a proud dual-citizen
Of Brooklyn and Manhattan, that is. In ’12, after years living on the Upper West Side, Kiernan, with his wife Dawn and their two daughters, moved to Williamsburg.
One thing he misses about his old stomping ground: Fairway. “I think we were in there twice a day buying groceries,” he said.
Some of his favorite places to eat in his current neighborhood include Vinnie’s pizzeria (he likes ham & pineapple) and Andrew Carmellini’s latest restaurant, Leuca, at the William Vale Hotel.
Pat, nap master
For someone whose alarm sounds at 3:08 a.m. every weekday, it’d be fair to assume Kiernan hits the hay before your grandma does. Nope. “I usually sleep twice on a weekday,” he explains. “I usually sleep from noon to 2 p.m., and then I sleep from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. Sleeping twice a day doesn’t appeal to me, but [this way] I’m connected to the world.”
Caffeine = Kryptonite
“I’ve never been a coffee fan,” Kiernan admits. “I just like to wake up and have breakfast [Shreddies, a Canadian cereal]. ... On this shift, if the caffeine in one cup of coffee is all that’s waking you up, you’ve got a problem. ... When you get to 8 or 9 a.m. and you haven’t had enough sleep and haven’t had a good breakfast, the clock is standing still and you can’t keep your eyes open.”
Take note, kids!