This month Natural Selections interviews Ian Brown Group Leader, Comparative Bioscience Center
Interview by Guadalupe Astorga
How long have you been living in the New York area?
I’ve been living here for 36 years.
Where do you currently live? Which is your favorite neighborhood?
I currently live in Brooklyn, and my favorite neighborhood is Clinton Hill in Brooklyn, it is a quite area, with nice parks.
What do you think is the most overrated thing in the city? And underrated?
I think the most overrated is the convenience of the city, and the most underrated is the niceness of the people, many times it is presumed that they are tough or intimidating, but I think people here are very nice.
What do you miss most when you are out of town?
The activity of the city, there’s always something going on.
Has anything (negative or positive) changed about you since you became one of us “New Yorkers”?
I would say positive, as this Frank Sinatra song says “if you make it here you can make it anywhere”. I think this city definitely builds up your character, as you have to deal with different situations and people with very different personalities. I’ve noticed it’s easy to identify people from NYC when they are outside, because they have more character and are more confident.
If you could change one thing about NYC, what would that be?
I would shut it down for a couple of hours, there are so many things going on from Sunday to Sunday, people are always going somewhere, I would just stop everybody from driving and walking and tell them: “relax”.
What is your favorite weekend activity in NYC?
I like the parks, specifically Central Park, you find all kind of personalities and cultures. If the weather is nice, or if it’s snowing, I like to go there to relax, enjoy or make [play] sports. It is a beautiful place.
What is the most memorable experience you have had in NYC?
Unfortunately, I’ll have to say when the World Trade Center fell, that was big here, it brought a big change and I had never seen such devastation in the city and people.
Bike, MTA or WALK IT???
My favorite: walk, because I like to observe.
If you could live anywhere else, where might that be?
Given that I’m a New Yorker, I like the countryside, the calm and the beach. But if I have to choose a city it would be Paris, because is not as crazy as NY, it is more laid-back.
Do you think of yourself as a New Yorker?