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Curated by NoLIta participant Clarisse Benhaim

Curated by NoLIta participant Clarisse Benhaim
Curated by NoLIta participant Clarisse Benhaim shot by Ky Katrensky

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 social media strategist Clarisse Benhaim



KK: Why did you get involved with art:i:curate and this project? 

CB: I found the concept amazing and am very keen to interact with a community of emerging art lovers near me.


KK: What do you hope to take away from it?

CB: I hope to be part of exclusive events that will connect me efficiently to the artists and meet more people in the art business.


KK: How do you normally take in art?

CB: I plan events and work on art events but also attend them. I myself am a dancer so I am more into performing arts, although I adore visual arts.


KK: What does the term "curating" mean to you?

CB: Curating is for me a way of bringing and representing an artist, wether he is performing or showing art works. It is part of being an art lover and sharing beauty with people.


KK: When did you move to NoLIta/LES and why?

CB: I have recently moved into the neighborhood but have been working for cutlog art fair, located in the LES. I moved there because of the vibrant atmosphere and history that are linked to the area.


KK: Where did you live before and where are you from?

CB: I have lived in Brooklyn before. I was born in Denver and raised in the US until I was 7, before moving to France with my parents who are French. I studied there and got back to the U.S three years ago.


KK: What do you like best about your part of town​ and what don't you like at all?
CB: I love that there are so many art galleries and restaurants and bars. I love that the streets have names and not numbers. 

I guess train access could be better but I love walking in the city so don't mind it that much.


KK: What sets NoLIta apart from the surrounding neighborhoods? 

CB: It is a very pretty area, with many trees and nice shops. It reminds me of Strasbourg, which is the city I grew up in.


KK: Favorite New York moment?

CB: Performing at Alvin Ailey Dance Theater and soon Madison Square Garden.


KK: Do you know any of your neighbors? 

CB: I have chatted with some here and there. Mostly in the elevator.


KK: Do you hope to connect with your neighbors through this project?

CB: I do hope so and that they have interesting projects that we can talk about.


KK: Are there any notable neighborhood characters?

CB: Ethan Hawke, Lou Reed used to live close.


KK: Do you have a local hangout spot in the neighborhood?

CB: I love Mulberry Project. It is a nice speakeasy bar with a great backyard and artworks on the walls. 


KK: Have you heard any stories about the history of NoLIta? 

CB: I unfortunately haven't but would be happy to hear more about it!


KK: What do you see as the future of NoLIta? 

CB: I see a lot of glass buildings and unaffordable homes, sadly.


KK: Tell me something about yourself.
CB: I love to dance, I love visual art and enjoy sitting on my balcony with a glass of wine while enjoying a moment alone to think and admire the skyline. 

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