Vanessa Ray has lived in New York City on and off for the previous decade, renting or subletting within the theater district, on the far reaches of Upper West Side, in Brooklyn and, greater than as soon as, in Lincoln Square.
“I had always watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on television, and when I was starting to pursue being an actor, I was like, ‘I’m going to shoot my shot in New York,’” mentioned Ms. Ray, 39, who performs feisty policewoman Eddie Janko, now a daily across the Reagan dinner desk, on the long-running CBS police procedural “Blue Bloods.” (The Season 11 finale airs May 14.)
It was the start of an awesome love affair.
“This is where my heart is,” mentioned Ms. Ray, who was raised in Portland, Ore., and subsequently moved to Los Angeles the place, due to roles on “Pretty Little Liars,” “Suits” and “Blue Bloods,” she owns a home within the hills. “I love California. When I have three months off, I go and soak up the sun and swim in the pool, and then I come back here to real living.”
Vanessa Ray, 39
Lip service: “When I was first on ‘Blue Bloods,’ I was subletting a place in the theater district. You walk around there and you run into just about every actor you know. I was dating different people, and one guy went to kiss me on Ninth Avenue, and I was like, ‘You can’t kiss me on Ninth Avenue. That’s saying something. Let’s take it to 10th Avenue when it’s a new relationship.’”
Not lengthy after her 2015 marriage to Landon Beard, a Los Angeles-based musician who involves New York as regularly as potential, Ms. Ray took it into her head to strive Brooklyn on for measurement. It didn’t match, even when the two-bedroom she rented in Williamsburg, close to McCarren Park, was a straightforward stroll to the “Blue Bloods” set in Greenpoint.
“I was going through a tough time emotionally, and because of that I knew I needed to return to Manhattan,” Ms. Ray mentioned. Fortunately, certainly one of her finest associates, Jessica Waxman, is an actual property agent. Ms. Waxman offered three or 4 choices, all close to Lincoln Center and all close to her personal condo, so the 2 girls might simply meet for morning espresso and walks in Central Park.
“Jess was like, ‘OK, Vanessa, you need a kitchen that’s big enough to cook all the things you like to cook and big enough for me to watch you while you’re doing it,’” Ms. Ray mentioned. “She also knew I needed outdoor space and a view of some kind.
“I like to wake up and look outside and think, ‘I’ve got to get in it. I’ve got to get out there,’” she mentioned. “That’s the driving force of any success I’ve had in New York.”
A yr and a half in the past, Ms. Ray moved into what she describes as “a nice, healing space”: a one-bedroom condo with a balcony in a full-service postwar constructing, the place she will be able to see the Hudson River from the home windows in the lounge and bed room.
In the entryway, there’s a picture of Ms. Ray and Mr. Beard strolling on the seaside in Santa Monica within the early days of their courtship, and one other of them on their marriage ceremony day in Pala, Calif. Make no mistake. They look very completely satisfied.
But (and also you’re studying it right here first): She has a factor for one more man, a science man. His portrait — and it’s a giant one — additionally hangs within the entryway.
“I love Bill Nye,” mentioned Ms. Ray, who purchased the likeness at a classic store in Portland. “I was home-schooled as a kid. Bill Nye did a segment on ‘The Mickey Mouse Club,’ and he was always doing stuff and blowing things up. It got my brother and me excited about science, and we’ve really leaned into it over the years. If I could meet Bill Nye, I would be speechless.”
Until then, she’ll take what she will be able to get. Some years in the past, when her “Blue Bloods” co-star Will Estes met Mr. Nye at an business occasion, he scored an autographed coaster for Ms. Ray. It’s tucked right into a nook of the image body.
When Ms. Ray turned a collection common in 2013, she latched onto a really substantial tan sectional from Crate & Barrel. “This couch is huge. It’s practically a twin bed,” she mentioned. “It was the most expensive thing I had ever bought in my life.”
Perhaps within the curiosity of getting her cash’s price, Ms. Ray has introduced it alongside to each condo she has rented within the intervening years. “I will say, I don’t need a lot,” she mentioned. “If I have a couch and a blanket, I’m pretty thrilled.”
Those who know Ms. Ray will snigger on the above declaration about “a blanket.” She has, finally rely, a few dozen blankets within the condo, all stashed in baskets — amongst them, Mexican blankets, Pendleton blankets, camp blankets and a white polyester quantity from Restoration Hardware of surpassing softness and coziness.
“My husband is like, ‘Enough blankets, babe,’ but I like to switch things up,” she mentioned.
She feels the identical means about kitchen towels. She has them for each vacation: Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Halloween. “I’ve got them all,” Ms. Ray mentioned. “I think I was a school receptionist in another life.”
Her assortment of important kitchen utensils is, against this, positively austere. The most regularly used are a citrus squeezer (she squirts lemon on just about every thing) and a few pairs of tongs: “You can stir with them. You can sauté with them. You can toss a salad. You can flip a steak. You can use them to get something out of the oven real quick.”
Those instruments are saved within the drawer of a butcher-block-topped kitchen cart that additionally holds a Nespresso machine and an Aicook juicer, a latest acquisition. “This is the key spot,” Ms. Ray mentioned of the cart. “It was the perfect size. The story of my life is that I’m always one inch off, but this really nailed it.”
Watching over her within the kitchen are pictures of her grandfather, a grasp of the barbecue, and her uncle, Scott Smith, who taught her the thrill of spices and sushi.
If the kitchen is the condo’s middle of exercise, the lounge is a spot for reflection. There, Ms. Ray sits on a pouf close to the TV cupboard, writes in her journal and reads. If affirmation is what she’s after on the finish of a tricky day, she want look solely so far as the desk subsequent to the sectional, the place “yes” is spelled in wooden blocks.
“I have ‘yes’ signs everywhere,” she mentioned. “When I first moved to Los Angeles, I had a friend who did that growing up, and I was like, ‘I want to do that, too, so I can remember to stay positive.’”
There’s one other ‘yes,’ in brass letters, within the bed room. Ms. Ray and Mr. Beard are presently in talks about getting a neon ‘yes’ signal. “But,” she mentioned with a sigh, “we haven’t said yes to it yet.”