Untapped Cities Contributor Profile: Lee Yan

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1. What’s your favorite Untapped spot in your city? 

Originally from Hong Kong, I grew up eating at Cha Chaan Tengs, a kind of neighborhood cafe offering an eclectic selection of “HK-style Western cuisine. One in particular is a true hole-in-the-wall – a mobile kitchen at the back alley of street full of car repair shops. Their egg and cha-siu fried rice is to die for.

2. Favorite piece you’ve written for Untapped:

10 of the Most Unconventional Public Buildings in NYC marries my interests in urbanism and quirky designs. It is an article about some of NYC’s most progressive structures that defy the banality of stereotypical public buildings.

3. What’s the most memorable thing that happened while writing for Untapped Cities?

Getting to see the secret roof garden of Rockefeller Center, with the best views of St. Patricks Cathedral in Midtown NYC.

4. What’s the most surprising and/or valuable thing you’ve learned while at Untapped Cities?

Talk to people! They will always untap something for you.

5. What’s your favorite Untapped place you’ve visited while traveling? Where do you want to visit next?

After being stuck on a Greek island for a rainy week, I landed on another island, Naxos, mainly because it was the next ferry out available. There was nothing particularly special about this sleepy town but its calmness and mellow vibe – it was a perfect island getaway. Next I’d love to challenge the Inca Trail in Peru.

6. What’s your favorite obscure fact about your city?

You can get married at McDonald’s in Hong Kong for only 2000 USD!

7. Craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Hiking for 2 days in the Mulu Gunang National Park in Malaysia, pulling leeches off my body the whole time.

8. Best Celebrity Sighting:

Got a peek at James Franco through a swarm of fans as he walked out from Longacre Theater in Times Square.

 Untapped Cities Team

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