New York State of Mind

This Month Natural Selections Interviews Denny Espinoza, Environmental Assistant, Laboratory Safety and Environmental Health.

Interview by Melvin White

How long have you been living in the New York area?
I moved a lot before the age of 5, all within New Jersey. However our last move was to New York when I started kindergarten.
Where do you currently live?image2
Only the best borough of course! Queens baby! Jamaica to be exact.
Which is your favorite neighborhood? Why?
I enjoy walking aimlessly in Forest Hills especially in the spring months.
What do you think is the most overrated thing in the city? And underrated?
Carriage rides. Those things are cruel to the horses at the expense of looking “romantic”. I don’t get it.
What do you miss most when you are out of town?
Noise! I try to visit my family out in Pennsylvania a few times a year. It’s obviously slow motion out there and very enjoyable when I need a break from the bright city lights but I couldn’t entirely quit the daily, fast paced morning commute.
If you could change one thing about NYC, what would that be?
That would have to be minimum wage. Every day, NY gets more expensive to live in.
What is your favorite weekend activity in NYC?
Now that depends on the season and whom I am with. Believe it or not, I enjoy shopping.
How do you feel about Metrocard fare hikes?
The metro card price hike still hasn’t affected me the way majority people would think. The way I use public transportation, I break even. Sometimes I go out of my way by lending it out to others.
So, bike, car, or subway?
If I could, I’d bike to work but it’s just not possible. The whole idea of bike rentals is pretty awesome though. Any way to save money.
What is the most memorable experience you have had in NYC?
It was during the winter when I was in college out in Harlem years ago. An apartment building was on fire and I freaked out because I’ve experienced a house fire when I was 13. I ran to the scene and was informed that a movie was being filmed on that corner and that I might be in the movie. Maybe that was said for me to calm down but I spaced out for the moment.
If you could live anywhere else, where might that be?
I really don’t think I’d want to move out of NY. The sports scene, the Broadway shows, the pizza! It’s incomparable!
Do you think of yourself as a New Yorker?
Absolutely! 1,000%. I mean, I have the accent.