Elyse Marks: New Orleans, Little Women, and Beverly Willis
City: New Orleans. I love the history, the architecture, the food, the people, and the fun-loving year-round party atmosphere! It just feels like home.
Building: Unity Temple. I love how the almost Brutalist exterior design belies the clean, light and geometrically organized interior spaces. I admire the building's strikingly clean and linear layout emphasizing earth tones, which was a an early iteration of his Prairie Style. However, my favorite NYC Building: Alwyn Court (180 West 58th Street).
Book: Little Women. My mother read it to me as a little girl and I fell in love with the characters. I've read it at least a dozen times since, and - spoiler alert - I still cry when Meg dies.
Film: Return of the Jedi. The ultimate triumph of good over evil. Plus, Ewoks!!
Public Space: Prospect Park. I fell in love with running three years ago and used to run on the Prospect Park trails every day - it is the perfect respite from the chaos of the city.
Architect (that is also a woman): Beverly Willis. She is a trailblazer for women in the design profession and co-founder of a non-profit organization with the mission of advancing the knowledge and recognition of women’s contributions to architecture.
Restaurant: Sweet Chick. Three words: Vegetarian Fried Chicken
Artist: Solange. I admire the way she marries her musical work with performance art within contained architectural spaces of her own creation, creating a new way to physically experience and interact with music.
Memory: Crossing the finish line of my first Marathon. Last year I was diagnosed with Lyme disease and was told by several doctors that because I had developed Lyme arthritis due to the length of untreated exposure, I would likely have to quit running. After many months of feeling sorry for myself, I decided to train for the marathon as a way to take back control of my life. For me, crossing that finish line was a symbolic victory over the pain and disappointment of the previous year.
Object: An antique toy kaleidoscope (given to me by my grandmother). My grandmother was an antiques dealer, and I credit her with instilling in me a love of history and a fascination with locations/objects of historical significance, which lead me to seek a career in historic preservation.