Meet Alan Liang, Open House New Yorker

I’ve been an Open House New Yorker since

I first heard about an urbanism/open-access non-profit from a good friend at a tree volunteering event. I was hooked from the get go!

I’m an Open House New Yorker because

It continually shows me new ways to fall in love with New York City.

What’s your favorite OHNY memory?

First learning about the NY Landmark Preservation Commission at the City Reliquary by talking with architects from DXA Studios who worked on landmarked buildings (bonus that I got to visit the landmarked building later as well)! It’s reassuring to know that we have good people working hard to preserve the architectural and aesthetic history of New York!

What do you love most about OHNY Weekend?

The incredible number of locations, but also more than that, the people! Both the volunteers and the people who partake in OHNY Weekend have been some of the nicest and most passionate people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.

Describe OHNY Weekend in 5 words or less

More reasons to love NYC.

What’s a hidden gem you’ve found through OHNY?

Guastavino Tiles. They’re a technical (and aesthetic) invention that allowed for the creation of some of NYC’s most iconic architectural landmarks (like St. John the Divine). Once you know to look out for them, you see them everywhere (even in books about NYC! I’m talking about you, City We Became by n.k. jemisin!)

What Borough/neighborhood would you like to explore more?

Deeper Queens, Bronx, and Bay Ridge (the art deco scene there is incredible!)

Share a memory of a Weekend location that surpassed your expectations

Prime Produce Cooperative ( at 424 W 54th St! Please, please check this awesome organization out! The level of warmth and love that this group has for each other is hard to find, and is one of the best examples of community-building that I’ve seen within lower Manhattan!

Do you have any tips you like to share with prospective volunteers?

Just Do It – all in, no reservations. Volunteering for OHNY is a gift that keeps giving back. You definitely get out what you put into it!

What does being an OHNY Volunteer mean to you?

It’s one way of giving back to this city. NYC has so much to offer, and if I can help others discover about this incredible place, I am more than happy to do so!