BY Claudio Cabrera
Where do you live?
Park Terrace East in Inwood.
What do you do?
I’m a community journalist and work for DNAinfo.com, a digital news service covering all of Manhattan’s local news. I also have a neighborhood blog about Inwood and Washington Heights called The Streets Where We Live.
Where are you originally from?
I was born in Buenos, Aires, Argentina, grew up in New Jersey and have lived in Manhattan for 15 years.
When did you move up here?
I moved to Inwood four years ago, unbeknownst to us at the time we were part of the “Great Upper West Side Exodus.”
Any favorite places?
I have so many favorite places up here that it would be hard to name them all. Inwood Hill and Fort Tryon parks are great, of course, but my favorite nature spot uptown is Swindler Cove Park. I go there when I need to find some quiet and reconnect with nature.
Now for the food:
Best chicken, tostones and morro: El Nuevo Ambiente on Broadway, near 211th Street.
Best café con leche: El Viejo Hobo or El Lina on 207th Street.
Best Mexican food: Taco cart on northwest corner of Dyckman Street and Sherman Avenue.
Best pastries: Doña Carmen on Broadway, between 190th and 192nd streets.
What don’t we know about you?
I write poetry and at one time thought about becoming an actress or an art therapist.
How is Argentinian culture different from Dominican culture?
Other than chimichuri meaning something completely different in Argentina — it’s a garlic, parsley and vinegar dressing for meat, not a hamburger —and my funny accent in Spanish, I’m not really sure we are all that different.
What are the advantages/disadvantages to being a freelance writer of sorts instead of a staff one?
As a staff writer at DNAinfo I’ve been able to really pour myself into my reporting on the community, giving me the chance to delve deeper into the diverse character of Northern Manhattan.
When I worked as a freelancer in the past, my writing was always something I pursued on the side, instead of a full time gig. That really kept me from pursuing all of the different stories I was interested in writing and reporting.
Are there a lot of stories that haven’t been told uptown? Is it a good place for a journalist to cover?
With the exception of a few incredible journalists who live in and cover Upper Manhattan, the area has been largely ignored. It’s an excellent place for a journalist to cover if willing to explore, ask tough questions about the status quo and work hard to see things from lots of different points of view.
What’s your favorite thing about living uptown?
I love getting to enjoy New York City without having to be in the middle of the hustle and bustle. I also love the authenticity of the people who live here and all of the creative types that have made uptown home.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A friend once told me that the only way to make god laugh is to make a plan and try to stick to it. I believe that, so I’ll only say that I wish to see myself continue to be happy in five years. Not sure where I’ll be or how I’ll achieve that, but I know I’ll work hard to make it happen.
Where do you see uptown in 5 years?
Things are changing so fast uptown that it’s hard to tell where we’re all going. I know change can be uncomfortable and can threaten traditions that feel comfortable and familiar, but my hope for the area is that the melding of tradition and new energy will bring more attention and resources for people living uptown: better schools, more job programs for youth and adults, new affordable housing options and the preservation of the flavor of uptown, which is slightly spicy, just how I like it.