CBS newsman Anthony Mason has worked for the network since 1986. His assignments often took him away from his native New York City — as London correspondent and Moscow bureau chief, among other jobs. Earlier this year, he moved from weekend work to a weekday schedule as co-host of “CBS This Morning.” Here, the 63-year-old tells The Post how he likes to unwind around his neighborhood with his family with his now-free weekends.
I live on the Upper West Side and I typically go get Blue Bottle coffee for me and my wife. That’s the first thing I do. But I’m also adjusting to a different schedule, because for seven years I used to work on Saturday mornings, so I’d typically wake up at 4:30. Finally I get to sleep in, but sleeping in for me is like, 7 a.m. That feels luxurious. So I get in the biggest, most comfortable chair I have overlooking Broadway, and drink my coffee and read the paper in silence, which feels like the biggest luxury you can have. That’s how my day starts.
It’s always a treat when I can get both of my kids who still live with us — who are 23 and 19 — to go out on a walk with my wife and me. We’re lucky they’re still willing to do that. We’ll go to Central Park. We never have a specific destination, we just head for the park and once we get there, we go, “Where do we want to go?” Sometimes it’s up to the reservoir, sometimes it’s an hour-long walk in the park, and we like to go down to where the rollerbladers dance and create almost a roller rink. We’ll sit there mesmerized for half an hour. I love doing that; it makes me happy.
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I loved going to Central Park as a little kid. I used to hang out at the boat pond, at the Hans Christian Andersen statue. My oldest friend in New York is Sandy Kenyon, the Channel 7 entertainment reporter. I literally met Sandy in a baby carriage in Central Park before either of us could speak — his babysitter and mine were friends and parked us next to each other. He likes to say, “I don’t remember a day when I didn’t know you,” and that’s absolutely true.
So he and I would play together in the park — we were usually taken near the boat pond. I love that area; every time I walk by there, it has indelible childhood memories for me. It felt so big to me as a kid. And every time I walk by the Alice in Wonderland statue, I don’t even have to touch it — I know exactly how it feels because I remember climbing all over it when I was little. You never lose that stuff.
After I come out of the park I’ll tend to wander to Book Culture, a bookstore up on Columbus Ave. I just love nosing around bookshops, and there aren’t enough of them. Restaurant-wise, I’m still somewhat disappointed with what’s on the Upper West Side. Every time when I was hosting the Saturday show, we always had a chef on at the end of the show and a dish, and I would always ask, “Can you please open a restaurant on the Upper West Side? We need help!” We love Cafe Luxembourg and the cafe at the Fairway Market, which has a great Sunday brunch.