In five seasons of playing Lucky Luciano on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” Vincent Piazza never had to shoot scenes on a Sunday. “Sunday is a reflective day, a thoughtful day,” he said. Now, with the show heading toward a promised bloody end later this fall, Mr. Piazza has plenty to reflect on, including, as of earlier this year, a new neighborhood to call home. A native of Queens, Mr. Piazza, 38, speaks with a New York brio that makes a 40-block move sound like a journey across temperate zones. His new home, which he shares with his girlfriend of a year and a half and a miniature longhaired dachshund, is near the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge. But Queens is not too far away. “It’s a pretty incredible thing to know I can walk across the bridge and end up there if I ever need to,” he said.
DOG DUTY The first thing I do is get up and walk the dog. There are doormen, so I like to at least use mouthwash before I take out the dog, so when I say hi it’s not offensive.
TIME TO GET ILLY I will feed the dog and then head out to get a cup of coffee. There’s a counter in Food Emporium that has Illy coffee. I get a medium-sized cup and take myself for a walk, just to come out of whatever sleep was still there and think about the day.
ROLL WITH IT I’ll come back home and spend a good 30 minutes stretching out. I use a foam roller.
PANCAKE REUNIONS We like to rally for a good brunch somewhere. We’ll walk to the subway and head downtown. We like to go to Friend of a Farmer on Irving Place. I love that area. Sometimes we’ll meet friends that we haven’t seen in a while. Usually they are reunion brunches of some kind, because life seems to go pretty quickly. Friend of a Farmer is a good place to do it, and the food is always phenomenal — the blueberry pancakes, and they serve omelets in skillets.
FEELIN’ GROOVY We typically like to walk around, see what’s happening over by Union Square, whether it’s protests or street performers or just people-watch. Probably get a second cup of coffee as we’re walking around. Then I like to take another break. I have this thing that I’ve been doing for the last few years where I make it my business, no matter what, to read 30 pages of a book a day. I can’t tell you how many books I’ve gotten through. There’s a great bench by the 59th Street Bridge, just sitting by the East River. There’s never anyone there. I’ll spend a little time reading and writing in the journal. Sometimes my girlfriend will join me. But it’s always good to get time to yourself, so we try to give each other that on the weekends.
SWEAT After that we might have more plans or a trip to the gym. It varies. Sometimes we’ll play a little tennis or go to some type of class, whether it be yoga or cycling.
I wouldn’t say I’m a religious person, but I found this amazing place in the neighborhood called St. Peter’s, which every Sunday at 5 p.m. has a SPIRIT jazz vespers Mass. I believe it’s Lutheran, and I was raised Roman Catholic, but I go there and it’s incredibly peaceful. I like listening to the old stories and hearing this great jazz. So that’s been a staple since I moved here. When I go in there, there’s something very old New York about the sound of jazz in a church space.
ENTERTAIN FAMILY Every two or three Sundays I’ll meet with my family. I’ll have them come into the city and try to find a new restaurant. So it’s always challenging to try to find something new to introduce them to in the city. I feel so spoiled, growing up in Queens and living in Manhattan.
UNWIND, WINE My girlfriend and I will either go out for a glass of wine or we’ll come home and either take in a movie or watch something that we had in mind, and call it a night. I wish I could always get eight hours of sleep. I’ll stay up until midnight or 1 a.m. and get six hours of sleep. I’ll have a nice glass of red wine and it’s better than NyQuil for me.
KEEP IT SIMPLE Last thing I do before bed is brush my teeth, roll out my muscles one last time and go to bed. My girlfriend enforces a no-working-time-in-bed rule. Reprinted from the New York Times, September 2014, "Vincent Piazza: 40 Blocks From Home, but a World Away" by JOHN LELAND