Sunday, January 10, 2016

How Al Roker and His Wife, Deborah Roberts, Spend Their Sundays

Sunday Routine

JAN. 8, 2016

Al Roker, left, preparing a breakfast of pancakes and eggs for his wife, Deborah Roberts, and their son, Nick.
Credit Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times

With the dramatic temperature changes this winter, Al Roker might need to prepare to break his own Guinness World Record, set in 2014, when he gave an uninterrupted 34-hour weather report. But the 61-year-old host and weatherman of NBC’s “Today” is also busy promoting a book he wrote with his wife, Deborah Roberts, a correspondent for ABC, called “Been There, Done That: Family Wisdom for Modern Times.” “It kind of highlights our differences,” Ms. Roberts, who is in her 50s, said. “I’m a Southern belle, a little more formal, and Al is a little more of a loosey-goosey guy who grew up in Brooklyn and Queens.” The couple live in a brownstone on the Upper East Side with their children, Leila, 17, and Nick, 13, and their dog, Pepper. Mr. Roker also has a daughter, Courtney, 28.

PRESS THAT BUTTON (Her) We can program our coffee maker the night before but I just like pressing that button. When I hear the coffee percolating, I can start my day. I enjoy my coffee, pull up The Times. Then Al comes down.

Ms. Roberts, right, after morning services at St. James' Episcopal Church, with Ryan Fleenor, the associate rector, left, and Mary Malhortra, second from left, and Carol Matthews.
CreditMichelle V. Agins/The New York Times


(Him) And we’ll start breakfast. Pancakes, scrambled eggs and bacon. We use gluten-free pancake mix. (Her) Pamela’s. (Him) I also like to use flax seeds and Carnation malted milk mix and I’ll put in some vanilla and cinnamon for a nutty flavor. (Her) I like the flax seeds and all but why the malted milk? Extra calories. Keep it clean, keep it simple. (Him) And then we have the chore of getting our 17-year-old up. (Her) And wait, we missed something. We have to take Pepper out.

Left to right, Mr. Roker, Leila Roker, Ms. Roberts and Nick Roker at Sunday brunch at Fred's at Barneys New York. Credit
Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times

CHURCH EXPRESS (Him) We have to be to church by 9:10. Nick takes off early, if he is acolyting. It’s an hour. It’s church express. (Her) We have been going to St. James’ Episcopal Church for 15 years. I was raised Southern Baptist, Al was raised Catholic. We met in the middle. It is child-oriented and has a history of social activism. They sent letters about apartheid back in the day, they are involved in local issues like homelessness.

THEIR BOOTH (Her) We’ll go to Fred’s for lunch. They have a booth for us. There’s a beautiful lovely elderly woman named Lee. She has her table, we have our booth. I usually have chicken noodle soup or a chopped salad. (Him) I’ll have the grilled shrimp and arugula salad. Or a lentil or split pea soup. It’s not fussy, so I like it.

Mr. Roker shopping at Eli's on East 80th Street. 
CreditMichelle V. Agins/The New York Times

DECOMPRESS (Her) Then I’ll go on a run in the park. Or I might just go for a walk, do a little window shopping, and call my best friend, in Nashville, to catch up. Or I might get together with a friend for an afternoon cocktail at the Mark Hotel. (Him) I might go on a bike ride. Nick and I sometimes get our hair cut on Sundays at the barber shop, Shantl. It’s literally on our corner. There are three guys in there, you give them $20. I get my head shaved.

GETTING COZY (Him) I prefer a sunny day that’s about 75 degrees, with low humidity. That’s as good as it gets. But a nice wintry day when you have a bowl of soup and the fire going is nice too. (Her) We have seven fireplaces in our brownstone. (Him) They haven’t been up and running because I haven’t been down to get firewood from the basement.

FOOD CRUSH (Her) Sunday dinner is a big deal in our house, too. (Him) I have a major crush on Melissa Clark, so anything she suggests in the paper, I try it. I made a farro and arugula salad.

TV-FREE (Her) We don’t have TVs in our bedrooms. (Him) It’s almost like there’s too much TV. People will say “Have you seen ‘Bloodline,’ ‘Making a Murderer’?” No, no, no, I haven’t! And then you feel like you’re missing out.

IN BED (Him) I play Words With Friends. And I’ve got the iPad pro and I am an amateur cartoonist and I have been trying to rekindle that using Sketches. (Her) I did a report on the negative effects of the light being emitted from the screen. It is toxic to sleep. So I read. I have a stack of magazines next to my bed. The Atlantic, Time and Newsweek, Elle Décor, Vogue. (Him) It could be its own coffee table.

#SundayRoutine readers can follow Al Roker and Deborah Roberts on Twitter on Sunday@alroker and @DebRobertsABC.

A version of this article appears in print on January 10, 2016, on page MB2 of the New York edition with the headline: Early to Church, and a TV-Free Zone. 


No comments: