Peter Tatara

Peter Tatara, LeftField’s VP of Anime Events, has worked in the events industry for over 15 years. At LeftField, he oversees Anime NYC and all the company’s activities involving Japanese pop culture. Anime NYC, the city’s anime convention, is happening this weekend, November 16-18, at the Javits Center. Visit Animenyc.com for information and tickets. Bringing together fans, creators, and the Japanese contents industry, he works with brands including Aniplex, Bandai Namco, Crunchyroll, Funimation, and VIZ. Prior to joining LeftField, Peter worked at ReedPOP inside Reed Exhibitions where he oversaw 400+ hours of content at New York Comic Con and was key in growing ReedPOP into a portfolio of over 30 pop culture conventions around the US and internationally. He also worked at Azix Inc, where he served as an event director producing events with Japanese governmental, tourism, cultural, and culinary partners. Peter is left-handed, a vegetarian, and his blood type is A. He’s a fantastically self-published writer who likes animation, cashews, rice cookers, penguins, pugs, Pomeranians, WWII, NPR, Netflix, the New York Rangers, Doctor Who, and Universal Health Care. When Peter’s not building circuses and petting zoos at LeftField, he operates NerdYorkCity.com – a hyper-local NYC nerdy news, culture, and entertainment blog.

QG: Can you tell me more about Nerd York City? How and why did you create it?

PT: NerdYorkCity.com is a geeky guide to NYC. It’s a monthly calendar of events at comic shops, movie theaters, art galleries, museums, and more that focuses on nerdy, wonky, and weird things. It all started eight years ago when I really wanted a guide like this myself – and since one didn’t exist, I created it. Each month, Nerd York City presents over 200 events on its calendar and tweets its favorites daily at @nerdyorkcity. Admittedly, though, I’ve not added as many as I usually do on the October calendar, as I’ve been a bit busy with Anime NYC.

QG: What panels and events are you most looking forward to at Anime NYC?

PT: Three things. First is Anisong World Matsuri. This is a two-night concert series we’re hold in Hammerstein Ballroom and it is the largest Japanese concert series in the history of New York. Anisong World Matsuri brings together eight amazing acts from Japan most known for singing anime themes. We’ll have the original performers behind the themes to Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, Sword Art Online, Gurren Lagann, Re:Zero, and more! Second is the Fate Special Event featuring Aimer. Fate/Stay Night is one of the biggest anime sagas in the world today, and we’re bringing Aimer, a Japanese songstress most known for her work singing Fate’s themes, together with the Fate US cast to celebrate the upcoming Fate feature film. Third is the Mob Psycho 100 Season 2 Premiere. Mob Psycho 100 is currently airing on Toonami in the USA, and Season 2 starts in Japan next year, but we’ll be presenting the Global Premiere of Season 2 at Anime NYC, showing the first episode for the first time in the world together with the original Japanese voice of the main character.

QG: How did you learn Japanese?

PT: I’m still studying! And for anyone looking to learn Japanese, NYC has no shortage of resources. I’d recommend the lessons at Japan Society near Grand Central Terminal.

QG: Favorite word in Japanese?

PT: “Dorayaki.” It’s also my favorite Japanese dessert!

QG: Best Japanese food in Queens?

PT: Keizo Shimamoto’s Ramen Shack hidden away near Queensboro Plaza is probably the best bowl of ramen in Queens. Shimamoto is the creator of the Ramen Burger, and Ramen Shack is a 10-seat ramen shop attached to his kitchen where he personally experiments and invents. Shimamoto is one of the stars of the ramen world, and you owe it to yourself to experience his craft. I’m also very proud he’s coming to Anime NYC as a guest this year! I’m also a very big fan of Takumen in LIC and Shuya Cafe de Ramen in Astoria. And when I’m looking for something quick, I really like RESOBOX, and I do most of my shopping at Taiyo Market.

QG: How many years have you lived in Queens and how do you feel Queens has changed over the years?

PT: I moved to NYC in 2005 to take a job with an anime publisher. My first apartment was in Sunnyside, and I’ve lived in different neighborhoods in Queens ever since. Since first moving to Queens, it’s continued to be a chill, diverse, and welcoming community, but in my 10+ years here, it has become gentrified. I’m excited for every new hipster restaurant wave, and the entire LIC shoreline is amazing to walk, but if I were just starting out, I couldn’t afford my neighborhood any more. It’s the story of New York overall, and I wish new, young, and creative New Yorkers weren’t being pushed farther and farther out.

QG: Favorite anime?

PT: Of all time? Vampire Hunter D, Super Dimension Fortress Macross, and Ronin Warriors. Of the past few years? My Hero Academia, Food Wars, and Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans.

—Nicollette Barsamian

This column was originated in July, 2013 by Nicollette Barsamian.

For the complete interview, visit QGazette.com, the November 14, 2018 issue.

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2018-11-01 digital edition