The Portrait Project
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Jami Floyd, a good friend of MZW Co-founder Lucy, talks about her career in law and journalism, and growing up in the city.


Jami Floyd
(No “e” on the end of “Jami.” No middle name. Clean and simple. Just the way I like it.)

Current location

New York City

Words that best describe you:

Born and Bred New Yorker

What was your very first job?

Sales Clerk at Bloomingdales, Third Avenue & 59th Street. I was hired for the holiday rush: I left 10 years later.

What are you working on these days?

My memoir (but who isn’t?)

What’s an average day for you?

There is no “average” day for me

Favorite place for lunch in NYC?

Balthazar, right up the street from MZ Wallace, I have loved that room from the day it opened, and I still love it. Fortified with red wine and French fries, I hit the Crosby street store.

Best piece of advice someone ever gave you:

“You can’t win them over on charm alone.”
~ James J. Broshnan, Great American Trial Attorney (It’s true in court, and it’s true in life)

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced?

The slow, undignified death of my father, my namesake James Floyd. I would have chosen any other end for him.

Do you have any hobbies?

I love to cook. I love to eat. I love to walk (and it’s a good thing, with all that cooking and eating)

What’s your guiltiest pleasure?

Yellow Taxis (I love to walk, but not so much in heels)

Favorite city (other than New York)?

I never met a city I didn’t love

3 things on your life-long to-do list:

I used to say (1) live fast, (2) die young, (3) leave a beautiful corpse.
 But it’s too late for that, and I’m glad for it. So, now all I want from life is to: (1) live long, (2) love well, and (3) finish my memoir.

What beauty product can you not live without?

Thong Underwear

Where do you get your news?

The Old Gray Lady. (Okay, and, yes, Twitter)

Favorite Television show / program:

“The Wire,” hands down. If you haven’t seen it, see it.

Coffee or Tea?

Coffee in the morning, Tea in the afternoon. Wine in the evening. Wait. You didn’t ask about wine. Scratch that.


Dogs and Cats, all over the place!

What’s inside your handbag right now?

Ready? Today I am carrying a navy blue Jane.

Inside: My never-go-any-where-without-it MZ Wallace Willa wallet

3 MZ Wallace small cosmetic cases:
 I use one for cosmetics, I use one for electronics chords, I use one for a spare pair of undies and a tampon (you asked!)

One MZ Wallace flat cosmetic pouch (I use that for excess business cards)

Migraine medication (everyone has at least one Achilles heel; most people just don’t tell you about it)

Mac Lip Gloss (this is the extra, easy to reach tube)

A tiny lint roller (owing to my white dog)

Moroccan Oil Hydrating Styling Cream that I just picked up at my hairdressers

A pair of Spare Soles (foldable flats)

My Robert Marc reading glasses

One iPhone (total apple junkie)

One Voyager Blue Tooth (makes me look like 7 of 9)

A Roberto Coin Pen and French Notebook (because some things have to be done the old fashioned way)

What qualities do you require in a friend?

Loyalty. Sense of Wonder. Compassion. A sense of Humor. Common Sense.

What event in your lifetime marked you the most?

The personal: The death of my grandmother. The birth of my children
The political: The death of Martin and Bobby. The passage of the Civil and Voting Rights Acts.
 Roe v. Wade

Who are your heroes?

The personal: My great grandmother Caldonia Pratt (helped settle the west and carve the Chisolm Trail). My great grandmother, Ollie James (born a slave, died a free woman)

The political: Martin and Bobby

What is your most treasured possession?

My rag doll Lewis, made for me by my neighbor Juliana Caguiat when I was five years old. She lovingly restored him ten years ago. That doll has been my most treasured possession for more than forty years.

If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?

Thomas Jefferson. I want to ask about the contradictions between his words and his deeds. In other words, and with all due respect, what were you thinking?