Christopher Inoa-Untapped Cities-Profile-JR-Street Art-Art-InsideOut Project

This week we profile Untapped Cities intern Christopher Inoa, a film student who has written about an indie video game exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image, JR’s installation at the NYC Ballet, and film locations of Inside Llewyn Davis.

What’s your “day job”?

I am a Film Studies student at Brooklyn College in Flatbush.

What’s your favorite Untapped spot in your city? 

My favorite spot in the city, that is difficult, because there are just so many, I have to start with Pugsleys Pizza in The Bronx. I cannot tell you how many girls I have tried to impress by taking them there. There is also Nimba, a small independent coffee shop in Crown Heights that I am in every Monday night waiting for my girlfriend to get back home from the gym. They get donuts from Dough and the people who run the shop are extremely friendly. 

This is NYC, and more importantly I am someone who needs to hit a bar once a week to relax and just have a drink or two. When it comes to bars, I have to say The Way Station, also known as the “Doctor Who bar” near Park Slope. It is just filled with my kind of people and they show Doctor Who in the bar on weekends and have costume contests whenever the show is on, can’t beat that.

Favorite piece you’ve written for Untapped?

Out of all the pieces I have written so far, the one that stand out is indie game exhibit at The Museum of The Moving Image. I got to brag to my friends that I got play games for work.

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

Getting to see graffiti legends like Sharp, Daze and Lady Pink at the Museum of The City of New York. I walked through a horrible snowstorm to see that exhibit and to talk to these artists, who helped push the overall graffiti movement from something that started in the ghettos of the Bronx to something that has inspired people around the world.

I grew up seeing graffiti on the streets. I associate it with growing up here, and being able to see it become something that a museum would showcase as important to NYC history really got to me. I would not have gotten to experience that the way I did if I was not here at Untapped.

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

The most valuable thing I have learned so far at Untapped is what it takes to run a site. This is my first time working for a website, so having the opportunity to work among people who have experience, that offer advice on how to make my articles better is exactly what I was looking for when I first applied. I wanted this to be a learning experience and so far it has been.

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

Central Park, I know, it sounds silly because everyone has been in Central Park before. The difference this time is I was around Central Park during one of the many snowstorms we have had to deal with this winter. I was running late to this press preview, but I had to keep taking pictures of the park during the storm. The park was really empty so I got to take some really cool shots of a garden and a lake that was completely frozen.

As far as to where I want to visit next, I would really like to do some urban exploring. I am such a paranoid person it would take a lot for me to actually do any alone, plus I will have to have a bat with me at all times—a classic wooden bat—just so I know if someone comes out of nowhere I will have some kind of protection with me.

What’s your favorite obscure fact about your city?

The Grand Central whisper gallery. I was hanging out with a few friends last year and one of them could not stop talking about this place in Grand Central where you can whisper into a corner and someone on the opposite corner can hear you clearly. People were walking by thinking we were doing some kind of art performance or something.

Craziest thing you’ve ever done?

I have quite a few stories about crazy things and situations I was a part of, however, I swore an oath never to leave such evidence on the Internet. One thing I can be open about is the time I was running around Times Square with my arms flapping constantly, screaming at the top of my lungs “I’m Batman” over and over again. How was I not stopped by the cops I have no idea. To be clear, I want to say that I was very, very young when I did this.

Best Celebrity Sighting

Ron Perlman in Soho during a first date. I saw him across the street and instantly recognized him. My date freaked out, but I played it cool, because I try not to act all weird when I met celebrities. I said “hello Mr. Perlman.” He lit a cigar and replied “hello” right back. He shook my hand, and wished my date and I a good night and just walked off. Nice guy.

What are some of your favorite websites?

For all my movie news I go to The Dissolve because they practically have an all-star team of critics writing about movies every week. For another of my many obsessions—music—I go to Passion of The Weiss, the best music blog on the net, no argument needed. There is no pretension, no dumb scores, just dope writers who put up the music they want and write about it extensively. They do not worry about having the “hottest” song on the Internet out first, they are more focused on having the most to say about the song and that is why I am always looking forward to see what comes up on the site, whether it is Hip Hop related or otherwise.