look book

The Writer Who Went Redhead After a Breakup

Maria Denardo.
Maria Denardo. Photo: Bobby Doherty

Maria Denardo, Writer

Is your hair naturally that color?
Oh, girl, no. My real color is cardboard mousy brown. I’ve always loved redheads — I grew up loving Anne of Green Gables. But for a long time I was dating a redhead, and I couldn’t dye my hair red because we’d look like siblings — and that’s not hot. But as soon as we broke up, I did it.

Where are you from?
Ohio. I moved here in 2008 knowing nothing about New York; like, I thought borough was a verb. I road-tripped here and found an apartment in the North Bronx that was really cheap, furnished, and meals were included, which sounded amazing. I thought it would be like a European hostel kind of situation, but when I got there, it was kind of like a nursing home but with some young people. There was this former polo player who was into S&M and a 17-year-old ballet dancer.

That sounds like a David Lynch movie.
It was so crazy. We’d all have dinner together in this formal dining room and talk about astrology and politics. The owner was this creepy Andy Warhol type, and the “house” was religious, so we weren’t allowed to have guests sleep over. After about a year, I got out of there.

Lightning Round
Age: 30.
Neighborhood: Sunnyside. “It’s starting to change: I recently saw a girl with a yoga mat and Alexander Wang boots.”
Hair colorist: Steve Royster at Scott J Aveda Salon.
Pets: “A little one-eyed Shih Tzu who I rescued in October.”
Favorite food: Vegan sweet-potato pie from Candle 79. “I could swim in it.”
Eye color: Naturally this blue.

*This article appears in the March 23, 2015 issue of New York Magazine.