I AM OHNY is a campaign we began in late 2011 to highlight and celebrate Open House New York’s diverse community of supporters. We’re kicking off this year’s campaign with Enrique García Carrera, an Associate Principal with Flatiron District-based lighting design firm Fisher Marantz Stone. “I grew up in Mexico City,” Enrique explains, “so I was already predisposed to love the chaos of New York. I was fascinated by the city from the first time I visited when I was seven years old.”
Enrique first got involved with OHNY through FMS’s participation in OHNY Weekend several years ago, and this year led a tour of his Lumen-award winning lighting of Staten Island’s September 11th Memorial “Postcards,” as part of OHNY at Night. Thanks to Enrique for serving as an OHNY Weekend Tour Sponsor and helping New Yorkers to better understand how lighting designers shape the way that the city is experienced after dark!
What do you love most about New York City?
There are so many things to love about New York City. On my first visit to the city, I recall being amazed by the skyscrapers–especially the Empire State Building and the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center–and I very clearly remember watching the Disney cartoon version of Robin Hood at Radio City Music Hall, which immediately became my favorite movie (it has not stood the test of time, but Radio City has). We visited again when I was 11, and I decided this was my favorite city in the world. I am still thrilled on a daily basis by the convergence of the different design and art disciplines, the hectic pace, and all the people from different cultures and corners of the world coexisting and creating something new and exciting. And the food is not bad.
What is your favorite building and/or neighborhood in the city?
I love the Chrysler Building. To me, it’s the crown jewel of the New York City skyline. As for neighborhoods, having worked in the Flatiron District for some 23 years I am partial to this neighborhood and all it has to offer, from the amazing restaurants to the beautiful buildings, Madison Square Park, and Union Square and its farmers market.
What was your most memorable OHNY experience?
My best experience was giving the guided tour of the Staten Island 9/11 Memorial, “Postcards”. It is such a beautiful and touching response which speaks to the human spirit and resilience of the City. Having the opportunity to describe how the project came about, to such a receptive audience that braved the cold weather to see the memorial and hear its story, made for an evening I will remember for years to come.
If OHNY could grant you an all-access pass to any place in the city, where would you go, and why?
I read somewhere that there is an indoor tennis court right inside Grand Central Terminal, somewhere above the Main Concourse. Having worked on the restoration of the station, and knowing how difficult it is to get play time in the City, I was surprised to learn of this secret court. I would love to be able to play a match there some day.
OHNY is important to New York City because…
It’s like receiving the real keys to the City, not the useless ones given to visiting dignitaries.
From the Annual OHNY Weekend to its year-round public programs, OHNY offers you opportunities to see the city like you’ve never seen it. With your support, OHNY can continue to open the city to tens of thousands of people throughout the five boroughs, tying us closer to the places, people and stories that make New York the most extraordinary city in the world. Together, we are OHNY.