Issue #33

Manuela E. Stötter

La Viaggiatrice

Born in Italy to an Italian mother and Austrian father, Manuela spent the first years of her life traveling with her parents between Nigeria and Brazil where she lived for 6 years. After losing her father and sister in a car accident in Brazil, her mother Maria decided to relocate back to Italy, to Alba where she was from. Manuela grew up mostly with her Italian grandparents often visiting her father’s relatives in Vienna and in Südtirol (South Tyrol-North Italy). At age 14 she then moved out to attend boarding school first and college later.  Manuela has a degree in structural engineering and bridge aerodynamics. She completed her studies in Genoa and spent a year at the Bauhaus Universität in Weimar (Germany). She completed her degree studying at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Manuela moved to New York in 2004 and has been living and working here since then. She is currently employed by a Real Estate Developer and is in charge of the Design and Construction Developments of Luxury High-rise buildings in North America. She is a very active traveler, practices yoga and swims every day. She is an eclectic cook and insatiable reader.

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What do you do in your life (work and fun)?

I work for a real estate development company based in NYC working as a project manager for Design and Construction for Luxury high-rise Building. I’m an engineer and work with a variety of architects, engineers and consultants to design and build our projects. My free time is mostly dedicated to sport activities such as swimming and yoga. I love to travel and I organize a couple of long distance trips every summer and winter. I’m an eclectic cook, collecting recipes and ingredients from my extensive traveling. I’m a tireless reader, I love art and architecture, and I get very inspired by fashion and visuals.

What made you leave Italy and chose NYC?

After graduating I got a good job opportunity working for a civil engineer company in Milan, but my dream was to come to the US for a short period of time and have some work experience, perfect my English, and fulfill my dreams. The opportunity came to me and I left …this was 10 years ago… My home is NYC, the only melting pot of cultures, traditions, religions, cuisines, people coming from all over the world. I love the energy that the city vibrates; I get visual inspiration everyday walking the streets…

Please share your best memory in the City.

When I first moved here, I didn’t know anybody, and I was working long hours….it was summer, and very hot…I remember each weekend selecting a neighborhood and walking the area up and down, stopping at local cafes, visiting stores and museums….I learnt the city the best way…walking.

What made you choose this specific location and outfit?

My work is a mix of creative, technical and business; my background is very scientific and technical; my dreams are in color…I wanted to extrapolate a side of myself that not everybody knows….I’m inspired by art and geometrical forms…graffiti represents very well my state of mind…it is the intensity and explosion of colors and shapes coming out the bare wall… Graffiti on the street…a splash of color that becomes a temporary exhibit, the instant emotion before it transforms to something new… it is the multi-layering of art that is limitless.

Your thought about this project, ITALIANY.US

So many Italians arrive in the city every day, every hour…each one of us with a dream, or many dreams…I like the idea to immortalize with a picture the expressions, smiles and gazes that represent those dreams.

How would you describe being an ambassador of the italian style/culture abroad?

The beauty of being Italian is that we carry our culture within and share it with charm, warmth, a sense of style and creativity. Whether working in financial business, medical or design, we have a deep understanding of heritage and history that make us unique individuals wherever we go.

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  • Time

    150 mins

  • City

    New York

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A visual celebration of Italians working, living and loving in NY and in the US