I AM OHNY is a campaign we began in late 2011 to highlight and celebrate OHNY’s diverse community of supporters. This week, we sat down with Penelope Hardy – longtime supporter and the graphic designer of the 2013 OHNY Weekend Event Guide – to ask her about her view of OHNY and why she loves New York City.
Principal, PS New York
Works in Flatiron
OHNY since 2003
Are you a native New Yorker?
I am a native New Yorker and grew up downtown in the West Village. I remember going to breakfast at the local coffee shop and sharing the counter with drag queens who were ending their night as we were on our way to school. We all had a lot of pink on.
What do you find most inspiring about New York City?
The people — their diversity, energy and humanity. Being a designer, I spend my time focusing on how people communicate and absorb information. New York is a vast pool of learning. Taking the subway is like watching a play.
What is your favorite place/neighborhood in the city?
There are too many! Chinatown for a trip to another world without leaving the island. East Village for the old school Polish butchers. Governor’s Island for space to explore. Washington Square Park on a warm evening for its sense of optimism. 42nd Street New York Public library for a majestic sense of space. Jane’s Carousel for a treat that both children and adults enjoy. East River Ferry for a working man’s yatch tour of the city on a hot Summer day. Etc…
What is New York’s best-kept secret?
St. Luke’s Garden
When did you first become involved with OHNY?
I started attending the weekends 10 years ago. Then, this past year, our studio was thrilled to work with the organization on their promotional material.
What is your most memorable OHNY site or program?
The very first visit to the Chrysler Building.
If OHNY could grant you an all-access pass to any place in the city, where would you go?
Down Under. I would love to access the mysterious layers of the underworld of the City.
OHNY is important to New York City because…
OHNY celebrates the diversity of visions and design perspectives in New York. It keeps us curious to learn more about the city and reminds us of the diversity that exists throughout the five boroughs. A Hindu temple in Queens, a Manhattan bedroom made of a petroleum trailer tank, a collection of 28 Greek Revival buildings on Staten Island, a 4 million sq-ft WWII military storage base in Brooklyn and a leading sustainable design affordable housing complex in the Bronx—open to all, thanks to OHNY. I also love the idea that inaccessible places become accessible to all. OHNY is populist and open literally and figuratively, like the best parts of the city.
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.