Alex Delare ’10

Alex Delare '10Alex Delare ’10 is a Certified NYC Sightseeing Guide and historian who started her own business with her husband, Jonathan, out of their mutual love for the city and sharing stories together. New York Local Tours uses storytelling in order to bring the history of the city to life. She also works at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum as a Senior Educator giving tours and performs as a Costumed Interpreter portraying the lives of residents who once lived inside the historical building.

What brought you to Sarah Lawrence?
I transferred to Sarah Lawrence College my junior year and it was the best decision I ever made. I was in search of a school that would not only give me a solid education, but also feel like a second home built around a sense of community. The minute I stepped onto the Sarah Lawrence campus, I knew I had found just that. I found the most supportive professors in the world. In each class I took, I found friends amongst my teachers and inspiration left and right.

What was your favorite spot on campus?
My favorite spot on campus was the Teahaus! I used to love walking from Westlands, past the swing set, where I often swung in between classes and walk down the hill to the Teahaus. This felt especially needed on a cold, wintry day where only a tea and a sweet treat would do the trick. It was just one more element that made Sarah Lawrence not only feel like a school, but an extension of home.

What was your favorite class?
How to pick just one? I had so many incredible professors, including my don, Shirley Kaplan, who inspired me every day to dream big and think outside the box. But, I would have to say that my favorite class was one, at the time not in my field, but in literature. I just loved Ilja Wachs’ "The 19th Century Novel" course that I took in my senior year. Ilja introduced us to the whole of the Dickens cannon, his favorite, and we even read War and Peace in its entirety. He inspired me to see literature in a way that I had never experienced before. He taught me to want to be a lifetime reader because he inspired such deep connections to the characters we read. He spoke of them as friends and introduced them to us through his want to make us feel the same way. His dedication and constant love for what he did made everything we read feel important and transformative.

How did your time at Sarah Lawrence influence your career?
My time at Sarah Lawrence instilled in me the belief that I could do anything. As a student, I was taught to be an independent thinker and to create my own work. So, perhaps it makes sense that I would go off and do just that upon graduation—create my own historical walking tour company. Much like when I was at Sarah Lawrence, I mixed my passions of theater, history, and education. I created my own company with my husband, Jonathan Anderson, of a city that I love and is always teaching me new things. This freedom of thought and expression that Sarah Lawrence showed me is what inspires my tours.

What is your favorite part of the city to explore with New York Local Tours?
My favorite tour to give is our "Greetings from Coney Island" tour. On this tour, we show you a neighborhood with a rich history of diversity, passion, and even disaster. What inspires me about Coney Island is that it has an amazing ability to rebuild itself over and over again. Up until today, Coney Island is still finding ways to recover after Hurricane Sandy and organizations keep popping up working effortlessly to bring it back. As we take you through the history, we also make connections to the current story of Coney Island and the work this community continues to do to strengthen their neighborhood. We are very involved in the community ourselves through being members of the Alliance for Coney Island, friends of the Aquarium, and the Coney Island Beautification Project, not to mention we are friends with Mr. Strange. Curious who that is? Come on our tour!