Get to know Untapped Cities contributor Anna Brown who has written about an art exhibit at an abandoned hospital, a set of mystery tiles found throughout the city, and an evening walking tour along the Gowanus Canal.
1. What’s your “day job”?
I work at the Genius Bar at the Apple Store.
2. What’s your favorite Untapped spot in your city?
The Bushwick Collective, an outdoor street art gallery in Bushwick.
3. What’s your favorite piece you’ve written for Untapped?
My favorite piece would have to be a feature on a digital collection of 900,000 photos that the City of New York collected of buildings in the 1940s and 1980s 1980s for tax purposes, and juxtaposing those images with what the areas look like today. You can check out the article here.
4. What’s the most surprising and/or valuable thing you learned during your internship?
That everything has a history, and an unrelenting drive is required to go out and find the answers. Everyone who write for Untapped Cities has a passion for telling a great story.
5. What’s your favorite obscure fact about your city?
Sheepshead Bay is named for a fish with human-like teeth that used to populate its waters! The fish used their teeth to grind oysters and clam shells. I learned this and other interesting facts in our article Fun Maps: Original Dutch and Native Names of NYC Neighborhoods.
6. What’s your favorite Untapped place you’ve visited while traveling? Where do you want to visit next?
I got to visit the abandoned South Side hospital complex on Ellis Island, to write about the site of Unframed, an installation by Parisian street artist JR. There were only 20 of us on the tour and we all wore hardhats. I would love to visit more abandoned sites, like Bannerman Castle on the Hudson River.
7. Craziest thing you’ve ever done?
I walked the entire perimeter of Manhattan (32 miles) with a group of friends, starting with a toast of white wine in plastic cups at 7 am in front of the Staten Island Ferry. It took us 16 hours, and wouldn’t have been possible without a stop at Patsy’s Pizzeria on 117th Street in East Harlem, where much pizza and sangria was consumed for the final leg of our journey.