Jarrett Lyons Photo

This week we profile Untapped Cities contributor, Jarrett Lyons, an urban and arts reporter from CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. He’s a native Brooklynite with an interest in New York history and exploring neighborhoods that still actually have New Yorkers left in them.

What’s your favorite Untapped spot in your city? 

I used to work for La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club and I love seeing shows there to this day. More people should be checking out the work done there. Even if I don’t necessarily enjoy what performance I saw, I always feel satisfied that I stretched the limits of my imagination. Second is my favorite panini shop in Brooklyn but I’ll keep that to myself.

Favorite piece you’ve written for Untapped: What’s the most memorable thing that happened while writing for Untapped Cities?

So far my favorite piece I’ve written is my recent story about the LGBT Historic Sites Project. Did you know that New York City is the only major city in the US that doesn’t have a comprehensive archive of sites that are historically and culturally significant to the LGBT community?

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

I think I’m becoming a little bit of a political history junkie so I think researching my roundup of riots in the city was fascinating. I mapped out the history of various populations in the New York and how their interests were pushed toward political change.

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

I’ve only really traveled to Italy and visited most of the more popular cities, and thus “tapped.” My favorite spots that aren’t well known would naturally be my grandfather’s hometown of Craco. It’s a ghost town now due to natural disasters. It was a hot summer day when I went to explore the ruins with barely any shade, but it was worth it.

I really want to visit Greece next, not sure what untapped spaces I’d find yet.

What’s your favorite obscure fact about your city?

My home neighborhood in Brooklyn was founded by Lady Deborah Moody, the only woman to start a village in colonial America and its first female landowner.

Craziest thing you’ve ever done? 

I guess I’ve been boring till now. Still working on this.

Best Celebrity Sighting:

I’ve had many celebrity sightings in my time but I guess a post-90’s post-gentrification quintessential story would be running almost face first into Sarah Jessica Parker in the West Village.

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