To celebrate our upcoming 1-year anniversary of Datura Studio in the LES we thought why not feature a Member Styles special edition of the iconic Orchard Street and it’s surroundings...
Over the next few months be sure to look out for our Lower East Side-focused special editions and get to know the special women who make this one of the most special districts in the city.
Michelle — "Orchard Street is one of New York’s most magical places— how lucky I feel to have landed here! From the controlled scale of its buildings to the character of small businesses and cross-section of cultures, it's a rather unique expanse of the city that is important to preserve."
Meet Michelle Marie Esteva, the founder of Chinatown Soup; a curated space that invites artists to participate in a creative community outside of the ‘art world’.
Born a native New Yorker, she is almost always found in her office imagining Soup's next exhibition, planning her next adventure outside of the city or learning how to trade metals, something she’s been doing professionally for the past couple of years.
Otherwise, with a hot tea and deck of cards near at hand, you might catch her in Chinatown dreaming up the latest iteration of her soon-to-be five year-old art experiment. Look out for Spirit Soup in 2020!
Chinatown Soup was inspired by the success of Detroit Soup, a non profit startup established in 2010 by two young women to benefit local artist initiatives through micro-funding dinners. Chinatown Soup built upon this interactive, democratic model to design an art space for a neighborhood that has shifted from an immigrant populated enclave to a hotbed for a real estate development and the new art scene.
Drawing from the Stone Soup folk parable and artist-run collectives of 1970’s New York, such as Chinatown’s Basement Workshop and SoHo’s FOOD, they’re forming a new vanguard of social entrepreneurs that re-imagine how people can work together to live creatively in the 21st century city. This intervention begins with enabling cultural organizations to provide emerging artists with their first significant exposure, offer studio space, activate maker market spaces, and present public programming with strong commitments to local communities.
Visit Chinatown Soup on 16B Orchard Street. 10002. NY
After you have viewed an ever-changing variety of artworks from Soup resident artists, try their delicious teas from the secret cafe in the back where you can also shop zines and rainbow yin-yang ceramic mugs amongst other curiosities.