Today, we profile Untapped Cities writer Cybele Mayes-Osterman, who has written about New York City’s hidden beaches and hidden bookstores, what it’s like on-set at the West Side Story remake shooting now, the world’s smallest cinema, and more.

What’s your current gig? Finishing my last year of my English literature and creative writing major at Barnard

What’s your favorite Untapped Spot: I’ve always loved the Jefferson Market Library in the Village

What places are on your NYC bucket list? Roosevelt Island, the Mmuseumm, which contains obscure but interesting objects, and that one apartment/art exhibition that’s filled with dirt

Last trip taken: London, to study last semester

Where do you want to visit next? I would love to go to South America, maybe Peru or Colombia

Favorite mode of transportation: Bikes are best!

What makes New York City great to you? That feeling that there’s always something new around the corner that hasn’t been discovered yet

What would you change about New York City? Gentrification that pushes out old families in favor of the wealthy, and the MTA

Favorite piece you’ve written for Untapped Cities: The piece on the West Side Story remake filming in Harlem, because I got to go see the filming location myself

Book you’re reading: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (highly recommend)

Last movie or show you watched: Being John Malkovich (a bizarre and delightful New York classic)

Tell us one surprising thing about yourself?: If I couldn’t live in New York, I would want to live in the historical hutong district of Beijing

If you could go back in time, which time period of New York City would you like to be in? The Roaring 20’s; I’m a Gatsby enthusiast

What is the last thing in New York City that stopped you in your tracks? The view of Manhattan skyscrapers in the distance from a ferry leaving the Bronx

Favorite fun fact about New York City? During the early years of the subway, there was a pneumatic subway that ran only one block and was lavishly furnished inside with lamps and sofas

What’s the last thing you took a photo of? The sunset at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine

You can follow Cybele in Instagram at @bellbonicplague

 Untapped Cities Team

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