In our new weekly column, we’ll be highlighting one of our 250+ Untapped Cities contributors worldwide. This week, we’re featuring Aby Sam Thomas, an Untapped editor and columnist.
What’s your “day job”?
As hard as it may be to believe, I actually do earn my living by writing—I’m a freelance writer and journalist. Being a Gemini, my interests are quite varied and I write about everything from real estate to religion.
What’s your favorite Untapped spot in your city?
Fort Tilden Beach in Queens—it’s secluded, rather bare and quite a departure from the crowded shores one sees at the other beaches in the city in the summer.
Favorite piece you’ve written for Untapped?
I think that would be my meet-up with Matilda, the Algonquin Cat. I found the story behind how Matilda became the resident cat of the Algonquin rather endearing and charming.
What’s your favorite Untapped place you’ve visited while traveling? Where do you want to visit next?
I went to Rome on a reporting trip, and I loved my experience there—it’s a city filled with stories, and every corner has something stunning to showcase. As for a dream destination, I really want to get lost somewhere in South America—fingers crossed for that.
What’s your favorite obscure fact about your city?
There’s a statue of Lenin atop a building in the East Village—I always enjoy pointing it out to New Yorkers and watching their jaws drop on seeing the Communist leader in their capitalistic city!
Best Celebrity Sighting?
As nerdy as it sounds, but I remember getting a huge thrill running into the author, Jhumpa Lahiri, in Brooklyn one day. I remember making an absolute fool of myself as I fawned over her like a crazy person—I don’t think she was very amused, but she did let me snap a few pictures of her nonetheless. Unfortunately, I didn’t learn from the experience and repeated the performance when I came face-to-face with another of my fave writers, Arundhati Roy.
If you could be any animal what would it be?
The honey badger, of course. It’s such a badass.
What are some of your favorite websites?
I usually go to sites that are recommended by people on my Twitter feed, but I guess I am a return visitor to sites like The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, FlipCollective, Narratively, The Aerogram, etc.
Join our community of Untapped Cities contributors around the world by contacting us here. Get in touch with Aby @thisisaby and check out his photo blog.