Due Diligence

"Underground" actress Amirah Vann loves her neighborhood's "Queens vibe" and its water views

By Lucy Cohen Blatter | April 13, 2017 - 2:59PM 

Tina Turbnbow

Amirah Vann stars in Underground, a show set in the 1850s that follows a group of slaves planning a daring esape from their Georgia plantation. The show is now in its second season on WGN, and Vann recently picked up an NAACP Award nomination for her role as Ernestine, the head house slave.

We caught up with Vann about her Long Island City neighborhood, her love of local shopping, and much more.

1. What neighborhood do you live in?

I live in Long Island City, Queens. I grew up in Far Rockaway and have a great appreciation for a family-centered neighborhood close to the water.

2. Is this your dream neighborhood or is there someplace else in NYC you’d prefer to settle in?

It's a dream come true! I still get the Queens vibe I love, I have a great view of the East River, and now I'm even closer to the city to run in for an audition, brunch, theater, shopping…

3. Do you own or rent?

I rent. However, buying is definitely the plan!

4. How’d you find it?

Googling places to jog along the water—which I still haven't done, lol.

5. What’s the one thing you love most about it?

The view. I love looking at the river. It brings me peace, calms me, and puts things in perspective.

6. If there’s one thing you could change about your apartment, what would it be?

Wider cabinets to fit my dinner plates. 

7. In three words, describe the first apartment you've ever lived in.

Regional Theater blessings.

8. Do you prefer old NYC or this NYC?

I honor the old, but I love the new. How to embrace both? Spend your money where locals are opening stores and providing awesome services! Help them pay their rent and stay in the neighborhood. 

9. Tell us about your favorite apartment you’ve ever had.

It's the one I’m in now that I’ve been gushing about.

10. And the worst?

Ooh, years ago, first floor, front of the building. Folks would hang out all night and be loud. I loved the community feel, but sometimes I needed to sleep. 

11. Name one NYC service you couldn’t live without.

Transit. I mean I could do without the price hikes, but I love being able to go anywhere and not have to worry about parking or traffic.

12. What's your favorite spot in the city?

Blujeen on Frederick Douglas Boulevard in Harlem. Excellent food and energy.

13. Which would you rather: Brooklyn brownstone or a penthouse in a shiny, new condo?

I'm always going for a combo. As I type, Im thinking of ways to warm up my stainless-steel apartment. Think Erykah Badu”s Other Side Of The Game video!

14. If you could live elsewhere, where would it be?

Spain. Before my father passed away, he said it was one of his favorite places. I speak Spanish so that’s plus.

15. Any advice for a recent New York transplant?

When someone says meet me on the northeast corner, you can find them! Street numbers go up (heading north) so go to the top right corner of the intersection. If this answer is obvious to you, give our friends who haven’t found their "a-ha" moment, a moment…


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