Curated by NoLIta participant Alexia Sheinman
05 jun 2014 by art:i:curate team
As part of our 'Curated by NoLIta' project, we met with the curators: the people living and working in the neighborhood.
Ky Katrensky met with Interior Designer Alexia Sheinman, who has a real estate related secret.
KK: Why did you get involved with art:i:curate and this project?
AS: My co-worker told me about art:i:curate. It is always fun discovering different creative outlets. I jump at any opportunity to be part of something new and innovative.
KK: What do you hope to take away from it?
AS: I am hoping this is just the beginning. I’m excited to watch this project grow and to be part of this fun, interesting and inspiring community.
KK: How do you normally take in art?
AS: In every which way. Museums and galleries, to state the obvious. I also read and browse a lot online. This past year I have been incredibly fortunate to travel for work and spend time at the Venice Biennale, Dutch Design Week and Miami Basel. As a designer, I am just as (if not more) interested in the spaces and places where art is displayed as I am in the industry itself. Every day walking down the streets of New York is an opportunity to take in art. The other day I saw this cement truck with the most amazing graphics. It was covered in neon leopard print. I fell in love.
KK: What does the term "curating" mean to you?
AS: I suppose it is a way of organizing and giving meaning to works of art within a specific context. I think the most interesting part about curation is how the same piece of art can take on such different meaning depending on where and how it is displayed, and what it is shown in relation to.
KK: When did you move to NoLIta?
AS: I moved to the area four years ago. I grew up on the Upper West Side so for me, moving to this area was like moving to a new city while still being in New York. It was actually a really cool feeling to discover somewhere new in a place that I thought was so familiar to me.
KK: Where did you live before?
AS: I imagine people always regret asking me this question. It’s a long answer. My mom is Greek-Cypriot, born and raised in London. My father is English, also born and raised in London. I was born in New York and grew up here but have lived in Athens for a year and the UK for three years. I always say dual-citizenship is one of the best presents my parents ever gave me.
KK: What do you like best about your part of town and what don't you like at all?
AS: I love the energy, the people watching and the proximity to all the great neighborhoods of New York. Whenever I can walk, I do. I am also a big foodie and there is so much good food in the neighborhood! I keep a running list of new restaurants and places to try. There isn’t much I don’t like, except for the lack of a good park or an expanse of greenery. I definitely miss being near Central Park.
KK: What sets NoLIta apart from the surrounding neighborhoods?
AS: The people. The area draws such a unique, quirky crowd.
KK: Do you know any of your neighbors?
AS: Not really. It’s bad, I know, but I have never really made the effort. I’m completely spoilt by my sister living in the same building as me. Whenever I go knocking on someone’s door, it is always hers!
KK: Do you hope to connect with your neighbors through this project?
KK: Are there any notable neighborhood characters?
AS: There is one guy who I always see smoking right outside my building. He has long grey hair and wears a cowboy hat and cowboy boots. He looks like he has walked right off the set of a Western movie. There is also this woman who takes her cat for walks around the block. That one gets me every time.
KK: Do you have a local hangout spot in the neighborhood?
AS: I don’t have one particular hangout spot, but my guilty pleasure is going to a local coffee shop with a book or my computer in the middle of the day. Sitting there with other people makes me feel like I am part of a little community. Unfortunately I rarely find the time to do that anymore.
KK: Have you heard any stories about the history of NoLIta?
AS: A portion of Elizabeth Street used to be called “Crack Alley”. I can’t remember where I heard that.
KK: Tell me something about yourself.
AS: I browse real-estate websites in my spare time. Very geeky, I know.