Photo courtesy of Mason Rowlee

Today, we profile Mason Rowlee, writer and photographer for Untapped Cities who is a native of Fulton, New York and is currently living in the Bronx. He has written and taken photos for Untapped Cities covering the secrets of Arthur Avenue, where to find Robert Indiana sculptures in New York City, events like the Pride March, and more!

What’s your current gig? 

I’m a student at Fordham University double majoring in English and Journalism!

What’s your favorite “untapped” spot in the city? 

My favorite place in the city is either the basement of the Strand Bookstore or any of the restaurants in Koreatown.

What places are on your NYC bucket list? 

Getting tickets to see Saturday Night Live!

Last trip taken:

I went to Miami, Florida, to visit one of my best friends for spring break!

Where do you want to visit next?

I would love to visit Israel or India soon.

Favorite mode of transportation:

I love to ride the train; I just think it is so relaxing and is such a great place to read.

What makes New York City great to you? 

I love the diversity in New York City. I come from a really small town and did not have a lot of exposure to the world outside Upstate New York. However, moving to the city has been such an amazing, eye-opening experience for me and I have learned so much. I know everyone says this but I really think the greatness of this city comes from the people.

What would you change about New York City? 

THE HEAT. I cannot deal with this sweltering summer heat!

Favorite piece you’ve written for Untapped Cities: 

My favorite piece is definitely Exhibition about Stonewall in Hidden Gallery Atop Manhattan Municipal Building. I loved attending this art show and met so many interesting people at it. Additionally, covering Pride events were an amazing experience all around!

Book you’re reading: 

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara and The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas by Machado de Assis

Last Movie or Show you watched: 

I don’t watch a lot of TV; however, I love FX’s Pose.

Tell us one surprising thing about yourself?

 I can speak and write Japanese.

If you could go back in time, which time period of New York City would you like to be in? 

The early 1970s because of the inspiring political movements emerging for the LGBTQ+ community. I would love to photograph and meet many of the instrumental figures in the movement!

What is the last thing in New York City that stopped you in your tracks? 

When I was leaving the subway, a rat the size of my forearm climbed up the stairs and ran past me. To say the least, I stopped DEAD in my tracks.

Favorite fun fact about New York City? 

New York speaks over 800 languages!

What’s the last thing you took a photo of? 

A copy of the book There There by Tommy Orange for the book blog I run with Untapped Cities Writer Vicky Kalpaxis.

Tell us your Instagram handle, website, or anything else you’d like us to link to? 

My Instagram is @MasonRowlee and my personal blog is thepursuitofthehunt.blog. Also, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.

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