Sunday Routine | Simone Dinnerstein: At Simone Dinnerstein’s Home, Music Plays Upstairs and Downstairs

March 17th, 2013

Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times

The classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein, 40, has a hectic international performance schedule, but in Park Slope her husband, Jeremy Greensmith, 46, and their son, Adrian Greensmith, 11, keep her grounded. While she plays her nine-foot Hamburg Steinway concert grand on the second floor, Adrian practices downstairs on an electric guitar for his band, the Animation, and Mr. Greensmith cooks dinner or plans lessons for his fifth-grade classes at Public School 321. Ms. Dinnerstein (her first name is pronounced “Simona”) has a new album, “Night,” with the singer-songwriter Tift Merritt, being released on Tuesday in the United States; she and Ms. Merritt are scheduled to perform at Merkin Concert Hall on Thursday.

HOME SWEET HOME The way that my life is structured is that I’m either away playing concerts or I’m at home with my family. When I go through periods when I am home on the weekends, it’s very special because they’re off and I’m off. I wake up around 8 — naturally, no alarm.

SOUNDTRACK Jeremy is a radio junkie, so we listen to WNYC. His tastes and Adrian’s tastes dominate the listening side of this house. We’re either listening to WNYC or Bloggingheads or we’re listening to Led Zeppelin or Cream.

Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times

SLEEPOVERS About once a month we have the kids from Adrian’s band sleep over. They tend to get up early, even if they go to bed at 1 in the morning. We don’t make breakfast until closer to 9.

BUTTERED BREAKFAST It’s nice when Jeremy cooks. It doesn’t happen every week, but he’s a great breakfast cook. Jeremy makes the best scrambled eggs I’ve ever had. It’s all butter. He learned how to make eggs from his mother in England. Adrian loves bacon, so there’s usually a lot of bacon. There’s fruit, scrambled eggs, bacon. The kids love it. I find the children stimulating — they are thinking about lots of things. They are just having so much fun with each other that it makes me happy to watch them.

Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times

WALK IN THE PARK All of the kids have massive amounts of homework, so they go home around 11. After they leave, we tend to go for a walk, maybe in Prospect Park. Sometimes it’s hard to convince Adrian to go for a walk because he’s tired from the sleepover.

DISCONNECTED When we go for our walk, I leave my phone at home. It’s becoming easier for me to do that — I actually don’t want it with me. Sometimes I can get through a whole Sunday without looking at my phone.

SOMEWHERE TO GO We always try to have a featured activity. Sometimes we walk to the Brooklyn Museum. Sometimes I’m wiped out because I’ve been traveling so much and I just want to be home. I’m very happy not to leave Park Slope. I grew up in Park Slope on First Street. My parents still live there.

NAP TIME, GAME TIME We come back and have a lie down. We all lie together on the bed. I will have a nap. Adrian plays some horrible video game. We all do our thing. Now that we all have iPads, we can be in the same room doing independent things.

Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times

PRACTICE TIMES TWO If I do have to do practicing, I usually do it around 4-ish. And Adrian might do some practicing. Then Jeremy usually makes dinner while I’m doing it. We don’t have a big dinner on Sunday. Jeremy makes vats of chili which we eat endlessly, along with microwaved frozen veggies. Adrian refuses to eat the chili, so he gets pasta and frozen chicken nuggets, along with the veggies.

A GAME, A BOOK Sometimes we play a board game after dinner. We go through periods where we do it every night. Or we play cards. If we go out to dinner, Adrian likes it if we play cards in the restaurant, too. Then we’ll usually lie in bed and read. Adrian and I will read for a half-hour together. We’re reading “Under Wildwood,” by Colin Meloy of the Decemberists.

LIGHTS OUT When Adrian goes to bed, Jeremy and I will usually watch “Homeland” on demand. We’ll turn off the light around midnight. I’m always sad on Monday when I’m in the house alone.

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