Mario Ismael Espinoza, a company dancer with New York City's Ballet Hispanico — which specializes in Latin-infused contemporary dance — was born in Tijuana, Mexico. Before coming to New York over five years ago, Espinoza performed with various dance companies in Salt Lake City and San Francisco.
Espinoza and the rest of the Ballet Hispanico company dancers will take the stage at the Joyce Theater for the 45th annual NYC season from April 5th to the 10th.
In between practices, Espinoza filled us in on why he loves his Manhattan neighborhood, what he wishes he had more of, and why it's important to find a home you can feel relaxed in.
1. What neighborhood do you live in?
2. Is this your dream neighborhood or is there someplace else in NYC you’d prefer to settle in?
I love my neighborhood.
3. Do you own or rent?
4. How’d you find it?
A non-fee broker.
5. What’s the one thing you love the most about it?
I love that it's right next to East Village and Union Square. There are excellent restaurants. I am a short bike away from West Village and Soho and the Lower East Side. Easy access to most train lines, and best of all, it's a pretty quiet part of the city.
6. If there’s one thing you could change about your apartment, what would it be?
There are many things I would change about my apartment, but the main thing would be: more closet space.
7. In three words, describe the first apartment you've ever lived in.
Quiet. Quaint. Historic.
8. Do you prefer old NYC or this NYC?
I prefer this NYC because it's the only NYC I know.
9. Tell us about the favorite apartment you’ve ever had.
My favorite apartment was my first apartment. It was a brownstone in Park Slope. It had gorgeous original molding. Big closets, beautiful parquet floors. I could go on and on.
10. And the worst?
I stayed with a friend when I first moved to NYC, in south Williamsburg. The floorboards were so old that when the downstairs neighbor smoked in his apartment, our apartment would also be smoke-filled.
11. Name one NYC service you couldn’t live without.
12. What's your favorite spot in the city?
I have many. In the top five is Washjngton Square Park. My dog loves that park, and there's always live music and performers in the spring, summer, and autumn.
13. Which would you rather: Brooklyn brownstone or a penthouse in a shiny, new condo?
What about a newly-updated/renovated Manhattan brownstone? Is that an option ...
14. If you could live elsewhere, where would it be?
15. Any advice for a recent New York transplant?
Enjoy everything the city has to offer, but make sure you like, or better yet LOVE, your living situation. There is nothing better than coming home, after a long day/week of work, to a space that you've made your own. A place you can relax and feel at ease. The city is amazing but it can also be very consuming and chaotic. Home should be a place to unwind and decompress.
Film buff Nora Armani's advice for becoming a New Yorker: Do the legwork