As the editorial intern for Untapped Cities, I get to spend a lot of time hanging out on the Upper West Side at the Untapped HQ in New York City. Every Friday, (and some Tuesdays) I wake up at 8:30 and plop myself on the train. In the fifteen minutes it takes me to arrive at the HQ, I’ve completely transformed from exhausted grad school zombie girl into fabulous NYC blogger extraordinaire. Or at least that’s how I feel whenever I hang out at HQ.

The HQ is spacious, by New York standards, with a comfy L-shaped couch and an entire wall of big, sometimes Doodled on windows that look out on the throbbing city below (you can see all the way out to the river!). I typically get here pretty early, but there’s almost always another few pairs of shoes lined up in the hallway when I arrive (barefoot is acceptable here). More often than not, Michelle or Lydia is sitting at the table in the middle of the room, or at the bright red desk in the corner, listening to Mike Snow or whatever they feel like working to that day. Even if they’re crazy busy with something like geolocating every single post we’ve ever published or planning out the articles we want to publish that day, whoever has beaten me to HQ always makes sure to take a moment to say hi. Time passes differently here, and by the time I look up from my computer, it’s already 6:30 PM, the buildings are all a faint goldish pink, and I’m the only one left besides Laura and Michelle.

That’s what I like best about Untapped HQ, I think. The view is amazing, sure, as is the fact that I work with a team of exceptionally talented designers, writers, photographers, editors, and web masters. (Seriously, I am continually shocked and delighted at the intelligence that hums in the air at HQ whenever we all work together). But I love that the people I work for, these powerhouses of the New York blog scene, aren’t too wrapped up in their own talent to be real with you, to laugh about their weekend escapades or to ask for your thoughts on how their most recent piece sounds.

It’s one thing to have intelligence and style, to be among some of the most in-the-know writers in Manhattan. It’s quite another to have all of that and still be likable, genuine people that truly care about what their readers and contributors get out of the website. In all honesty, I feel very honored to be working at the Untapped HQ. I get to go to exclusive events, write about the things I love, and still learn from people I respect. Not gonna lie, it’s a pretty sweet gig.

Plus, there are space invaders hidden all over the office. And a telescope. And a jar of candy that’s pretty much always full. And a box of “Free Shit” with exactly that. I mean, really. What more could a writer girl want?

Oh, I know. How about a brand new site design that is as kick-ass as the rest of Untapped? Coming right up.