Public eye: Ilana Allegro, 28
New York street interviews: Stories from the sidewalk as told by real New Yorkers about their lives in the city that never sleeps.
Sun Oct 21 2012
Photograph: Allison Michael Orenstein
Essex St between Delancey and Rivington Sts
Did you grow up being accused of having gingervitis? [Laughs] People used to call me “Carrot Top,” but then my mom told me that carrot tops were actually green and to ignore them.
Smart mom. What do you do? I work for Susan Rockefeller. We just launched a lifestyle brand in June. She’s an ocean advocate, so we have ocean- and mermaid-inspired jewelry, which is really on-trend right now.
Mermaids are in, huh? Yeah, apparently they’re the new vampires—a bunch of movies are coming out, including a noncartoon remake of The Little Mermaid. Anyway, the brand is about raising awareness, and we’re going to donate money to charity. Susan is on the board of Oceana, the world’s largest ocean-conservation charity.
And she’s a Rockefeller? Yes, she’s married to David Rockefeller Jr.
So you walk around 30 Rock like you own it? [Laughs] Our office is on 56th Street. Close enough.
What’s that crazy New York socialite world like? They’re so amazing, low-key and generous. They just want to spread the message of conservation. Susan is a documentary filmmaker and has a new film called “Mission of Mermaids.” It’s about the myth of the mermaid in relation to the ocean.
Refresh me on the myth of the mermaid. A mermaid fell in love with a man. Her deal was that she would give up her life in the ocean to be with him, but she needed to go back sometimes and rejuvenate herself. He goes to the ocean and spies on her because he doesn’t trust her, and their love is lost. The movie was just at the Coney Island Film Festival.
So did Susan Rockefeller hire you because you look like Ariel? [Laughs] Yeah, I even had to let my hair grow for the Mermaid Parade. I’m from L.A., so I’m a bit of a mermaid anyway.
Where do you live? I just moved from Mulberry Street in Manhattan to Williamsburg.
What’s the difference between a Manhattan hipster and a Brooklyn one? A bigger kitchen.
More from Ilana
“Normally, I wear black.”