If the name fits ... New Yorkers whose monicker fits their job
By Nicole Lyn Pesce AND Gina Salamone
Updated Monday, April 20th 2009, 11:20 AM
What's in a name? Maybe your meal ticket!
From Art the artist to Harry the hairdresser, New York City is crawling with people whose names perfectly suit their professions. The Big Apple's best aptronyms (monikers that match your job) have a lot to say about what it's like to be named for what you do.
DR. HERTZ the pain manager
Relax: Dr. Ronny Hertz is all about curing, not causing, pain. "If you don't treat pain, it ruins lives," says Hertz, director of the Manhattan Center for Pain Management at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital.
"If you can help people with it, that's great." And most folks have no problem paging Dr. Hertz. "Some people laugh about my name, but I never had any trouble getting patients," says the 61-year-old from Rockland County. "Although, when I practiced dentistry in medical school, the place I worked for said to me, 'Please, can't you change your name?'"
DR. MA the pediatrician
When her patients yell out "Ma!" at the sight of a needle, their moms aren't the only ones to look up. Dr. Miu Ma has been a pediatrician for the past 10 years, working at Beth Israel Medical Center for the past five. "Some patients say, 'Oh, Dr. Ma, that's so nice. It's like mom,' " she says. "Just a few weeks ago, a new patient came in and said, 'That's cute.'"
Ma got into the profession because she loves kids, and treats newborns to 18-year-olds. "They're cute and fun," Ma says. "It's also nice to see them grow. Some patients I've known since they were newborns and now they're like 10 years old. And you really establish a good relationship with the whole family. That's the best part of it."
SUMMER RAYNE OAKES the environmentalist
Born on a rainy day in June, her mom decided to call her Summer Rayne, and Oakes is thanks to her dad's last name. The 24-year-old, who lives in Brooklyn, has immersed herself in nature from the start. "My first day of kindergarten, I brought in a boxful of pet caterpillars," Oakes says. "I was growing mold in my refrigerator. This was clearly something that I was really interested in."
The environmental scientist is a spokeswoman for Planet Green, Discovery Network's eco-lifestyle network. She also just helped launch a line of green shoes called Zoe & Zac for Payless — and works on sustainable forestry initiatives in Mozambique, Africa.
HARRY the hairdresser
Harry Josh's parents handed him his calling card. "No one ever forgets my name," says the stylist to the stars, who's coiffed celebs from Gisele Bundchen to Al Pacino for magazines, red carpets and commercials. "When you're on a shoot with a crew of 20 people, everyone remembers Harry the Hairdresser." Born in Vancouver and now living in the West Village, the 36-year-old shear genius (coveted for his coloring skills) has been freelancing for 15 years. Just be warned: He has a six-month waiting list (www.harryjosh.com). He's that good. "I need to be doing hair," he says. "That's what I came here to do."
GOLDMAN the jeweler
With a name like Goldman, the jewelry biz has gotta be good to ya. "It's like the name leads you into the trade," says Brad Goldman, president and owner of Allan A. Goldman, Inc., the company his father founded in 1955. The 47th St. shop (www.stonemangems.com) specializes in gemstones, but their gold earrings and pendants do the Goldman name proud. "Certainly, if my last name was Stoneman, it would have been even more particular," laughs Goldman, 49, from Westchester. "But hey — my father could have gone into coffee. It just so happens that he went into jewelry instead, and it works out well."
ART the artist
It's tough finding an art form Arthur Robins, 55, hasn't dabbled in. The Queens man spends his days painting, drawing, sculpting, making prints, acting, writing and working on music and videos. "I've been doing it since I was very young," he says. "Most children do, but I never stopped."
Robins has sold his paintings and prints from gallery shows, through agents, on eBay and even on sidewalks. "When I sell on the street, some people say, 'Art the artist' or 'You have been named appropriately.' " He specializes in figurative expressionism and loves painting cityscapes. "I do subways, imaginary tunnels, carnivals, amusement park scenes, bizarre people from imagination," Robins says. "I'm inspired by New York because it's the most vast and complex city in the world."
CAROL MOELLER the dental hygienist
Moeller (pronounced, yup, mo-lar) married into the last name, but was a dental hygienist before she tied the knot. It was her patients at Dr. Harry Woodrow's Long Island dentist office that made her realize the irony in her name sounding like a type of tooth. "I didn't really think about it," says the 60-year-old from Westbury. "Until I would tell somebody my last name, and they'd say, 'Whoa, Moeller. You work with teeth and your last name's Moeller!'" This June marks 40 years on the job. "I love learning new things from [patients], cleaning people's teeth, mostly making them better than when they walked in," she says.
SONG the music teacher
Music is in Ju-Ying Song's blood. The third-generation pianist started tickling the ivories when she was 4. Now 39, Song teaches piano at Mannes College the New School for Music when she's not performing around the world. "I've always loved to play," says Song, whose Chelsea apartment is acoustically perfect for her Kawai grand piano. "People do make comments like, 'Oh it's so nice that your last name is music-related,'" she says, "but, actually, the main musical part for me is my lead Chinese character." The "Ying" in her first name means "music" in Chinese. "I'm musical in two languages," she laughs, "so I feel that I couldn't avoid it."
ZOE HAMBURGER the McDonald's account handler
Working for the MWW Group, Hamburger handles public relations for New York- area McDonald's locations. When the Manhattanite reaches out to reporters on behalf of the burger chain, they can hardly hold it together. "It can't get any better than being a Hamburger and working for McDonald's," says Zoe, a huge burger fan. "I've had reporters say, 'That can't be your last name.' I have had my driver's license scanned to prove that I was. I've had people hang up on me on the phone. When someone read my e-mail address, which has my last name, they said, 'What are the other e-mail addresses on your team?'" she adds. "'Do you have a French Fries or a Snack Wrap?' I had to explain that it's actually my last name."
TANNER the leather worker
"I know what the name means, but I didn't ever actually think I'd be working with leather, because I'm a vegetarian!" cracks Tracey Tanner, 29, a Brooklyn designer specializing in animal-hide accessories. "People will never stop eating animals, so I guess I take a Native American way of thinking. I'm using the remains." She crafts her chic pouches, wristlets, wallets and bags by hand mostly from cowhide, available at www.traceytanner.com. "My parents gave me a good name, and I'm using it!" she says.
FROM THE FILES OF I.M. SHY
There were other New Yorkers with monikers matching their professions who shied away from the attention. Can't say we blame them! Here's the best of the bunch: urologists Dr. David Weiner (St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital) and Dr. Marcus Loo (New York Presbyterian Hospital); veterinarians Dr. Jeffrey Fisch (Clinton Veterinary Center) and Dr. Russell Katz (Pelham Animal Hospital); lawyer Sue Yoo (Sullivan & Cromwell LLP); food blogger Shernell Cooke (Rawexperiences.typepad.com); psychiatrist Dr. Edith McNutt.
i always find these funny.