Today, we profile Untapped Cities writer Daniela Salazar, a native New Yorker who has written our series on New York City’s oldest buildings by borough, the return of Cole Porter’s piano, The Met’s summer rooftop art installation, and more.
Queens, New York. I left Queens at ten months old and returned 18 years later for college. Even though I was in NYC for less than a year, it still felt like coming home.
What’s your current gig?
I just graduated NYU, so my current gig is stressing over apartment hunting and stressing over job hunting. My goal is to find something as an editorial assistant and hopefully make my way up to associate editor in a publishing company.
What’s your favorite “untapped” spot in the city?
Hmmm, this is a tough one. I think a place that people neglect a lot is the Jefferson Market Library on 10th Street and 6th Avenue. It’s a branch of the New York Public Library and there’s some gorgeous stained glass windows that adorn the building. Very peaceful.
What places are on your NYC bucket list?
I haven’t seen the Cloisters yet, and I know there are too many museums to count that I have to visit one day. I also want to explore more of the outer boroughs.
Last trip taken:
Bogota, Colombia during spring break. My family is all from Colombia, and I visit them as often as I can.
Where do you want to visit next?
I’ve had the privilege to explore a lot of South America and even Europe, but ironically I’ve seen very little of the states. I’d love to visit the west coast soon, and New Orleans is on my bucket list.
Favorite mode of transportation:
Walking, at least in New York City it is.
What makes New York City great to you?
The fact that I know, as someone who lived most of her life in Coral Springs, Florida, that I will experience more just stepping outside my front door in New York City than I’ll experience in an entire week of living almost anywhere else.
What would you change about New York City?
Men, women and children of color, families that have been here for generations, are slowly getting pushed out of the city as more and more areas and boroughs become gentrified, and there’s not enough being done about that at all. I also want the city of New York to spend as much energy and resources cleaning and repairing every area of the city, not just the touristy and high-income neighborhoods. Living in decency should never be a privilege only available for those who can afford it.
Favorite piece you’ve written for Untapped Cities:
I am extremely proud of my Oldest Buildings series and how popular it became. I learned a lot about the history of New York City and I am grateful for it. I also enjoyed writing about the Frida Kahlo exhibition in the Brooklyn Museum, as it gave me the opportunity to see the exhibition myself and learn more about this truly formidable and fierce artist.
Book you’re reading:
Last Movie or Show you watched:
Sex and the City and absolutely no one can shame me about this.
Tell us one surprising thing about yourself?
I once walked up Fifth Avenue wearing only a tiger onesie. My best friend was wearing a panda one.
If you could go back in time, which time period of New York City would you like to be in?
Either New York during the Roaring 20s or New York during the late 70s, because I’m insanely curious to see for myself just how much the city has changed in the last almost 50 (Wow!) years.
What is the last thing in New York City that stopped you in your tracks?
The amount of strangers on the street that congratulated me when they saw me in my purple gown and cap during graduation. I will never understand why people insist New Yorkers are rude. I swear that we’re just in a hurry, and we don’t make eye contact because most people trying to make eye contact with you in the city are trying to sell you something!
Favorite fun fact about New York City?
I remember the first time someone explained to me that musicians play under arches (The Washington Square Park arch, under bridges in Central Park) because it makes the sound echo and travel better, and I don’t know why but I’ve always loved that small fact.
What’s the last thing you took a photo of?
Yankee Stadium, during my commencement.