November 18 2016

Family Portraits: Mateen, Michael, Stephanie, and Kelly

New York-Meet Our Staff
In the second installment of our Family Portraits series, meet Mateen Booker, Michael Stout, Stephanie Perez, and Kelly Mei—members of our fam at The Standard, High Line. We're happy to know them, and thankful to work alongside them. So be sure to say "hey" to them the next time you're there. You're part of our fam, too. 
MATEEN BOOKER
The Standard
The Standard
Name: Mateen Booker
 
Years at The Standard, High Line: 5 years
"And I also worked at Sunset Beach.”
 
Position: Line cook at The Standard Grill 
 
From: Plainfield, NJ
 
Astrological Sign: Libra 

People say I’m…
“Amazing.”
 
What are common misconceptions about you?
“That I can be mean or aggressive.”
 
What quality do you most admire in others? 
“Their ability to be kind and have good energy.”
 
Secret Talent:
“I can dance like Kelis.”
 
Proudest “life” moment:
“Graduating college.”
 
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
“I love to cook and shop.”
 
Passion project:
“Catering.”
 
Favorite song of all time:
“‘Milkshake’ by Kelis.”
KELLY MEI
The Standard
The Standard
Name: Kelly Mei
 
Years at The Standard, East Village: 8 years

Position:
Housekeeper
 
From: China
 
Astrological Sign: Sagittarius 
People say I’m…
"A hard worker, nice, helpful, and a strong person."

What quality do you most admire in others?
"Outgoing people and people who like to help others."

Secret talent: 
"I’m good at tennis."
 
Proudest “life” moment:
"Raising my children."
 
What do you like to do when you’re not working? 
"Read."
 
Passion project:
"Buying my dream house."
 
Favorite song of all time:
“'I Will Always Love you' by Whitney Houston."
MICHAEL STOUT
The Standard
The Standard
Name: Michael Stout

Years at The Standard, High Line: 6 years
 
Position: Server in The Standard Plaza
 
From: St. Augustine, Florida
 
Astrological Sign: Libra
People say I’m…
“Funny.”
 
Common misconceptions about you: 
“I always multitask to make sure everyone’s taken care of, but that comes across as scattered.”
 
What quality do you most admire in others? 
“Friendliness.”
 
Secret talent: 
“I can do a backflip.”
 
Proudest “life” moment:
“Last summer, I took a leave of absence and I went to the Congo for 2 months for a design and build apprenticeship. It was with the nonprofit IMA World Health, and they got a $200 million grant to build 200 new health centers. We were working to build sustainably in a really impoverished environment, and trying to see if there was any way we could improve upon the designs that were already in motion. It was really exciting to be a part of the process and give a helping hand when I could.”
 
What do you like to do when you’re not working? 
“Anything design-related. I do visuals for Ralph Lauren window displays. I also book out my loft for photo shoots, and there are three to four different ones a year. Sometimes I design the space for that shoot. My degree’s in architecture.” 
 
Favorite song of all time:
“‘Joga’ by Bjork. 
STEPHANIE PEREZ
The Standard
The Standard
Name: Stephanie Perez
 
Years at The Standard, High Line: 
“I just started at the end of July.”
 
Position: Server in The Standard Plaza
 
From:  
“My nationality is Dominican, but I live in Staten Island and I’ve lived there my whole life. I love it.”
 
Astrological Sign: Pisces
 
People say I’m…
“I’m all smiles all day long, coffee or not. Sometimes people don’t understand how I deal with certain people. I laugh about everything.”
 
Common misconceptions about you: 
“I think I have chronic resting bitch face. People are always like, ‘I thought you were going to be mean, but you’re the sweetest thing!’”
 
What quality do you most admire in others? 
“Just strength in general in every aspect. I’m super emotional. I breakdown for anything. I admire someone that can take an asshole and be like, ‘Meh.’ I can handle when it’s not personal, but when it’s personal my chin starts quivering.”
 
Secret talent: 
“I’m a secret ninja. I’m so clumsy that eventually my body learned how to catch things in places no one should be able to catch things. I must have been a ninja in a past life. My kid doesn’t get away with anything. My body just reacts.”
 
Proudest “life” moment:
“Having my son. I didn’t know what kind of mom I was going be. I didn’t think I liked children. Now I’m a creep with kids and peer into random people’s strollers on the street. When you have your own kid, the love naturally kicks in for them, because now I love all kids.”
 
What do you like to do when you’re not working? 
“I like to be a lazy body at home. Snacks, Netflix, pantless, braless, and junk food on my couch. I’m not your typical 24-year-old.”
 
Favorite song of all time:
“'You Are My Sunshine.' My son likes to sing that me."
Photographer
Christopher Leaman