Molly Surno is an artist, film curator, writer, and all-around culture savant. As an installation artist working in film, video, sculpture, sound, and photography, she’s enjoyed solo exhibitions at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and The Getty in Los Angeles. Her work has been shown in top galleries all over New York, as well as internationally at the Essl Museum and the Salzburg Museum of Modern Art in Austria. As the founder and director of Cinema 16, she’s reviving a mid-century film salon, pairing contemporary musicians with experimental films. “Viewing [film] has become solitary and private, reducing cinema to the tiny screens on our laptops and phones,” says Surno. “I want to resurrect the public cinematic experience.” You can join that experience at places like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Kitchen, and MoMA PS1, among others, where Cinema 16 has hosted events.
Surno keeps us in the know on the latest avant-garde art and film happenings in the city, and knows her stuff when it comes to the classics, too. And, of course, this artist-about-town is always up on where to eat and drink, particularly on her home turf of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Want to be as cool as Surno? Get in touch.
Molly Surno’s Best of New York City
Little-known spot for incredible art At Electronic Arts Intermix, on the fifth floor of a Chelsea building, sits this extraordinary archive of the most important avant-garde and experimental performance and video works. You can rent a little viewing room by the hour, which is where I have devoted time to watching Ana Mendieta, Merce Cunningham, and others.
Place to relax La Monte Young’s Dream House
Place to take out-of-town guests Pioneer Works
Special bar Achilles Heel. Tucked away on a nondescript street, this Brooklyn bar feels like a real sailors’ salon, but with the nicest selection of wine and snacks.
Outdoor drinks Troost in Greenpoint is the best place to unwind alongside your neighbors. A real staple of the hood.
Live-music venue The Kitchen
Date-night spot Pokito. The tropical atmosphere at this tiny restaurant is exuberant and romantic, and its Japanese- and Dominican–inspired cuisine is clean and bright.
Shop to buy date-night outfits American Two Shot
Dessert Fortunato Brothers, the best old-school patisserie in my neighborhood.
Brunch Okonomi for an incredible Japanese breakfast.
Place to watch the sunset From the Williamsburg Bridge, which I walk over almost every day.
Beach Beach 60 at Rockaway, my boyfriend’s go-to surf break and a healthy distance from the crowds. I love to stroll down the sand all the way to the 30s, which doubles as a natural bird sanctuary.