Ashley Mendelsohn: Governors Island, The Guggenheim, and Hilary Sample
City: New York. Call me cliché, but I love this city. I moved a lot growing up, but my grandmother is based here, so it’s the only place that’s really had a consistent presence in my life.
Building: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim. Again, of course I would love the museum I work in, but I’ve really come to appreciate this building in an intimate way: the inconsistencies that reveal the extent to which it is handmade, and the way the complexity of the space serves as a catalyst for inventive thinking.
Book: The Practice of Everyday Life by Michel de Certeau. I read this book while I was at the GSD and many of the chapters, particularly “Walking in the City”, really influenced the way I thought about my thesis. My personal copy is full of highlighting and notes in the margins!
Public space: Governors Island. I always make a point to go several times each summer to check out the annual artist residency Open Studios, hike up to the Rachel Whiteread’s Cabin and just wander around the old military structures. To boot: ferries are absolutely my preferred method of travel.
Architect (that is also a woman): Hilary Sample of MOS Architects. I’m honored to have had the opportunity to work with the always articulate and brilliant Hilary this past year for an exhibition that I co-curated at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Architecture Effects.
Artist: Nancy Spero. There are so many artists whose work I appreciate and learn from, but Spero’s politically motivated feminist oeuvre is work that I want to live with. I’m particularly taken with her site-specific murals and frieze-like compositions, sometimes installed within exposed beams.
Restaurant: Luzzo’s BK. There’s nothing like sipping on an Aperol Spritz while eating Neapolitan-style pizza. I have the best memories with good friends in the intimate backyard of this Brooklyn Heights spot.
Memory: I get an almost lightheaded feeling when something really good happens in my life. It’s only happened a handful of times, so I look out for that sensation to gauge how genuinely happy I am.
Object: My mom gave me a little gold bear necklace when I was little and I’ve come to think of it as my good luck charm.
Podcast: 99% Invisible is up there for me, I recently had the pleasure to meet Roman Mars and I really identify with his genuine enthusiasm for niche topics and love of archive sleuthing.