Tracy Zhang Untapped Cities contributor profile

This week we profile Untapped contributor Tracy Zhang, a travel photographer who has taken us to San Francisco’s Chinatown, the Avatar mountains in China, Copenhagen, Budapest and shown us how to eat like a local in San Francisco.

What’s your “day job”? 

I work in marketing for a tech company in the Silicon Valley, which means I help promote our products and get people to try it.

What’s your favorite Untapped spot in your city? 

There’s this pie shop in my neighborhood that I’ve written about called Chile Pies. I was never big on pies but I love going there. They have such soft crust, savory fillings, and this great green chile sauce that is served on the side. Makes for a great afternoon snack.

Favorite piece you’ve written for Untapped:

Over the summer, I visited Porto, Portugal and produced this piece on Where to Eat and Shop in Porto. It was my first time in Porto and I had a great time exploring the city, getting inspiration for pictures, and putting together this list of places to visit. I hope the post reflects the wonderful time I had there and the charm of the city. 

What’s the most memorable thing that happened while at Untapped Cities?

I joined Untapped Cities when I was living in Toronto and through Untapped Cities, I discovered fellow contributor Emily Baillie. Emily and I have since met and become friends. I love meeting other creative minds and I’m glad Untapped Cities helped connect us.

What’s the most surprising or valuable thing you learned while at Untapped Cities?

Since I started contributing to Untapped Cities, I’ve been surprised at my own interest in food and food photography. I was never a big foodie, but with Untapped Cities’ focus on urban places, I found myself wanting to gravitate more and more to figuring out the top restaurants in town, covering new and up-and-coming places to hangout, etc. This was never part of my portfolio in the beginning and now it’s becoming a growing part of my work.

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

A few summers ago, I visited a beautiful park deep in southern China called Zhang Jia Jie National Forest. The movie Avatar was filmed there and yes, the mountains there really look like they are floating in midair. It was an incredible sight, probably one of the most interesting places I’ve ever visited.

There’s still a lot of places left to explore for me. I’m well travelled in Europe, but have never set foot in Africa or Latin America. I would love to spend some time in South Africa, especially Cape Town.

What’s your favorite obscure fact about your city?

I currently call San Francisco home, and more than the weather, the iconic sights, I love that this city has such a vibrant and active lifestyle. I always see people running outside, cycling everywhere, and just generally spending a lot of time enjoying the outdoors.

Craziest thing you’ve ever done?

I once hitched from France to Spain with two friends. It’s a crazy (and long) story to tell but let’s just say that I will probably never do it again.

Best Celebrity Sighting:

Stephen Colbert came into my work once to give a talk, and after waiting in line for 3 hours I managed to see him in person. I was in the third row!
What are some of your favorite websites?
I like to follow the work of other creatives, so I’m always checking the blogs of photographers like Nicole Frazen, Alice Gao, and Matt Armendariz, I also love magazines so I like to stay up to date on their websites, some of my favorites are Kinfolk, Cereal, and Gather.