Esmeralda Santiago

The acclaimed author, who lives in a 6,000-square-foot country ranch in Katonah with her husband, filmmaker Frank Cantor, shares her favorite things.

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Saintly Memories

Santiago acquired this foot-tall santo, a wooden figure of a saint, on one of her trips to Puerto Rico. It stands on a bathroom ledge amidst an assortment of figurines collected in the course of her travels. The santo was hand-carved by locals who use such icons to create altars in their homes. “They may carve the Virgin Mary or the patron saint of their town. I don’t know who this one is, but it’s part of the tradition of my culture.”

Rock Solid

This solid end grain dove-tailed maple butcher block, about 20 inches thick, was bought by Cantor for $35 at an auction in Vermont. “He owned it when we first met, Santiago says. “We’ve taken it everywhere we’ve moved.” It now resides in the kitchen. “It’s been part of every meal we’ve ever eaten together and we’ve been married thirty-one years!”






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