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Posts by michelle young:

Articles By: michelle young

Michelle is the founder of Untapped Cities. 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 Canon SLR camera. She is an author of 100 Ways to Make History, published by the New York Public Library and is currently working on a book on the history of Broadway for Arcadia. She holds a masters in urban planning from Columbia University, where she is an adjunct professor, a B.A. from Harvard in the History of Art & Architecture, and is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music. Follow her on Twitter @untappedmich.


Day Glo Map-Steven Van Worley-NYC Street Grid-001

Artist and scientist Stephen Von Worley made these incredible “day glo” maps of a handful of the world’s major cities ostensibly to understand in his own words, “what other treasures I had missed.” The result from a data visualization standpoint is to give us an idea of how gridded a city is. A basic rundown of how these beautiful maps work: the roads that are oriented in the same direction have the same color. The thicker the lines, the more “grid-like” the area is.

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Women's National Republican Club-Rockefeller Center-Midtown-Andrew Carnegie-NYC

On Monday, The New York Adventure Club took members inside the Women’s National Republican Club, a gorgeous clubhouse built on the site of the former home of Andrew Carnegie at 3 West 51st Street at Rockefeller Center. The club was founded by New York suffragists in 1921, but they did not move into their current building until 1934 after the land was purchased from Carnegie. While it may give off the off-limits vibe of many Gilded Age clubs in New York City, the pub/restaurant is actually open to the public, with proper attire.

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5Pointz Whitewash Memorial-2014-Rest In Paint Gate-Queens-Long Island City-NYC-001

One year ago today, New Yorkers woke up to the news that Long Island City street art haven 5Pointz had been whitewashed, following a long effort by 5Pointz organizers to save the building and get it landmarked. Since then, we’ve gone in to document the demolition this fall and reported on a video of the iconic sign that came tumbling down. Last night, 5pointz held a memorial event to mark the first anniversary of the whitewash. About 150 people attended in the cold, while Meres and Danielle Mastrion repainted the “rest in paint” gate. Here are some photographs by Untapped Cities writer Rachel Fawn Alban.

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We’re always on the look out for fun maps of NYC and we came across this site recently, NYC Roads by Steve Anderson. It looks like it was laid out in the 1990s but it does have a nice archive of road maps, vintage photographs and more. The road map database goes from 1928 to the 1990s. Here are some highlights:

1928 New York and Vicinity Rand McNally Map

This 1928 road map of NYC and vicinity shows the state of the roads. Paved in black, improved in dash line and graded or dirt roads in white:

1928 NYC Regional Map-Rand McNally

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Pier-55-Diller Scofidio Renfro-Hudson River Park-West Side Highway-NYCImage via Pier55, Inc./Heatherwick Studio. Renderings by Luxigon.

Hudson River Park, that wonderful five-mile stretch of greenery, has struggled with funding issues in the past looking before to controversially sell air rights at Pier 40 and storing limestone cow heads to be placed when the remaining 30% of the park is renovated. It turns out the Hudson River Park Trust approached fashion designer Diane von Furstenburg and her husband Barry Diller to help replace Pier 54, an abandoned pier that once welcomed the survivors of the Titanic. The choice is unsurprising for the new project, dubbed Pier55, given that Diller and von Furstenburg are the largest private donors for The High Line.

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Underwest Doughnuts-West Side Highway-Car Wash-47th Street-4Image by Melissa Hom via Grubstreet

As you can imagine, we are pretty excited to hear (via Grubstreet) that a new donut spot is opening up in a rather unique location: a car wash on the West Side Highway. Underwest Donuts will be at Westside Highway Car Wash at 12th Avenue and 47t Street, a spot next to the former H&H Bagel. Like the recent French bakery, Arcade Bakery, located in a gorgeous office lobby, location was half luck. When Scott Levin, a former sous chef at Chanterelle, was looking for a storefront, it turned out that his father-in-law is an owner of the car wash, and the place in the tunnel was unused. There’s going to be an automatic donut robot to add to the fun.

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