A Conversation With Mr.Norman G.

This story originally appeared on the Gents Cafe Newsletter. You can subscribe here.

Meet Norman G. (@normanrealdealnyc), attorney and real estate broker based between Chicago and New York City.

1. Give us a short introduction about yourself:

By day, I navigate the labyrinthine world of tax code in Chicago, as a tax attorney. By night, I’m a dealmaker, orchestrating the urban symphony of NYC real estate. My name is Norman Grigoryan, and I dress up in a world that often chooses comfort.

2. How do you define your style?

In essence, my style blends classic American and continental flair. I love mixing patterns and contrasting styles, bridging the gap between casual and formal. High-low dressing is where I feel I truly shine. Throwing a patched military jacket over a tailored jacket? Easy. The Canadian tuxedo serves as a blank canvas for a corduroy jacket and a tie! You need to learn the rules to be able to break them! (Or to bound in your legal practice…) 

3. What does it mean for you to be a Modern Gentleman?

In a world consumed by extremes, standing on the middle ground might seem boring. But I believe it’s the fertile soil where true progress grows. My ‘Manner-Manner-Manners’ approach isn’t just about etiquette, it’s about building bridges, fostering understanding, and radiating the kind of positivity that can shift the tide.

4. When it comes to style, where do you mostly get your inspiration from?

My inspiration stems from multiple sources. Mostly, it’s vintage Esquire magazines and menswear enthusiasts that constantly pop up in my Instagram feed. But brands like the Armoury and Drakes, along with some Japanese magazines, also inspire me a lot. 

5. What’s your personal style signifier?

A nice tie makes a big difference. Yes, I may sound old-fashioned, but this little accessory is a true statement piece, especially nowadays. It’s not just a relic of the past, it’s a rebel in a world of hoodies.

6. What are your favorite wardrobe essentials?

Lately, I’ve been on a cordovan kick. The rich, rebellious allure of cordovan has me in its grip. Their luxurious, almost defiant resistance to mass production, is what makes them so alluring: owning a pair feels like belonging to a secret club of footwear aficionados. Its almost indestructible nature and high shine make it a no-brainer for any outfit. 

7. What are your main passions and how do you cultivate them?

Sports have always been my lifeblood. My competitive spirit ignites on the court, whether it’s basketball, tennis, or charging onto a football field. But a nasty arm injury carved my snowboarding days into a bittersweet memory. Undeterred, I reinvented myself on the football field, taking on the grueling role of a linebacker. These days, I find a different kind of joy alongside my wife on the tennis court. We might not be Wimbledon contenders yet, but our laughter and friendly rivalry keep us volleying back for more. Besides sports, cooking and discovering new restaurants are my fun activities. My inner gourmand thrives in Chicago’s culinary scene. 

8. What does your ideal Sunday look like?

Sundays are my ode to slow living. They must consist of a few things: 1. Breakfast made of a nice omelet with vegetables and a cup of Turkish coffee; 2. Sunday read; and 3. A stroll around the city rediscovering some architectural pieces. 

9. Describe an interesting trip you have taken and tell us what’s the next destination on your bucket list.

I’ll make a confession: I went to Brazil for the beaches, but got waylaid by the aroma of a thousand roasting beans, and my friend’s hacienda, tucked away in the coffee highlands, became an unexpected classroom. As it turns out, learning about coffee cultivation involves a lot more than just sipping lattes on a balcony. But hey, the sun-kissed mornings, the laughter-filled evenings… As for the future, there are a few places on my list but Mexico City must be the next destination. 

10. Tell us what can never be missing in your liquor cabinet.

Nothing, I do not keep one as I don’t like drinking at home.

11. What are your three favorite books?

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky; The Financier by Theodore Drazer; Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol.

12. What are your three favorite movies?

Catch Me If You Can; Star Wars; Snatch.

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