TCQ&A: Indira Cesarine

The artist, publisher and gallerist Indira Cesarine lives on Lispenard and has witnessed an explosion of galleries in the area since she founded The Untitled Space in 2015.

The rules of the TCQ&A: Answer as many of the 48 questions as you like (but a minimum of 15, and you must answer #1–4). 

The photos of Indira are by Claudine Williams. 

1. How long have you lived in the area? Where did you move from? Where are you originally from? I have lived in Tribeca since 2004. My previous apartment was off Astor Place in the East Village, and I also used to live in Europe – in London and Paris, on and off for over 15 years. I was actually born in the Midwest – in Iowa where I lived until I was 14 years old. I later moved to the East Coast to study – I went to boarding school in Connecticut and spent weekends and summers in the city. I went to college at Columbia University (where I graduated with a triple major in art history, French and women’s studies) and moved to London after graduating to work as a photographer.

3. Kids? Pets? I recently added a new member to my family, an adorable Pomeranian named Echo! He is 6 months old and is just an adorable furball full of incredible energy! He has become friends with all the other canines in the area.

4. Where do you live? I live on Lispenard Street and love it. The block is unrecognizable compared to when I moved here back in 2004. At that time, most of the buildings on the block weren’t renovated or inhabited, it has been completely transformed in the last 16 years. It’s exciting so many art galleries have opened on the block in the last year or so, as well in the Tribeca area.

5. What do you do for a living? Or, what’s your non-day job that is relevant to readers? I’m a multidisciplinary artist, curator and publisher. After 15 years working as a photographer, in 2009 I launched my own publication, The Untitled Magazine. A few years later I opened The Untitled Space art gallery on Lispenard Street. I still work as a photographer for special projects, and also regularly exhibit my artwork – which includes sculpture, painting, printmaking as well as photography – in galleries, museums, etc. in the US and abroad. I have several exhibits of my artwork on at the moment in NYC including an artist-in-residence solo show at The Parlor NYC. My work is also featured in the group show “Bound Up Together” at Smack Mellon in Dumbo, and in an exhibit uptown on 57th and Madison called “Rethink America” at David Benrimon Fine Art. At the Untitled Space, we have a new exhibition opening on November 21st that will wrap up the year – it’s a solo show featuring artist Katie Commodore, titled “Between Friends and Lovers.”

7. Most-frequented restaurants: I have been really enjoying the outdoor dining around Tribeca recently, there are so many great spots! Many restaurants around my area have created beautiful outdoor environments, and I have been discovering some great new ones as well. Odeon, Frenchette, and Batard are always great options. I also really like La Mercerie on Howard Street. There’s several I often go to around the corner from me on Church Street including Añejo which is contemporary Mexican, and Macau – the cocktails there are always amazing. Terra is also a local favorite. I often just wander around and find something that looks interesting – these days it’s nice to be spontaneous! The situation is changing all the time with what’s going on, so I feel like there is always something new to be discovered.

10. Sweet-tooth satisfaction: I don’t often eat sweets, but I have to say Ladurée’s macarons in Soho are beyond delicious. I also have a penchant for chocolate chip cookies.

11. Most delicious cocktail: I always been a fan of a good white wine, usually just a glass of sauvignon blanc makes me happy. Occasionally if I’m feeling up for something more festive, I’ll have a mojito or mule.

12. I usually order in from… Japanese restaurant Tataki on Lispenard Street, and I always order the Sushi Combo B. One of my favorite takeout spots for sure – I order from there at least once or twice a week.

14. The last non-essential item I bought: A Halloween costume for my puppy Echo! I couldn’t resist, I ordered a shark look as well as a narwhal costume. He made quite a statement trick or treating on the 31st! Not sure if he really liked wearing it much but it was a lot of fun walking him around Tribeca in his finery. Definitely put a smile on everyone’s face.

17. How I stay fit: You may often see me biking around the area on my turquoise blue bicycle. I love riding over to Hudson River Park and biking on the path to Battery Park – it’s beautiful over there and exciting to see all the new renovations that have recently been revealed on the piers. It’s getting a bit cold now to bike though so will probably start hitting the gym a few times a week.

18. Where I get beautiful: My favorite salon in the area is Sam Brocato – they are just north of Canal on Wooster Street and do great cuts and color. I also am a fan of The Salon Project at Saks. They actually have one of my mixed media neon artworks currently installed titled “I Think I’m Dreaming”. If I have a special event (which has been a while with the pandemic) I pop into Dry Bar in Tribeca for a quick blow out.

19. What’s the area’s best-kept secret? The friendliest neighbors in town!

21. A worthy splurge: Lately I have been expanding my art collection (which mainly consists of emerging female artists). It’s a great time to buy art right now and support the art community and artists – many of who have been hit hard by the pandemic. There are a lot of great benefit auctions on at the moment that you can check out online. I have an artwork in The Watermill Center’s Autumn Benefit Auction on Artsy which is live from November 18 – December 9 and might just bid on a few things myself. They always have a great selection of artists at their summer gala, which is one of my favorite events to attend every year.

24. Rainy-day activity: If I’m not making artwork, it’s usually the perfect time to catch up on my favorite series, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” I also recently checked out “The Queen’s Gambit” which I highly recommend.

34. If money were no object, I’d… buy a Tribeca townhouse! Who wouldn’t!

38. The most romantic spot around: The piers on the Hudson are pretty amazing. One of the best spots to enjoy a romantic walk. Grand Banks is also a great spot if the weather is nice for drinks/dinner. In the winter it’s nice to get out of the city, a nice big fireplace in a house in the woods is the best. And if you can’t do that, there are definitely some cozy options in the city with fireplaces.

42. A business I miss: I was sad that Humble Fish on Lispenard Street shut down. My local deli never re-opened, and even my favorite camera shop K&M on Broadway is shuttering soon (UPDATE: They are reopening at 54 Orchard). Hopefully 2021 will be a better year for local businesses!

46. Proof that change is good: I have really been enjoying the transformation of our streets with all the outdoor dining, I hope that returns next summer! It reminds me of Paris.

49. If I couldn’t live here, I’d live in… Probably London, or Paris…or LA… I’m clearly indecisive, but Tribeca is tops.