A Life in the City
When you imagine a New Yorker who lives a cosmopolitan, creative life, Christine Aliferis is exactly the kind of person who comes to mind. She was raised in the New York borough of Queens, and lived most of her life in the city.
She will ride her bike all over the Lower East Side, for food at Essex Market, or to the Waterfront to look at evening views of Brooklyn before hopping to art galleries for an opening. “One of the great things about riding a bike is you see what’s going on around you and you can stop and take a look when you see something cool going on. Sometimes at twilight seeing how beautiful the view on my bike with a gentle cool breeze blowing, I think how lucky I am to live here.”
She’s not just a city dweller, she’s also a traveler, in the areas near the city and beyond. “On weekends, we can be found taking the Metro North up the Hudson for a hike or ride in Tarrytown or Beacon.” But she also loves to travel internationally. She makes sure to reconnect with her Greek heritage by visiting family there once per year to soak up the culture and climate. “My Greek heritage means a lot to me,” she says. While her parents met in Queens, her father was born in Greece, and Christine’s young life was spent in the largest Greek community in the US - Astoria, Queens. While she now resides on the Lower East Side, she hasn’t left New York City. What keeps her there, she says is “the sheer variety of people from all backgrounds that make this city so interesting. There’s always new cuisine to try, new art, and just places when all sorts of people chill out in harmony.”
Community is important to Christine, and she is active in promoting the causes that matter to her, on a global as well as local level. She marches with community actions for racial equity, women’s rights and environmental justice, and stays dedicated to these concerns. Her environmental awareness has inspired Christine and her husband to compost, recycle, and upcycle to raise money for charities. Staying engaged with the world starts close to home, she says “I’m also a member of our neighborhood political organization. The best way to make change starts at the local level.” The values that matter the most to Christine help her feel good about being an ECCO customer. “It’s good to know that ECCO tries to reduce their impact on the environment. I try to purchase from B corporations.”
Keeping active in her community also supports her creativity and gives her and her husband an outlet to engage with art in a more hands-on fashion. “Just a 10 minute walk from my house is a community center with an art school where I have been studying ceramics. My husband and I are both smitten with it and plan to keep pursuing the art of ceramics.” Engaging with her community is also supported by grounding her own well being through her daily morning meditations, which she refers to as “a tuneup for your mind.” By focusing on perspective and resetting for the day, she can orient towards the world around her with greater care. “The main thing is to have compassion for yourself and let go of negativity. And then you can take care of yourself and others better.”
When Christine started wearing our Soft 7 shoes, she was hooked. “I knew of ECCO a few years ago, but when I saw the Soft 7 I loved the design. They have an urban flare, but enduring style. Great for walking blocks and blocks and not thinking about your feet.” The comfort and design help her get across the city looking and feeling her best at work.
"When I go into the Ad Agency, I want to look hip, sleek and modern. As a freelancer in the communications industry, I’ll find myself having to present my ideas to a room full of people I might not know. I want to make an impression that I’m aware of style and design because that’s part of my job.” She also loves to travel in them. “I took my ECCO booties to Portugal and they were ideal for walking around medieval castles in the mist of November.”
Christine’s passion for travel, writing, art, community and design all keep her going. “When you put your passion into what you do and shoot for excellence (and that means pushing yourself to be original and innovative) you feel more fulfilled in your work and personal life. It’s what gets you up in the morning.”
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Photo Credit: JC Cancedda