Get to know Untapped contributor and founder of the New York Adventure Club, Corey Schneider. Corey has covered the Brooklyn Army Terminal, and most recently he wrote about the historic Prince George Hotel.
What’s your “day job”?
Ever since graduating from American University over three years ago, I have been working at Time, Inc. as a consumer marketer for TIME, Fortune, and Money Magazine. What does that mean you ask? In a nutshell, our department develops national marketing campaigns to get new subscribers and retain existing ones.
My other side-project turned side-job is running New York Adventure Club, a community I started a couple months ago that arranges unique, private, and exclusive weekly tours at lesser-known treasures around the city for the local urban-exploration community. After each event, there’s always a social gathering of some sort (park, eatery, bar, etc) to bring the community together and make it easy for like-minded people living in this overwhelming hometown to meet one another.
What’s your favorite Untapped spot in your city?
Flushing, Queens is by far one of the coolest spots in the city. Whether you’re looking for some questionably cheap dim sum on Main Street in Chinatown, craving some South Indian food in Murray Hill, or exploring the 1964 World’s Fair Relics in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the final stop on the 7 train has you covered. Did I mention there are no tourists?
Favorite piece you’ve written for Untapped:
It may come as no surprise, but I had a lot of fun writing my two part self-guided walking tour of Flushing, Queens. I highly recommend that you bring at least three friends though, otherwise you’re in for a serious food coma on your historical & foodie journey, courtesy of Flushing mainstays like White Bear, Corner 28, and any food stand in the Golden Mall.
What’s the most memorable thing that happened while writing for Untapped Cities?
In early March, I decided to write a history of the Brooklyn Army Terminal in anticipation of a private tour that I was hosting for New York Adventure Club–at the end of the article, I put a small line about RSVPing through our Facebook page, which I didn’t expect anyone to actually click.
At this point, NYAC was a just simple Facebook Group that I created to tell my friends about what weekend adventures I wanted to attend, in hopes that they would join (note: heavy bribing was usually needed). I booked a couple tours that month at various NYC locations, which I felt were interesting and that my friends might enjoy–I told myself that if nobody shows up, then I would probably stop organizing events and use the Facebook Group as a place to house my adventure photos.
It was a Friday morning at work when the article broke on Untapped Cities –within the first hour, over 100 strangers joined the group asking how they could get a ticket to an event that I had no ticketing system for! This was the catalyst to build New York Adventure Club into something more legitimate and authentic that even the most adventurous local could appreciate.
What’s the most surprising and/or valuable thing you’ve learned while at Untapped Cities?
Untapped Cities was my first window into an alternative side of New York City that I never knew existed. I started contributing to UC when I had gotten sick of my very routine way of life after living here for a year (work, home, drinking at the same bars, eating at the same restaurants…) I made a pact to myself that every single weekend I would explore something new, focusing in lesser-known New York architecture, history, culture, and cuisine. My goal was to come into the office on Monday morning and have something to say when I was asked about the weekend, rather than generic responses like “I relaxed”. Two years later, I’m still fulfilling that pact, and I owe it to the UC content, community, and staff.
What’s your favorite Untapped place you’ve visited while traveling? Where do you want to visit next?
This is a tough question, so many to choose from! If I had to pick one, I would have to say Fiji, which I spent three weeks in for a group trip after high school. First of all, every corner of the country is absurdly beautiful — whether it’s the mainland coasts, highlands, or thousands of islands (some have never been walked on!). Second, it has some of the best surfing and scuba diving in the world (literal cities of coral underneath the ocean). Third, and most importantly, Fiji has the nicest collection of people I have ever encountered in any country. Here’s an example that sums up the country perfectly: After doing some community service in a small oceanside town for a week with my group, one of the villagers I befriended said he wanted to get me a gift before I left the area. The next morning, he showed up at the camp site with a beautifully hand made 4 ft Fijian axe as a token of his appreciation — luckily, I somehow got through customs on the way home).
The next trip might be domestic –maybe an official New York Adventure Club vacation!
What’s your favorite obscure fact about your city?
May Day! Before rent control existed, landlords would notify tenants of their rent increase for the coming year on February 1st, giving them three months to find new living quarters before the price hike went into effect on May 1st. If you thought moving apartments is bad now, imagine doing it on the same day as the rest of the city! May Day was often described as pandemonium with streets gridlocked with wagons, furniture, and swarms of families carrying their personal belongings. There’s a great painting of May Day in the MET located in the American Wing.
Craziest thing you’ve ever done?
I recently got back from a two week multi-sport trip in Peru where we mountain biked, hiked the 4-day Incan Trail to Machu Picchu, and kayaked on Lake Titicaca in Puno (still can’t say it with a straight face). While the first day of mountain biking was extremely easy, the second day was terrifying–the tour operator led us down the steepest, rockiest terrain on the side of a cliff at the salt mines in Maras, where one wrong move would be disastrous. Luckily, our group made it down without any injuries, but I don’t think you could pay me to do that trail again.
Best Celebrity Sighting:
Ben Stiller when he was shooting “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” in the Time & Life Building–I saw him almost every day for a couple months!