Unlock New York City with Kaiomi

July 26, 2022

Unlock New York City with Kaiomi

New York City is known for being a vast and sometimes overstimulating metropolis, where tourists and prospective residents alike flock to experience all that this concrete jungle has to offer.

But if you leave the flashing screens and bright lights of Times Square and head over the Brooklyn Bridge, you might find yourself in Crown Heights: a neighborhood in Brooklyn rich with diversity and history. This neighborhood is home to urbanist and writer Kaiomi Inniss, who spends her days discovering her pocket of New York City via bicycle. Whether she’s cruising to her favorite bookstore in the morning or cycling over to her favorite venue to go dancing at night, riding her bike has allowed Kaiomi to experience life in her city to the fullest.

We went on an evening ride with Kaiomi through her borough to talk about what makes her neighborhood in Brooklyn so special and how cycling through Crown Heights has helped her unlock her city, day and night.  

THOUSAND: Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.            

Kaiomi InnissHi! I’m Kaiomi Inniss and I’m a writer, urbanist, and content creator based in Brooklyn, NY. I love cities and currently work in the public transit and shared mobility field.  


T: How long have you lived in NYC and what are things you love about it / make it unique?

KI: I used to live in NYC as a child, before moving back to the Caribbean. I’ve been here full-time since 2020. I love the walkability of NYC and how many things there are to do. I truly never get bored here. 

T: Tell us a little bit about your neighborhood. What makes it special?

KI: I live in Crown Heights, but close to the border of Bedford-Stuyvesant. There’s something truly special about the Caribbean population here. As a Caribbean immigrant, I have so much of my culture around me in Crown Heights. It’s also a huge neighborhood with five zip codes!

T: Tell us about the night life in your city. What is a typical night like in your city and what do you like to do at night in your neighborhood?

KI: In my neighborhood, I usually head out to Franklin Avenue. It’s a strip of restaurants and bars, and has a lot of history to it. I usually grab food and drinks at Ras Plant Based, which is a new Ethiopian restaurant in the neighborhood. I might head over to Lovers Rock or Friends and Lovers for some dancing.

T: As someone who commutes mostly by bike, what makes your neighborhood best experienced on wheels?

KI: As an urbanist, I love learning the history and culture of the places I live. I have uncovered so many gems exploring my neighborhood by bike. We have a good number of bike lanes in my neighborhood and other areas are super accessible by bike.

What advice do you have for someone who is looking to use their car less for getting around?

KI: Definitely try a bikeshare and get comfortable exploring the city on wheels!

Kaiomi is using ourTraveler Magnetic Bike Lights Set in Stealth Black. 

T: What do you want people who aren’t from NYC/Brooklyn know about your where you live? 

KI: Brooklyn is a diverse borough of NYC with a lot of fun things to do! I want people to know that NYC is more than the tall skyscrapers and Times Square, but somewhere with a lot of culture, history, and amazing people.       

Ready to ride with Kaiomi? Check out some of her favorite spots in her neighborhood of Crown Heights below.

  1. Daughter Cafe -  This has been my go-to coffee shop for the last year. It’s a community oriented space that hosts various events and turns into a wine bar on some weeknights. I love the Brooklyn interior design that mimics Brooklyn brownstones and I go here at least 3x a week for my oat cappuccino.
  2.  Ali's Roti Shop - My family is originally from Trinidad and Tobago and roti is definitely one of our staple shops. Ali’s is just a 5 min walk from my apartment and I go weekly to get a taste of home. The goat roti is my favorite.
  3.  Cafe Con Libros - This is an Afro-Latinx owned feminist bookshop, and as a writer, I spend a lot of my time browsing here. I love it there because of the commitment to highlighting diverse stories, and they also have a small cafe!
  4.  Island Pops - This is a small Caribbean ice-cream shop that specializes in Caribbean flavors like soursop and sorrel. I go here all the time for a late night treat!
  5. Lincoln Terrace Park - This park is at one end of Eastern Parkway and is not usually busy so it feels like a wonderful retreat from city life after a busy day.

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