The Suite Living by Crissy Brookshire
Born and raised in a small Texas Town, Crissy has to date enjoyed an eclectic and creative working life that has spanned the worlds of tech, music, photography, film and PR.
Her career has seen her working across the United States, from being a publicist in New York to a computer tech specialist in Dallas, and photographer and production manager in LA. Crissy’s life has been a powerful and colourful journey where each opportunity has evolved into the next one.
Currently, Crissy divides her time between her investments in real estate, a fast-growing liquor company and independent film produc- tion where she has recently invested in acclaimed independent film Mapplethorpe about the incredible life journey of infamous photogra- pher Robert Mapplethorpe.
Above all Crissy has a huge passion for travel both across the United States, and internationally. Along with her partner Iris, Crissy credits her travels for “Feeding her adventurous soul”.
Here Crissy joins us to share some of her trips and tips with our Berkeley Bespoke readers.
Texas. I lived all over the United States and I love so much of it but Texas is home. I grew up in a small town outside of Houston. In my thirties I lived in Austin a few years between stints in LA. But Dallas, is where I finally decided to put down roots. I moved here around five years ago and built my dream house. As much as my spirit calls to me to roam it’s nice to have a home base with close family and friends.
What is your favourite bar/restaurant ?
At home in Dallas my favourite restaurant is Uchi. Chef Tyson Cole started this twist on Japanese food and sushi in Austin but now has restaurants in Houston and Dallas. The food is so different–it’s an up scale Japanese with very unusual plates. I love the Hama chilli,apiece of yellow tail in a ponzu broth with citrus and Thai chili-the flavours blow up in your mouth. Also,the foie gras sushi with a sip of sauternes might be the greatest bite/sipof food and drink on the planet. www.uchidallas.com
My favourite bar locally is Black Swan. Master mixologist Gabe Sanchez runs this hidden gem in theDallas arts district Deep Ellum. The best way to order in his bar is to tell him your favourite spirit and whether you like it sweet, sour,or straight. www.blackswansaloon.com
Out side of theUS,I would sayNino in Rome, Italy near the Spanish steps.It is traditional Roman cuisine at its best. The penne arrabbiata is my favourite but start with the artichokes Romano and white beans and tuna you won’t regret it.
Lastly, there is this hideaway bar in the Beaumont hotel in London. It is reserved only for guests of the hotel and seats very few people. To order a drink you ring a bell and a bartender appears to make your drink and then disappears behind a wall. Great place for a nightcap before bed
Where would you head to on a first date?
Always to dinner. If I want to know something about somebody I will take them somewhereadventurous to eat. If we are going to get along you can’t be a picky eater! I also feel that you can tella lot about a person by the way they treat a waiter.
What do you enjoy most about travel?
People always ask where my favourite place is, the answer is some where I haven’t been. For me, traveling it is about finding something new,afresh experience and new perspective on people or food and culture. Traveling is an adventure that takes you out of your“normal”and makes you think about other people and how they live.It’s also the best way to learn history. I enjoy taking private tours with personal guides. It really helps you get the unique stories of a place.But I also love to wander… getting lost in the streets can be the best part of a trip.
What are your travel essentials ?
#1 aBIG suitcase!!But my best travel tipis to bring something fancy to wear.Just having it creates an opportunity to do something special. Especially when you travel with a concierge service. They are excellent at creating one of a kind experiences like last minute opera tickets, a5-star restaurant reservations and backstage VIP experiences. If you are prepared for the unexpected to happen be prepared in the best possible way.
Where is next on your list?
Top of my bucket list is Aurora Borealis the Northern Lights, because well…… they are spectacular. Also, India because I love the food and the culture. The Maldives is also on my shortlist–I’ve seen the pictures!Finally,I am getting fit and ready to head to South America for some hiking and in particular am planning to visit Machu picchu
Apart from travel, what are you most passionate about?
LGBTQ+ issues are my biggest passion.I am helping my partner Iris launch her new company JunoApparel. She has created a whole new line of swimwear for people who fall in to the gender-neutral territory. It’s an important is sue for me as I have always been a very masculine presenting woman and I felt uncomfortable in the current offering of women’s swimwear. Iris reliazed there was a hole in the swimwear industry for people like me. She has come up with some amazing lyforward-thinking swim suits that have compression and comfort but don’t read as either masculine or feminine and I even think people outside the LGBTQ+communities are also going to like this line. They are very fashion forward and super comfortable for people who want some structure,coverage,and fashion when they swim.www.junoapparel.com
What makes someone a true Texan?
Pride. I don’t know what it is about Texans but despite our difference we all seems to have a deep connection to our state. We will plaster the shape of our state on just about anything from swimming pools to bar-b-que sauce bottles. Our state also has a deep history with Mexico and I’d challenge anyone to find a single town without at least oneTex-Mex restaurants.When I get homesick it can only be cured by chicken fried steak with cream gravy or a plate of cheese enchiladas
What has been your best trip and what is your best memory of travel?
Although I have had may wonderful trips over the years, I would say that this past year when I travelled with my co producers of Mapplethorpe to 8 countries in 2 months for the European film festival tour. We visited Warsaw, Amsterdam, Bologna, Thessaloniki, Cork, Stockholm, London, and Porto. As we travelled, we took care to immerse ourselves in each country’s specific food, drink, art,and culture. We had the most wonderful experience and I hope we get to do it again with future films.
Tell us about a hidden gem you have uncovered on your travels?
There are so many!! Sometimes it would be a no name restaurant in a farmer’s market in Bologna or a taco truck in Mexico. You can often find something really good in the most unmemorable place I love that sense of exploration and adventure. I think it’s important to follow your instincts when traveling and let something happen unplanned. Those are the memories that are just for you and are hard to find in a travel guide. The “we were so tired and just walked into this little restaurant…” stories.
What projects are you pursuing at the moment?
I am continuing to work with the team who made Mapplethorpe happen. We are in the very early stages about a new movie that will be about a bridge club– I can’t reveal too much but it will certainly be an insightful take on a quirky wonderful culture!! I am also continuing to work with with Candy Signature Cocktails which has been hugely successful in Texas and hopefully will soon be taking of fin a huge way nationally.
What does BESPOKE mean to you?
Custom to the stitching. In travel it means every step of travel is planned out ahead of time and so I know that my plane, car and hotel are all going to happen seamlessly I don’t have to worry, then I am free to enjoy myself and have an adventure. You feel secure just as like when you have a bespoke suit that fits perfectly.
When I travel with the Berkeley Travel team I can relax because they have an attention to detail that is second to none. Plus, I know when I arrive, I’m going to have a case of water, a bottle of my favourite tequila, Don Julio 1942, and a beautiful flowers arrangement in my suite!
Bespoke is an attention to detail that makes you feel confident. You don’t have to think about the details because they just happen. Mapplethorpe is scheduled for UK theatrical release this September. Updates available on Facebook and Instagram @mapplethorpemovie