June 24, 2014
Meet our 2014 Fellows!
Please tell us of an artist, curator, activist, or project that has influenced you or inspired you?
The work of Mierle Laderman Ukeles is inspiring for me because it involves acknowledging and critiquing gender and class roles and stereotypes while connecting with people on a one-to-one basis.
Please tell us about a place in your neighborhood that is personally meaningful to you, and why?
The Hulu Cafe opened in Elmhurst, Queens, which is not a land of cafes, about two years ago. The owners were friendly and offered good food and drinks, a place to hang out, and space for flyers for local events and issues. A Starbucks opened around the corner a year later, and sadly, the other day, the Hulu had to close its doors.
What is your favorite book, film or song about NYC?
One of the most interesting books I’ve read about New York is Up in the Old Hotel by Joseph Mitchell. In a series of long essays originally written for the New Yorker magazine, Mitchell explores varied aspects of the city that are rarely gathered together. Some offer glimpses—through Mitchell’s eyes—into communities that have a profound relationship with the city, such as the native Mohawk community based in Brooklyn and upstate, and their history of working on construction crews at great heights to build some of the city’s tallest buildings. The book also reminded me how significant so many aspects of being located on the water is for the city, and how the trade in oysters has played a significant role here. Even though I grew up in NYC and have lived here most of my life, the book opened my eyes to some of NYC’s multiple worlds and made me want to learn more.