Five Things about Kirsten Fleming ’00, New York Post reporter
(As told to Alexis Tirado ’02, supervising producer for Pero Like, BuzzFeed’s content platform for the Latinx community.)
She planned to be a high school history teacher, but a semester in Spain changed everything.
Kirsten Fleming ’00 arrived in Salamanca in 1999, before wireless internet connections abounded. Rather than rely on an internet café to connect her to the outside world via unreliable dial-up, she got her news from day-old copies of USA Today. “Living and traveling in a foreign country gave me a super confidence to navigate life,” Fleming said. “It gave me the courage to say, ‘I am going to find something I am actually passionate about.’” It also provided an opportunity to connect with her roots and spend time in her grandparents’ hometown in the Basque Country. After graduation, Fleming worked for NETC Educational Travel in Boston for several years before moving to New York City.
Her break in the newspaper business came because she isn’t easily intimidated.
Fleming was temping at Morgan Stanley, thinking about studying journalism in graduate school, when she was offered the opportunity in 2004 to become the assistant to Col Allan, then editor-in-chief of her favorite tabloid, the New York Post. Allan is known for his fiery temperament, but they got along great. After several years, Fleming began writing feature stories, then became a staff writer for the weekly Page Six Magazine. She moved to hard news, “where I did stakeouts, knocked on some unsavory doors, and got kicked out of a lot of places,” and to the police beat, before taking on her current role as the Post’s senior features reporter in 2007.
Quirky and offbeat — that’s how she describes her stories.
Fleming covers the intersection of sports and pop culture. A few years ago, when Brook Lopez of the Brooklyn Nets told her he couldn’t room with his brother, Robin Lopez of the New York Knicks, because their cats didn’t get along, “I wrote about how their cats hate each other and that’s why they can’t live together, and that story boomeranged around the world.” She interviewed designer Ralph Lauren before he threw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium against the Boston Red Sox in September 2018. She attended Torah study with the unpredictable Lenny Dykstra, the former New York Mets center fielder who spent time in prison. At a photo shoot, Fleming introduced former New York Giant Victor Cruz to the person who became his stylist; Cruz now is a huge influencer in the fashion world. A 2017 feature she wrote on Fudgie the Whale, the beloved Carvel ice cream cake, led Fudgie to visit her at the Post — and all Carvel locations to display a copy of her story.
Despite her stellar Friar credentials, Fleming inexplicably remains a St. John’s basketball fan.
Fleming has four bobbleheads on her desk: Pope Francis and Johnnies Lou Carnesecca, Malik Sealy, and Chris Mullin. Her obsession kicked into high gear in 1988, when her oldest brother became team manager for St. John’s. That meant tons of gear and tickets to every game in the final years of Carnesecca’s reign as coach. Her family attended all home games and traveled to away games. “When I got to Providence, I sat next to God Shammgod ’15SCE in Civ every day, and while I was tickled when God would bless me after I sneezed (I had a lot of allergies my freshman year), it was never enough to pull me from my Johnnies. But the Friars are my second favorite team, and I think Ed Cooley is a stud.”
Her secret longing: to own a Friars Club white jacket.
“I sometimes think about owning a Friars jacket, even though I wasn’t and am still not Friars Club material (Shout-out to my cousin, Camille Ciccarelli ’98, who was actually a Friar). I don’t know what I would do with it other than stain it. I imagine I’d pair it with a cravat and recline on any leather surface I could find.”