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.

Abandoned Bergen Street Lower Level-Subway Station-Brooklyn-NYC-002

In Brooklyn, an abandoned level below the Bergen Street station is a favorite spot for urban explorers, one of many New York City subway stations that have abandoned platforms. Renovations to the station, which serves the F and G trains, in the early 1990s damaged the lower platform, which had been used from time to time over the course of the station’s existence since 1933. Silver doors on the upper level conceal open staircases that go down to the lower level.


Brooklyn Navy Yard Archives-Dennis Riley-Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation-NYC_10

This week, we got a special tour inside the archives of the Brooklyn Navy Yard by Dennis Riley, the archivist. A visit through any archive brings to light the historical context in which an institution was formed, but the Brooklyn Navy Yard archive is particularly unique, because much of the content was simply left behind by the U.S. Navy when the yard changed ownership to the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. Riley, who has been with the Navy Yard for a little over a year, has really continued the effort of previous archivists and bring to light some of the amazing artifacts in side. “This is the stuff that makes the link,” between past and present, Riley tells us. Here’s a recap, with photos, of some of the most unique pieces we saw. You can check out an official exhibit in BLDG92


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One of New York City’s most beloved buildings is the Flatiron Building. Though never one of the tallest buildings in the city, it was nonetheless revolutionary in its own way due to its construction method. Here are some fun facts not commonly known about the iconic building.


NYC Most Popular Favorite Dog Breeds-Map-French Bulldog-Labrador Retriever-Golden Retriever-German Sheperd-American Kennel Club-AKC

Somehow we missed this one. Thrillist had a Fun Map of most popular dog breeds by neighborhood recently, based on rankings from the American Kennel Club. Biggest discovery: French Bulldogs, which seem everywhere, are particularly prevalent in New York City, but not in the rest of the country, where it didn’t even make the top 5. But here in NYC, the top 5 breeds are:


Grand Central Terminal- NYC-1936

Using the app Timera, New Yorker Dan Kafalas (who previously contributed a photograph to our Top 10 Secrets of the Chrysler Building piece), melds vintage photographs with images from the same locations in present day New York City. Over the past couple weeks, Kafalas went on assignment for us to capture these shots of iconic locations in the city, including Grand Central Terminal, Washington Square Arch, the Manhattan Bridge, and Union Square, along with quaint streets like Charles Street in Greenwich Village and Varick Street in Tribeca. Take a look below for more:


We’re pretty sure in New York City you can get any food you can dream up, and we credit that to the melting pot that the city is and its population that likes to push the boundaries. Here are 10 of the weirdest and most bizarre foods available here that will probably make you pucker up (or for some, make your taste buds water).

1. Live Octopus at Sik Gaek

Live Octopus-Sik Gaek-Flushing-Woodside-Bizarre Weird Foods-NYCPhoto via Yelp by Wing L.

Korean restaurant Sik Gaek has two locations, one in Woodside and one in Flushing. The real delicacy is the live octopus. Yes, it’s served to you squirming. People describe it as “chewy,” “slimy,” but also for some, their “favorite dish.” Make sure to call in advance if you want to order it, as it’s not always available.