Biocitizen is so pleased to welcome Ezra Kohn as an assistant Our Place Summerschool teacher!
My name is Ezra, and I grew up between London, Hong Kong, and New York. My mobile upbringing gave me the opportunity to experience all sorts of wild natural environments, and to see and understand these places and all their wonderful flora and fauna from a range of cultural perspectives. I recently graduated from Wesleyan University, where I majored in East Asian Studies, and lived and studied with Charlie, who will be leading Our Place NYC.
I’ve always been drawn to dense woods and open fields, but I’m equally enchanted by the paths raccoons take through sleeping cities and the plants that grow between sidewalk slabs. I like looking under things, searching for tiny slimy fungi. I’ve worked as a gardener in Central Park, and led groups of elementary school students through Connecticut forests. What I like most are places where the lines between “culture” and “nature” crossover, where we can see ourselves enmeshed in relationships with the more-than-human world. I wrote my senior thesis all about an ancient mushroom prized in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and traveled around China for several months talking to healers and foragers about the many myths this mushroom has produced.
I can’t wait to explore the city this summer, and I’m especially excited to take a deep look into New York’s maritime world. We all know we live in a concrete jungle, but we don’t usually think of NYC as an archipelago sitting in the Hudson River Estuary. I’m looking forward to seeing the city anew from a watery perspective, and I’m also glad we’ll be feeling that cooling sea breeze everyday!