What’s your “day job”?
I sell mushrooms for Madura Farms at Greenmarkets, nanny, and write Emoji Major for Co.Design
What’s the most memorable thing that happened to you while at Untapped Cities?
When Mark Bittman tweeted about Chinese Food Density in NYC, it was pretty exciting and also the Breaking Bad emojis going viral. But also I went on a five-day silent meditation retreat and that was so outside of my realm of experience that I will definitely remember it to say the least.
Favorite piece you’ve written for Untapped?
I liked the “I Visit My Friends Pretty Regularly” because I love that map so much and I love thinking about how perception of the city changes based on what parts of it you physically occupy.
Best Celebrity Sighting:
When I was 7 I got to spend a night hanging out with Kurt Vonnegut. My mom was photographing an event held in his honor and she couldn’t get a babysitter so she brought me along. Kurt Vonnegut hated talking to people about himself and since I didn’t know who he was and was glad to do all the talking myself, he hung on the me the whole evening as his date. He sat me on his lap and told me crazy stories. He also taught me to identify violin and viola players by the “vickys” they develop on their necks.
What’s your favorite obscure fact about your city?
In 1887 Chicago decided to reverse the flow of the Chicago River. The City of St. Louis didn’t want all of the City’s sewage flowing down the Mississippi directly into their ports, so they took the City of Chicago to court over it. But, before the case was heard, Chicago just went ahead and did it. Not much has changed in the way the city is run.
What’s your favorite Untapped place you’ve visited while traveling?
When I was in Argentina I got to visit my friend Sofi’s family’s yerba mate plantation, Las Marias. The air smelled like eucalyptus and mate, the iron-rich earth is bright red, and there were capybaras laying around in the sun. It was the most beautiful, surreal place I’ve ever been. And it’s open for tours!!! Next place I’m dying to go is New Orleans. [Editor’s note: Check out our urbanist guide to NOLA!]
What are some of your favorite websites?
I love this science and cooking blog: https://thesupertastercooks.com and I love the stories, poems and drawings on https://abitlikeamango.tumblr.com/. I also love BLDGBLOG (https://bldgblog.blogspot.com/) for urbanism related stuff and BOINGBOING to satisfy my inner nerd.
Get in touch with the Zoe on Twitter at @youngzokeziah.