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New Yorker

Ilethia Sharp
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New Yorker model and independent curator Ilethia Sharp moved from her native St. Louis to New York to study Communications and Art History. For the last 6 years she worked in PR across fashion and the arts. While based in Bushwick in Brooklyn, Ilethia spends most of her time in the scenic Williamsburg and Manhattan’s Lower East Side (LES), an area filled with sprawling artist-run spaces, galleries, and cafés.

Read Ilethia’s guide and personal recommendations
for New York below.



Jack's Wife Freda in SoHo has one of my favorite flourless chocolate cakes, complete with a heavenly chocolate mousse. The small bistro is bustling with creative types and the perfect place to stop as a short break from the South Houston shopping district. Although this neighborhood can be overwhelming with the tons of shops, people, and traffic, the energy at Jack’s Wife Freda is refreshing, easy-going, and where native New Yorkers and tourists come together.

224 Lafayette St, New York City

Shopping Art

A few blocks away from SoHo is The Empty Gallery, one of the last true concept stores in the city. It functions not only as an experiential art gallery but also as a shop for selected brands and styles between high fashion and streetwear. Recently, Off-White founded by the designer and creative director Virgil Abloh (artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s men’s wear collection since March 2018), presented the exhibition entitled One "PATHS OF DISPLACED NATURE" — displaying his latest fashion collection on industrial apparatus in a tranquil forest environment with birch trees, pathways through fallen leaves, and bird chirping sounds. For a unique shopping and art exhibition experience, The Empty Gallery is one of my first recommendations when in NYC.

51 Mercer Street, New York



In the LES, the easy-to-miss experimental art gallery Bodega is one of my frequent destinations. Located below street level near a dentist office, this gallery exhibits video installations and minimalist sculptures by the likes of Elizabeth Orr. I love frequenting this artist-run space because of the curated selection of unconventional, interdisciplinary, performance-based artists, like Carlos Reyes and Dena Yago. NYC has plenty of museums and galleries, but Bodega is free of charge and well worth a visit—if you can find it.

167 Rivington, New York City

Cult Cinema

Metrograph in LES is a beautiful cinema inspired by 1920's NYC theatre and the Hollywood Golden Age. The theatre screens classics like The Shining, Labyrinth, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and films by David Lynch, as well as cult, acclaimed, and one-chance-to-see independent films on 35mm. It also boasts a divine little restaurant on the upper floor. Metrograph always guarantees intimate experiences, making it a treasured and valued spot in NYC.

7 Ludlow Street, New York City