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 Michelle Young, founder: Michelle can usually be found in New York (where she grew up), Paris, backpacking in South America or Southeast Asia, or in-transit between. She’s traveled to 40 countries, has an obsession with buses and shoots with a Nikon SLR camera. She is an author of 100 Ways to Make History, published by the New York Public Library.  She holds a masters in urban planning from Columbia University, a B.A. from Harvard in the History of Art & Architecture, and is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music.

Laura Itzkowitz headshot 2 by Melissa ItzkowitzLaura Itzkowitz
, Managing Editor:
Laura is a writer, editor and translator based in Brooklyn. She has an MFA in creative writing and translation from Columbia University’s School of the Arts, a BA in French from Smith College, studied in Paris for a year, and lived in Rome for two years. In addition to her regular contributions to Untapped, Laura’s writing has been published on Fodor’s Travel, PolicyMic, Architizer, The Huffington Post, Business Insider, The Culture-ist, Words Without Borders and others. She has been featured as a New York City expert blogger on Time Out New York and named one of Hotel Club’s Top 20 NYC bloggers.

Aby Thomas, Arts Columnist: Aby Sam Thomas is a writer and a journalist living in New York City. He is originally from Kerala, India, but he was born and raised in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Before coming into the world of journalism, Aby worked as an analyst programmer at Accenture for four years, working out of offices in Mumbai, London and New York. An avid reader, a movie enthusiast and a fiction writer, he’s a typical Gemini who loves to dabble in a number of fields and ideas. He keeps a photo blog.

Benjamin Waldman_Untapped CitiesBenjamin Waldman
, History Editor:
Benjamin is an attorney, tour guide, and freelance writer who has been living in New York City since college. An American History major, Benjamin is interested in all things New York and spends his free time wandering around the City. In his free time, he works as a tour guide for the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy. He has written articles for The New York Times, The Columbia Magazine, and Curbed.

Kelli Trapnell_Untapped CitiesKelli Trapnell, editor:
  Kelli is a writer living in NYC. Originally from Houston, TX, she’s currently working on her MFA in Fiction from Columbia University. Kelli considers herself an urban adventurer and a collector of weird and interesting stories. She’s an etymology nerd, a feminist, and a fan of surrealism. Cheeseburgers and chocolate are her favorite foods.

Luke Kingma_Untapped CitiesLuke Kingma, Sunday in Chinatown columnist:
By day, Luke Kingma, a University of Pittsburgh graduate and a copywriter for Vayner Media. By night and by weekend, Luke is a photographer, writer, traveler and professional beer glass stealer whose thirst for adventure, great stories and, of course, delicious beer, is never quenched.

BmokeBernadette Moke, Downtown Doodler Columnist:
Bernadette was born and raised in New Jersey, escaping to New York frequently. While attending New Jersey Institute of Technology, she finished three-tenths of an Architecture degree before completing a B.S. in Multimedia and Graphic Design. She is a professional napper, amateur photographer, crime show nut, book hoarder, mac & cheese connoisseur and is never far from a sharpie. You can find her work here.

Kat Mills

Kit Mills, Art of Style Columnist:  Kit is a graphic designer and a recent transplant to New York from some unspeakably boring place in the Midwest. Holds a BFA in illustration from Syracuse University (2011). Likes cooking, long solitary walks, Tom Waits, well-dressed humans, dirty martinis, cartography, and properly-kerned typography.

Kristen Gaylord, Transit Talk Columnist:  Kristen is a California native, New York transplant, working on her PhD in art history at NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts, having earned her MA there and a BA in English literature and art history back in California. She is an editor ofContemporary Arts Consortium and currently working at The Museum of Modern Art. Kristen loves public transportation, and urban life in general, about which she sporadically tweets.

Jackie Spear, Columnist: Jackie is a recent New York City transplant. Having escaped from the San Francisco fog to continue her career in digital marketing — she is trying to keep up with the city that never sleeps. Holding degrees in Political Economy and French from U.C. Berkeley, she lived and worked in Paris right after graduation. With insatiable curiosity — she is very happily chronicling her adventures in pursuit of all things untapped New York.


Rachel Fawn Alban_Untapped CitiesRachel Fawn AlbanRachel is a New York based artist, and life long photographer. Inspired by by architecture, nature, flowers, the rhythm of the streets, and the changing moods that flow with the seasons, Rachel loves exploring this city, and even escaping it once in a while. In addition to working on personal art projects, Rachel practices Art Therapy and Art Education with various high-needs populations. Please visit www.RachelFawnAlban.com for more information.

Lauren Albrecht_Untapped CitiesLauren Albrecht, writer: Lauren is the co-founder of Art Nerd New York. Her past projects & campaigns have been featured in New York Magazine, The Village Voice, Cool Huntings, Artforum.com, Wired.com Blog, Bloomberg.com, Crain’s BtoB Magazine, Hubspot’s Blog, and The Washington Post.  She completed graduate studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology in the Art Market: Principles and Practices program and has a B.A. from Canisius College in Communication Studies and Art History.

Rembert Browne_Untapped CitiesRembert Browne, writer:
Rembert is a graduate student in urban planning at Columbia University, holds a B.A. from Dartmouth in Sociology, Geography & Public Policy and has a disgusting obsession with his home of Atlanta. He documents cities by way of a back-pocket moleskin notebook and an iPhone4 camera. He is a writer for Grantland and writes daily for his blog, 500 Days Asunder, where he attempts to actually write about everything.

Timothy Davidson, NYC: Tim graduated from The University of Albany with a bachelors degree in History. Since graduating he has conducted his own independent research  on the history of The City of New York and its inhabitants primarily in the 19th century. Since moving to a town located on the Metro North RR line he spends a lot of his time, while not working, in Manhattan studying architecture and Instagramming historical NYC @newyorkcityhistory and interesting street scenes.

Danielle Dowler_Untapped CitiesDanielle Dowler, writer
: Danielle is a native Northern Californian (San Francisco Bay Area), but New York City has her heart. She is currently pursuing her Master’s of Science in Urban Planning at Columbia, while exploring the extensive nightlife New York City has to offer. True to her Californian roots, Danielle enjoys anything involving sunshine, avocados, and large bodies of water, but isn’t completely sold on the beaches of NYC. She loves great wine, site plans, pocket parks and hidden alleyways. Follow her on Twitter @danielledowler.

WillAbandonedNYC_UC BioWill Ellis, photographer: Will is a Brooklyn-based photographer, videographer, and educator, a San Antonio native and an NYU film school graduate, employed as the resident filmmaker at the Children’s Museum of the Arts. Over the past year, he’s photographed dozens of New York City’s most impressive abandoned structures and documented their histories on his blog, Abandoned NYC, which he’s currently adapting into a book.

Daniel Gallegos_Artpologist_Untapped CitiesDaniel GallegosDaniel is an artist and member of “Artpologist,” an artist collective that draws on anthropology to create socially engaged art projects. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, he spent extended periods of time in Almaty (Kazakhstan) and New York City. An enthusiast of socialist urban planning, particularly as implemented in the Soviet Union, Daniel draws on its lessons for urban renewal in contemporary American cities.

Jane Hu, photographer: Jane likes live music and wandering around cities. She works at YouTube and has three somewhat redundant Stanford degrees. Advertising Age Magazine once named her one of their Women to Watch, but she’s pretty sure that title’s expired. She misses London, Disneyland, and the first time she saw The National.

Ben Huff_Untapped CitiesBen Huff, writer
: Ben is a graduate of Columbia University’s Urban Planning program. Ben’s interests include historical accuracy, post apocalyptic movies set in New York, sustainable candy, building surfboards, being a coffee snob, and occasionally writing about something interesting.

KateKellyKate Kelly, writer-Paris/New York: Kate has been listening to Edith Piaf and championing nautical stripes since early childhood, and time has only refined her passion. Now armed with a degree in French Literature, Language and Culture from Syracuse University, she enjoys acquiring esoteric facts for Untapped and her own blog, www.fauxfrench.com. Don’t let this nerdy exterior fool you – she also enjoys a good dance party.

Matt Lambros, photographer: Matt is an architectural photographer who began photographing abandoned buildings ten years ago. A graduate of Boston University’s digital imaging and photojournalism programs, Matt has since been documenting the decay of America’s abandoned theatres in the hope of shedding light on these forgotten buildings and the efforts to re-purpose them. Matt’s work can be viewed online at www.afterthefinalcurtain.net and www.mlambrosphotography.com.

Lynn Lieberman:  Lynn was born and raised in New York before venturing off to Los Angeles in the late 60’ws and 70’s and Coconut Grove Florida in the 90’s, until her full time return to New York in 2007.  She resides in Harlem, working as an artist and selling her note cards, poster maps and original watercolors in many of the shops in both Greenwich Village and Harlem.  You can follow her paintbrush on Facebook at Greenwich Village Sketches and Harlem Sketches or on her website www.afinelyne.com

Daniel LondonDaniel is a freelance urban historian, independent architecture buff, professional raconteur, and sometime essayist – but above all, a lover of New York and big cities everywhere. He is currently involved in a few cool gigs – working for the Museum of the City of New York, serving as research coordinator for the nonprofit Civworld, and leading walking tours of New York City in between. He hails from Hoboken, N.J.

Sheila Marikar, writer: Born in New Jersey, Sheila started exploring the city as a teenager, trolling ska/punk record stores and the then-exotic Urban Outfitters. After graduating from Cornell she settled in Manhattan and discovered that the city’s virtues extend beyond mass marketed pseudo hipster clothing. She’s an entertainment reporter for ABC News; her work has also appeared in New York Magazine, The Huffington Post and Mashable.

Alexander Mcquilkin_untapped CitiesAlex McQuilkin, writer: Alex grew up in suburban California and uber-urban Tokyo. He came to New York for school, and stayed for work (and some play). When not researching, writing, or daydreaming about cities, he enjoys improv cooking, getting lost on his bike, and consuming media in all its modern iterations.

Augustin Pasquet_Michelle YoungAugustin Pasquet, photographer:
  Augustin is from Paris, has lived in Nigeria, Switzerland and Thailand and recently fell in love with New York City. He has a master degree in marketing from ESSCA Business School and spends his off-time traveling, taking pictures with a Nikon SLR camera or his rapidly increasing Lomo collection. He has traveled to 25 countries, including Cuba, Madagascar and Bolivia. He currently works for L’Oréal USA.

Suraj Patel_Untapped CitiesSuraj Patel, writer:  
Suraj was raised in Middle America, so he still has a wide-eyed wonder for all things New York even after five years. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from Stanford and a J.D. from NYU School of Law. Instead of lawyering, he has a penchant for starting companies, working on political campaigns and traveling around the world juggling five projects at a time so he doesn’t get bored. Most prized possessions: his Passport and  Twitter Feed.

Lisa Santoro:  Lisa is a writer with a fondness for architecture and urbanism.  She holds a Master of Science degree from Pratt Institute in Urban Planning with a concentration in Historic Preservation.  Brooklyn born and raised, she is also an ardent scrapbooker, devoted NY sports fan and owner of a dear, yet precocious bunny.  For as long as she can remember, she has been enamored with the history and secrets of NYC.

Trevor Shanklin_Untapped CitiesTrevor ShanklinTrevor is a graduate of Columbia University’s Urban Planning program. He’s worked with many agencies New York City, and his interests revolve around urban housing. He holds a BS in Economics and Finance from California State University. An avid reader, his personal interests also involve traveling, biking, camping, rock climbing, and writing where he is a frequent writer for Untapped Cities.

Sharon Sook Yan Wong_Untapped CitiesSharon Wong, NYC: Despite being born and bred in Malaysia, Sharon is told she speaks without an accent, which is a bit disappointing. She’s a bit of a nomad, having lived in Virginia, LA and now NYC where she is pursuing her Fiction Writing MFA at Columbia. She hopes to live in the UK next, where she just might start to sound British!