Get to know Untapped Cities writer Belinda Valentin who has written about some of her favorite neighborhoods that have a small town feel, drawing from her own upbringing in eastern Queens, the secrets of her alma mater Queens College, today’s article about the Secrets of Citi Field (where she offered behind-the-scenes knowledge from her work there) and more!

Hometown: Queens, New York

What’s your current gig? I just finished my Bachelors in Media Studies at Queens College, so I’m still trying to figure things out.

What’s your favorite “untapped” spot in the city? Dive bars in central Queens, they make a great place to have a casual hang out with your friends!

What places are on your NYC bucket list? The museums along Museum Mile and other niche museums around the city.

Last trip taken: Disney World with my sister and friend!

Where do you want to visit next? Salem, Massachusetts during the spooky season.

Favorite mode of transportation: Whichever bus and subway lines that aren’t delayed.

What makes New York City great to you? The amount of culture and history that exists in any and every thing across the five boroughs.

What would you change about New York City? The rampant gentrification and favor towards the wealthy that is impacting the lives of the average native New Yorkers. Also the unreliable mess that is the MTA.

Favorite piece you’ve written for Untapped Cities: Inside the Living Museum at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens.

Book you’re reading: I Never Knew That About New York by Christopher Winn.

Last Movie or Show you watched: CNN’s Decades documentary miniseries.

Tell us one surprising thing about yourself? I have five guinea pigs!

If you could go back in time, which time period of New York City would you like to be in? The early 1990s, just so I can ride the trains and buses on time.

What is the last thing in New York City that stopped you in your tracks? Cool street art/graffiti my friend and I spotted in DUMBO.

Favorite fun fact about New York City? That it was briefly the capital of the United States.

What’s the last thing you took a photo of? Mosaics in Flushing Meadows that were left over from the World’s Fair.

Tell us your Instagram handle, website, or anything else you’d like us to link to? Check out my personal blog at !

You can follow Belinda on her personal website at boolinda.tumblr.comBecome part of the Untapped Cities team, as an intern, writer, photographer or contributor!