Nicole Lapin, an anchor at CNBC, sees cigars as a natural tool to create camaraderie
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“I’d like more of one,” she says with a gentle, wistful laugh. “In addition to being anchor, I’m managing editor for North America. That’s a large coverage area. I sleep with my BlackBerry and my iPhone. I always want to make sure we’re covering stories in the best way possible. I have dinners out, but most of them are meetings. I try to take advantage of New York—I’m still a new New Yorker. It’s been almost a year. It’s such an interesting place. I love the small pleasures—walking around neighborhoods, finding inspiration in architecture, sampling different local cuisines.”
Right now, she says, there is no special guy, no relationship—though eventually she would like one, and a family as well. “It would take a special kind of chap,” she says. “Someone who is truly passionate about whatever it is he is doing, who works hard and is devoted—whether it’s gardening or basket weaving or finance or politics or environmental issues. Who has a purpose to wake up to.”
One thing Lapin is passionate about is Operation Smile, the organization that provides free surgery to repair cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities for children worldwide. “I’m an ambassador for them,” she says. “I get a great title. How could you not love to be a Smile Ambassador to Munchkins all over the world. I recently made a trip to Alexandria, Egypt, with a group of global physicians, plastic surgeons whose business is to help these children.” The work, she says, helps her “to continue some of my father’s legacy of helping young people.” She has also been an ambassador for the Starlight Children’s Foundation, which works with seriously ill children, and she created a program to help educate children with terminal illnesses on world news.
Lapin is a vegan. “I’ve been vegan for many years. I’m not a preacher, but it works for me. I don’t judge anybody—people can eat whatever they want. I eat anywhere—I find things at steakhouses and, when I’m on the road, gas stations. It’s a fundamental philosophy for me of limiting excess. There’s so much of everything—overstimulation all the time, at work and streaming on the Web. It’s a way of keeping things simple. I like simple things. Plain old food. Simple food. I’m very low maintenance. I’m a cheap date.”
Professionally, though, Lapin is still hungry—very hungry. But, she says, one thing that isn’t simple is thinking about her future career. “I’m a happy woman, living a dream. It sounds Pollyanna-ish of me, but I’m a happy camper if I can just continue to grow as a journalist. Yet things are changing so quickly that I don’t know if I can make any plans. Jobs probably won’t be exactly the same five years from now. I find that when I make goals they end up changing a little bit. I’m not taking anything for granted.”
For now, though, this young and successful journalist, and lover of cigars, is content. “When I wake up, I say I’m a lucky lady. A lucky lady to be alive. And I’m ready to start the day—or the night—or the morning.”
Mervyn Rothstein is a contributor to Cigar Aficionado.