Today, we profile Untapped Cities writer Ariella Rosen, who has written about the top 10 oldest churches in New York City, the hidden histories of street names, interesting finds in New York City’s cemeteries and more!

Hometown: I’m a life-long New-Yorker, born and raised in Manhattan!

What’s your current gig? I am a student at Barnard College.

What’s your favorite “untapped” spot in the city? My favorite spot in the city is the Whisper Bench, tucked away in a quiet pocket of the Shakespeare Garden in Central Park. It is also what inspired me to write my first article about New York City.

What places are on your NYC bucket list? I have always wanted to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge (I just need to find the time). I am also ashamed to admit that I have never been to The Strand, so that is pretty high on my list as well. 

Last trip taken: Even though Greenwood Cemetery is in New York City, I still feel like I should count it as a trip because I spent several hours exploring and it is so beautiful that I truly felt like I had stepped into another world.

Where do you want to visit next? I really want to visit Emain Macha in Ireland. 

Favorite mode of transportation: If I have the time, I always love to walk. The more detours, the better; I have discovered so many cool parts of the city this way.   

What makes New York City great to you? I couldn’t even begin to answer this in anything less than a full length essay, so in the words of Gabey, Chip, and Ozzie, “New York, New York! It’s a helluva town!”

What would you change about New York City? I would love it if the subway platforms could be cleaned. I’ve always been kind of curious what colors the columns on the far side of the tracks are: are they actually brown, or is that just dirt?

Favorite piece you’ve written for Untapped Cities: My favorite article is The Smallest Cemetery in Manhattan: The Grave of the “Amiable Child” in Riverside Park, but Found: Preserved Fish (the Man) in the NYC Marble Cemetery is a close second. 

Book you’re reading: I just finished A Dance with Dragons by J. R. R. Martin and now I’m starting American Gods by Neil Gaiman. 

Last Movie or Show you watched: I just started the second season of Community, and I love it! It’s almost as good as 30 Rock

If you could go back in time, which time period of New York City would you like to be in? If I could pick one year visit, it would definitely be 1950 so I could see Guys and Dolls premiere on Broadway! And while I’m at it, I would also check out the old Penn Station (spoiler alert: it won’t be around forever!).

What is the last thing in New York City that stopped you in your tracks? I was walking along Gold Street in Manhattan when I noticed the old Excelsior Power Company Building. In front of what used to be the building’s front entrance was a tiny cobblestone road that terminates in a brick wall––it was this mysterious path to nowhere that caught my eye and caused me to double back.  

Favorite fun fact about New York City? Washington Irving was on the original board that was in charge of overseeing the construction of Central Park! 

What’s the last thing you took a photo of? The last photo I took is of a really cool laser cut paper pop-up diorama that was on display in the window of the New York Public Library on Hudson Street.