Illyse singer 400x400 Illyse Singer Local New York GrandLife Roxy Cinema Curator

Illyse Singer

Occupation Cinema Curator

Hometown Miami

Current Residence Williamsburg, NY

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For all things film-related, Illyse Singer is your woman. She brings her almost encyclopedic knowledge of film to the Roxy Cinema where she curates a selection of first-run independent films, rare archival prints, 35mm cult classics, and film series including the Roxy Underground Film Festival. You can also catch her leading discussions with some of cinema’s most influential auteurs. Below, she shares her favorite local spots. 

WHAT WOULD THE TITLE OF YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHY BE? 
Do You Know What I Mean? 

WHAT CAN’T YOU TRAVEL WITHOUT AND WHY?
Cashmere travel wrap. I need to feel cozy at all times. 

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE TRAVEL DESTINATION? 
Mexico city—there is a wild energy and pulse there! I also love traveling anywhere that is warm, wild, and tropical, so I can swim, especially at night under the light of the stars and moon.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON IN NYC?  
Brunch and stroll around, wandering the city. A Hot yin yoga class is also pretty magical. 

IF YOU COULD CHOOSE ONE PERSON TO SHOW YOU “THEIR NEW YORK CITY,” WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? 
I wish I could shadow Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe in Just Kids, that New York, that love seems so dreamy and romantic.

WHO OR WHAT HAS INSPIRED YOU RECENTLY? 
Sara Driver and her beautiful documentary Boom For Real about the early teenage years of Basquiat has really inspired me because it shows that if we’re all just driven and want to create, anything can happen. 

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE NYC RESTAURANTS? WHAT DO YOU ORDER WHEN YOU GO? 
Lucien—Filet Mignon; Takahachi for sushi; Kiki’s—the cheesecake will change your life; and Waverly Inn for decadence.

WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO SPOT IN NYC FOR DRINKS? 
Roxy Bar; they make my favorite dirty martini and negroni. And Four Horsemen for wine. 

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE NYC BRUNCH SPOTS; WHAT DO YOU ORDER WHEN YOU GO? 
Chez Ma Tante—pancakes; Lighthouse—Chilaquiles; Café Mogador—halloumi poached eggs.  

WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR ART FIX IN NYC? DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE ARTIST?
I’ve always been partial to the Met and the MOMA, but really any museum is great in NY and all the galleries are amazing. I love getting lost inside the Met and then laying on the grass in central park on a warm day. Too many favorite artists to name, but surrealism is probably my favorite movement.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE LATE-NIGHT HANGOUTS IN NYC? 
Tompkins Square Bar (old Black Market)—you can play pool there; Max Fish, same reason; Decibel—great dark bar with fun snacks.  

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR UNDER-THE-RADAR MUST-DO RECOMMENDATIONS FOR NYC VISITORS?
The Frick and The Morgan Library & Museum. I feel like people don’t go to these as often but they are so great. Also, you have to go to the Lincoln Center to see a ballet or opera, it’s one of my favorite reasons for being able to live in NY and see this on the regular.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE NYC STORES? 
I love Sprout for plant shopping, and Enchantments is great for necessary magic purchases. Having a go-to magic store is normal right? The Criterion Closet—I know it’s not really a store, but getting to go in there and pick out films is maybe one of the best things you can do.

WHAT MUSIC ARE YOU LISTENING TO THESE DAYS? WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE MUSICIANS? 
I’ve been listening to a lot of Songs: Ohia, Beach House, and Connan Mockasin. I was also just introduced to Toumani Diabate who is this West African Kora player, I’ve been listening on repeat. A great film score is always good to wander around the city, like Barry Lyndon or Amadeus.

WHAT ALBUM OR SONG WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOUR PERSONAL SOUNDTRACK TO NYC? 
“These Days” by Nico and “Dream Baby Dream” by Suicide.

WHEN YOU THINK OF NYC, ARE THERE ANY PARTICULAR EMOTIONS OR MEMORIES THAT IMMEDIATELY COME TO MIND? 
Magic. Anything can happen here. Anything is possible. It’s hard to imagine living anywhere else. 

Best Rate Promise
Soho Grand Hotel

310 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013

(212) 965-3000
The Roxy Hotel Tribeca

2 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10013

212.519.6600