In a city as bustling as New York City, it can be hard to find the perfect spot, whether for coffee, cocktails or shopping. We’ve consulted our favorite artists for their pick of prime locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and beyond. Scroll down for each artist’s guide to the city and get ready to explore!
Olive Allen is a Russian American artist living and working in New York City. She grew up between Russia and the United Kingdom and studied film and media at Regent’s University (London), later receiving her BA from The British Higher School of Art and Design (Moscow). Though she believes it is an artist’s duty to reflect and comment on the world’s current state of affairs, she follows the example of Pablo Picasso and Gerhard Richter in undermining the concept of the artist’s obligation to maintain a single cohesive style. Right now, Olive is focusing on conceptual and socially-conscious art. She is also the CEO and founder of Cube Syndicate, a blockchain startup that is building a social art game that aims to revolutionize the industry.
Olive’s favorite spot to…
Get inspired: Brooklyn Bridge Park at night. The viewing spot between the two bridges right by the water is my favorite. I go there when I need to remind myself why I’m still here.
Get a drink: I don’t drink that much but when I do, The Ludlow Hotel is my go-to spot.
Splurge: I prefer to invest in cryptocurrency and my art collection these days…but I still have a soft spot for the Barneys uptown.
Take a walk: Central Park!
Meet other creatives: On Raya or at downtown galleries like The Untitled Space, James Fuentes and Postmasters.
Nichole Washington is a visual artist based in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated in 2016 from School of Visual Arts, where she earned a Masters Degree in digital photography. In 2017, Nichole was one of ten recipients of the Enfoco Photography Fellowship. Her personal motto: live boldly and confidently from the inside out.
Nichole’s favorite spot to…
Get inspired: Brooklyn Museum and the New Museum.
Get coffee: Usagi in Dumbo, Brooklyn.
Get a drink: I really love the Graham Ave at Sweet Science.
Splurge: I’m a sucker for the jewelry at Alter in Greenpoint.
Take a walk: Tompkins Square Park in the East Village.
Meet other creatives: At exhibition openings. Most take place on Thursdays.
Born in Italy, Julia Fox immigrated to the Unites States at the age of five. Brought up among the creative fixtures of New York City, she draws upon the diverse tapestry of colorful people encountered throughout her journeys. She often plays the role of both spectator and active participant in the lives of her subjects. Through this dynamic lens, she is able examine the boundaries within groups. Living among and relating to the individuals she captures, to whom she often refers as her co-collaborators, her process complicates notions of ownership and production. This sensibility also informs the works in which she is both subject and photographer. Inviting the viewer to intimately explore the terrain of her mental landscape, Julia’s work embodies a kind of dark subjectivity—at once vulnerable and fearless.
Julia’s favorite spot to…
Get inspired: Self help meetings.
Get coffee: I don’t drink coffee but I love Italian pastries. Rocco’s Pastry Shop on Bleecker Street has been a lifelong favorite.
Get a drink: I love the Shirley Temples at Emilio’s Ballato!
Go out and be seen: Nightlife in New York is pretty sad at the moment so I’m going to recommend the Comedy Cellar. I love stand up. I also love going to the midnight movies at the Roxy Theater. They’re free and they always play the classics.
Splurge: I splurge on custom-made jewelry at New Kings World Jewelry on Elizabeth Street.
Take a walk: West Side Highway at golden hour during the summer.
Meet other creatives: Self help meetings, specifically downtown.
Desire Moheb Zandi
Textile artist Desire Moheb Zandi was born in Berlin to a Turkish mother and an Iranian father. In 2010, she moved to New York City to pursue her studies at Parsons School of Design. She graduated in 2013 and currently resides and works in Brooklyn. Desire’s fascination with textures and craftsmanship began as a child, watching her grandmother weave for hours. Using textile art as a symbolic image allows her to examine the role of women in history and dive into matters of gender and domesticity.
Desire’s favorite spot to…
Get inspired: The flower district! A feast for my senses!
Get coffee: A Little Taste, a coffee shop in flower district.
Get a drink: A speakeasy with hidden entrance in the East Village: Angel’s Share! Flirtbird and Smoke Gets in Your Eyes are my favorite cocktails of all time.
Go out and be seen: I follow the DJ! Look up secret location warehouse parties through Resident Advisor.
Splurge: Samurai Mama, a Japanese restaurant with a communal table that serves udon and sushi. I love the food there, everything is so fresh and tasty.
Take a walk: Having a walk by the waterfront in Williamsburg and seeing Manhattan floating in the water with reflections of golden-pink sunset light always fascinates me.
Meet other creatives: Anywhere! Going to gallery openings are a great way to meet other creatives.
Leah Schrager is an artist who works between the web and New York City. She graduated in 2015 with an MFA in Fine Art from Parsons, The New School. In her work she photographs, appears in, augments and markets her own image. She is interested in the line, movement and biography of the female body. In 2010, she founded a new form of therapy as Sarah White, The Naked Therapist. Her recent project, “Ona,” an artist and musician, evolved out of the question of celebrity as art practice.
Leah’s favorite spot to…
Get inspired: Battery Park when the fireflies have just come out.
Get coffee: La Maison du Croque Monsieur. It’s on 13th street right near Union Square and has great sandwiches, plus a quiet and chill upstairs to sit.
Get a drink: I’m more of a straight whiskey gal.
Go out and be seen: Online. That’s my personal preference.
Splurge: On pilates.
Take a walk: Everywhere. That’s part of what makes NYC so special.
Meet other creatives: At art shows.
Elektra KB, born in Odessa, Ukraine, is a Colombian artist living and working in Brooklyn, New York and Berlin, Germany. Elektra is a conceptually driven multidisciplinary artist who uses materials that have been historically associated with women’s craft. She constructs her works with layers of felt, threads, embroidery and stitching combined with photographs on canvas. Her works also include collage, sculpture, video and performance. Her work explores the woman’s body as a prison, arriving at alternatives for its liberation. Her images are intertwined with a visceral and unapologetic tone of protest and social dialogue, displaying her interest in the intersection of aesthetic and political philosophy.
Elektra’s favorite spot to…
Get inspired: A mischievous protest.
Get coffee: A corner bodega, preferably with a cat.
Get a drink: Van Leeuwen’s vegan shakes (chocolate with strawberry jam or matcha).
Go out and be seen: Raves or queer parties in Brooklyn.
Take a walk: Having chronic pain makes walking painful, so I don’t walk for pleasure. Instead, I cuddle with animals. Watching a movie at the Angelika, going to a talk or screening on politics, art or academia or watching dogs at the park are good alternatives.
Meet other creatives: At general assemblies for radicals, art shows and free self-defense classes.